Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Fathers Damaging Secret

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice Fathers Damaging Secret

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #852086 Reply

    My father has recently got married to a lovely woman who he has only known for several months. She has five adult children who have accepted my father with open arms. They recently had a really nice wedding where I gave a speech about how great of a father and person he is. The dilemma? I feel my speech wasn’t 100% truthful. Why? Because my father was an abusive man to his first wife(my birth mother), his second wife(the mom who actually raised me), and us(his four children). Most shockingly is the fact that he sexually molested my older sister and would touch me inappropriately at times. He admitted to me that he had sexual intercourse with my sister when she was 18(I was 13 at the time). He’s never had to be held responsible for the things that he has done. He has just moved on with his life and has become what appears to be an upstanding man for those who have gotten to know him in recent years. Over the years he’s become a religious man and has made positive changes that I can see but it doesn’t erase his past. I’m not one to hold people’s mistakes against them because I believe that we should forgive, but, I’m having a hard time getting over the past, and I feel guilty that I was apart of my father’s wedding knowing that his new wife really doesn’t know the man she has married. It has made me resistant to getting too close to his new family because I feel that in order to truly know me you have to know my story which would change the way everyone looks at him. He has avoided contact with my three older siblings for years under the guise that they are not living right or making good choices but I believe the real reason is because they remind him of his past too much. I was the youngest so I think that safeguarded me from some of the abuse my older siblings received, and I’ve always been the meeker one of my siblings that tried to overlook his faults. But now that I’m in my late 30’s with children of my own I see how much his abuse has affected me as well. I’m all for people changing but it’s really hard to see my father be the sweetest husband and stepfather to his new wife and her adult children but nearly ruined the lives of his previous family. I’m sure he has some remorse but he has never really admitted his mistakes or truly owned them. He’s only said that he has regrets and that he wishes that he would have found God sooner. My poor sister lived with the abuse her entire life. She became hooked on drugs and prostituted, among other things. She turned to same sex relationships because being with a man reminded her too much of our father. Sadly, she passed away a couple of years ago while living in a recovery house for drug addicts. When my father talks about her death he tells people that unfortunately my sister made poor choices in life that led to her passing, he never reveals that her bad choices ultimately stemmed from the abuse that she received by the hands of him for years. My oldest brother is currently living on the streets with severe mental illness, but my father will say that he made poor choices, again never taking responsibility for the role that he has played. Ironically, I have a good relationship with my father, but lately I’ve noticed myself growing increasingly resentful towards him. I just don’t know how to deal with all of this.

    #852088 Reply

    Oh wow….i’m so sorry for all you were subjected to having a father like that….if it was me i would tell the new family….it wouldn’t be safe for them to be around someone like him….i would keep my kids and family so far away from him….really he doesn’t deserve any happiness….i am really sorry you have to deal with this

    #852090 Reply

    I am so sorry that you and your siblings had to experience all of this. That is truly terrible, traumatic and just plain unfair. It’s understandable why you are wrestling with so many conflicting emotions.

    The first thing you should do is find yourself a good therapist. Regardless of what you do about “revealing” your father’s secrets, you need to begin working through the years of repressed abuse that have led you to where you are today.

    Specifically, I would recommend seeing a therapist trained in abuse and PTSD, especially one who is trained in EMDR therapy. EMDR is a therapy that was first developed to help soldiers with PTSD, but has since evolved to help many trauma survivors. That–in addition to talk and cognitive therapy–can do wonders to clear the fog in your mind.

    Next, I would highly recommend reading a book called Toxic Parents. It is short, clear, comprehensible, and tremendously insightful. The first half of the book deals with different types of toxic parents (neglectful, verbally abusive, physically abusive, sexually abusive, etc.), and if you don’t find them all relevant to you, you can just read the chapters that are.

    The second half prepares you for confrontation with your toxic parent(s), be they living or dead. And that is the route I would advise for you as well.

    Whether you decide to “out” your father or not, it seems to me that you should first confront your own self about the abuse you’ve endured, and then confront the abuser himself. You might find, after taking these steps, that the urge to out your father dies down because you have the closure you need.

    Or you might not.

    But the first step is to begin the healing within yourself.

    #852092 Reply

    He may have gotten religion but it doesn’t sound like he’s ever asked anyone for forgiveness. If that’s the case, then he hasn’t really accepted his significant part in all of this. Just because you got the least of the abuse doesn’t mean you need to keep him in your life.

    Please talk to a counselor and to your siblings about your options and protect yourself and your spouse/kids over anyone else in this world.

    #852097 Reply

    You screwed yourself by giving that lie filled speech at the wedding. I don’t see why they will believe you now. The lie is easier for them to believe. They will cling to it now.
    PS. For future reference. Any molester/abuser who finds Jesus has simply just found a bold new lie to hide behind.

    #852194 Reply

    I would tell his new family that he is a pedo. If any of the adult children have kids, they should know. He should not be allowed around children. He has never apologized or taken responsibility for what he has done, not has he taken steps to make amends. If he isn’t sorry for what he did, then what makes you think he has stopped? Too many people use religion as a cover to prey on young people, I would not trust him at all. They may not believe you, your father may not want them to know, but they deserve the truth, especially if it can stop him from damaging anyone else.

    #852207 Reply

    I hope you’re seeing a therapist. If you haven’t, you should.

    I think you are giving him far too much credit. He sexually abused you and your sister, probably your other siblings and was a horrible partner. He has not apologized, admitted his abuse in a satisfactory way or done anything to mitigate the irreparable harm he has caused. He’s done nothing but turn his back on his children that he failed over and over again. Except for you. I believe you would greatly benefit from therapy or counseling.

    I would warn his new family. All of the adults. Apologize for lying at the wedding and tell them the whole story. If you have any evidence, bring it. Your poor sister and your brother deserve to have their story told. I’m not sure what the statute of limitations are for you, but your father is a predator. He’s a criminal. He’s a pedophile. He deserves much worse than whatever will come from you telling his new family, who will likely not believe you. Be prepared for that.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
Reply To: Fathers Damaging Secret
Your information: