***Trigger Warning*** Non-explicit mention of sexual abuse, secondary trauma
He hurt me on a fall afternoon in the nineties. I was seventeen and he was more than two decades older. Everyone knew him from his job at the local hospital – a highly educated professional who wore tailored suits to work. I doted on him.
Though not my real father, his presence still meant a lot to me. I looked up to him. I longed for him to be proud of me and love me like daddies love their little girls… but everything changed that day.
My first year living on my own (with the state’s help), my son, who could barely walk, and I lived on $300 a month—not enough money to do much of anything. Needless to say, things were constantly getting turned off. That day, I had no power. I needed help, so I reached out to the only person I felt I could trust, my dad.
Although embarrassed, I swallowed my pride and called him. My voice trembled as I spoke to him, “Hi Dad, I need your help. My lights got turned off.”
“Oh kid,” he sighed. “How much do you need?” I told him then paused, “I don’t have the money now, but I’ll give it back to you on the first.”
“Don’t worry about it, brat. I’ll be by in an hour to take you to the power company.” My anxiety subsided; he saved the day again, like many times before. I could depend on him. He’s my dad after all; why wouldn’t I trust him? He watched me grow from the time I was three years old. He tucked me in at night, bandaged my boo-boos, and wiped my tears when I cried. I loved him, but soon I saw he loved me differently.
Like clockwork, he arrived at my apartment and honked the horn. Happy to see him, I jumped in and kissed him on the cheek. “Thanks, Dad. I promise I’ll pay you back.”
“Don’t worry about it, brat.” He repeated, then chuckled.
I gazed out of the window as he hummed to a distant jazz melody. The ride was short. He paid the bill, but I had to wait a few hours for my power to be turned on. He offered to drop me at his house to wait. I accepted.
“Thank you, Daddy. I really appreciate it.” I repeated. “I’ll pay you back ASAP.”
“You know, I thought of a way for you to pay me back.” He glanced at me then tugged at his ear.
“Ok, how?” I responded with a slight smile.
His pause made things weird; I felt everything move in slow motion, shades of memory. The year before, he tried to show me some photos that were hidden above the kitchen cabinet. He took them down, but apparently changed his mind at the last minute. I felt the same butterflies in my stomach.
He stuttered, “I…I…”
My eyes were glued to his lips, “What, Dad?” I laughed nervously.
He was silent once again as he turned into his driveway then parked the car. He looked at me with a crooked smile, then spoke, “I am wondering if we can exchange oral sex.”
My heart sank. I felt disgusted. My eyes filled with tears “What?!?” I could hardly catch my breath.
He repeated himself, this time his voice lower and steadier as he asked, “I am wondering if we can exchange oral sex?”
Tears stroll down my cheeks as I search for my father’s likeness in his eyes. Who is this stranger? I want to punch him, but the pain consumes me. I become immobilized. Eventually, anger fills my belly like fire and assists my roar, “NO!” I sob. He tries to explain, but I can no longer look at his face. I want out—away from the shell who I use to call my daddy. He grabs my arm; I rip it away and jump out of the car. He runs behind me.
“Wait, sweetheart. I’m so sorry.” It was too late, the girl he watched grow disappeared into the darkness. Only despair remained in my hollowness.
“What did I do? Why would you say that to me?” I sobbed.
“Well…” he paused. “Your mom told me some things about you…”
Again, that horrible woman had betrayed me. It seemed she reveled at the fact that anyone could love me. Now she had taken away the only daddy I knew. I hated her.
“What could she have possibly said to you?” He had no words. I waited—I wanted to know.
“Look, I’m sorry.” He hurried past me and unlocked the door. “I have to go.” He shuffled to his Ford SUV and drove off.
He left me standing there, my heart shredded into a million pieces. Things would never be the same. He was no different than the man who raped me in Mississippi while I slept. The pain was the same. My body cringed at the thought of him entering me.
I wanted to rid myself of the pain, but it had no exit. I clawed at my chest and paced as my thoughts wandered. Was I ever his daughter, or was he just waiting for me to grow old enough to fuck? Had he always looked at me that way? Why me? His words stuck to me like glue. I felt filthy. My skin burned and I scratched harder. I wanted to forget but couldn’t. “God,” I pleaded, “Please take me. Dying is easier.” I waited, but nothing happened. My depression grew deeper.
I told my family—they made excuses and then acted like it never happened. They blamed me. They said I dressed too sexy. I believed them, even though I knew they were wrong. I stopped coming around. They told me to try harder. I could no longer pretend.
I resented him, but I resented them more for supporting his monstrous behavior. I lost myself that fall afternoon. Fragments of my brokenness remain. No one utters a word of that day.
My tenderness took a backseat to his sickness. I guess it’s easier to blame the victim.
About the Author:
Christy Lynn Abram is a Gravity Imprint Author, poet and Wholistic Muse. Through her books, workshops and insightful articles, Christy inspires others to find peace after trauma. www.christylynnabram.com
Interested in learning more about Rachel’s services or books? Click here. Purchase Broken Pieces or Broken Places on Amazon.
Drew Sheldon saysDecember 27, 2015 at 10:48 am
There is absolutely nothing that would inspire a man to treat his daughter like that except his own selfish depravity.
Thank you for sharing your truth. Thank you for being such a brilliant author. Thank you for being an amazing, beautiful, soul-inspiring woman. Your spirit is a gift to this world.
Christy Abram saysDecember 27, 2015 at 3:57 pm
Thank you Drew! I appreciate your kind words.
C. Streetlights saysDecember 28, 2015 at 11:34 am
“My heart shredded into a million pieces…” is such a powerful description, Christy. I can’t believe such betrayal and powerful hurt. I’m so sorry this happened and am so grateful you have the strength to share your story. There is no excuse in the world that is good enough for a man to treat a woman like this, especially one who trusts him like a father. And no excuse for family to protect that man rather than the child.
Christy Abram saysDecember 28, 2015 at 12:18 pm
Thanks, C! Unfortunately it’s still going on. I’m pretty much the black sheep of the family because I won’t fake it. It’s hurtful, but I trust the right tribe will find me.
Kandi J Wyatt saysDecember 28, 2015 at 2:46 pm
Thank you for sharing. You bring out how even words can “stick like glue” and make you feel unclean. It is never easy to share what has happened to you. May it make others brave to seek comfort and peace and cleanliness from the pain.
Christy Abram saysDecember 28, 2015 at 9:51 pm
Thank you! Your words inspire me to continue to tell my story.
Erin McCole Cupp saysDecember 28, 2015 at 5:07 pm
“I resented him, but I resented them more for supporting his monstrous behavior. I lost myself that fall afternoon. Fragments of my brokenness remain. No one utters a word of that day.
My tenderness took a backseat to his sickness. I guess it’s easier to blame the victim.”
This is the sound of me nodding.
Christy Abram saysDecember 28, 2015 at 9:53 pm
Thank you, Erin. Although this happen 20 years ago it still stings. Happy to be in the moment to share my story. I appreciate your support.
Bobbi Parish saysDecember 29, 2015 at 4:51 pm
Christy, thank you for the courage and eloquence with which you powerfully tell this story. Speaking your truth gives others the power to tell theirs. I’m sorry your family has treated you so horribly, you deserve so much better. May your heart find it’s true family very soon. Much love, Bobbi
Christy Abram saysDecember 29, 2015 at 10:45 pm
Thank you, Bobbi. I will use my experiences to support others. Rejection and abandonment is tough. I’m glad I have such an amazing support system at Gravity and beyond. I appreciate your kind words. Thanks for your support.
Melissa Flick saysDecember 31, 2015 at 5:17 pm
Thank you for sharing this Christy. I am so sorry that your mother betrayed you and that he felt that it was okay to even suggest those things to you. ♡
Richard V Raiment saysFebruary 19, 2016 at 8:40 am
Thank you for your courage.
Marilyn saysFebruary 15, 2017 at 1:01 am
You are strong, brave, and intelligent, don’t ever lower yourself to any less. Thank you for sharing this, you have a beautiful way of writing that makes the reader really picture your words as if we traveled in time and seen everything. Keep being a strong woman, and when you cry or break down , remember that’s it’s ok, and it doesn’t make you any less, sometime we need too. And we all break down and cry one point more than once inorder to forgive the past and to forgive ourselves for letting those who harmed and move on with our lives. <3 Glad you found happiness. Anyways Thank you!
Christy Abram saysJanuary 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm
Thank you, Marilyn!