That’s the question I want to answer about my post yesterday: why?
It stands to reason that I could’ve talked to my dad about my feelings privately. I could’ve approached him, and told him that he’s broken my heart. Why do it publicly, for the world to see? Why air it, like dirty laundry, so to speak?
There are a few reasons for that. Namely, I’ve done the “private” way before. I’ve tried. Years ago, when it was already going downhill, I told him how much he’d hurt me, and my family. It didn’t go well. In fact, I got the same response that I got this time, from him, the exact same type of response, sans the part about talking about him publicly, which was less than a “sentence.” Since his message to me didn’t have a single period in it, and was roughly fifteen lines long of a veritable shit-storm litany tirade of reasons about why I’m entirely at fault for our relationship, I assume that was a sentence. So, I guess I didn’t see the point of not doing it publicly; the end result was the same.
Also, I thought that maybe, just maybe, the shock factor of the public blog might shake my dad into seeing me, the real me, and might bring what was left of him, back to me. It was a foolish dream, and the hope of a silly little girl. I thought that maybe, possibly, the sliver of him that’s left would see that he’s broken his daughter’s heart, and that he just needs to fix it, no matter what. That he just needs to put his bullshit aside and care about his daughter more than himself, for once. I never should’ve even held onto that small hope, because hope, in these cases, is poison to the heart. It kills pieces of you, like salt to the earth. There are large chunks of me, where love can never grow again, where I have memories of beatings, and memories of being pushed aside, just like this, denied because being right is more important than being loved. I have to learn to detach now, to escape and let no more earth be salted, so there’s enough love left for the people in my life who matter, and to whom I matter.
Finally, the purpose of my blog is to share, in hopes of helping. I have readers that are outside of my family circle. It’s still small, but I have some loyal readers. I get emails and comments from random strangers that I’ve never met that, essentially, say “thanks” I have gotten thank you letters from people I don’t know, telling me that something I said resonated with them, and gave them hope. If my story makes someone else feel better, then what I said was worth saying publicly. My pain has done something good. My healing is helping to heal someone else.
I know that I deleted a lot of horrible comments from my family. It stands to reason that I shouldn’t have. They should have their say too. But I did it for a very good reason. I refuse to engage in nasty fighting. I didn’t even read what they said; I just deleted them, because I know my family well. I’m sure that they were accusing me of being the scum of the earth, and lying about everything I said. Because, that’s my family. It’s always easier to deflect on someone else, a common enemy, than to accept blame yourself. I’m an easy scapegoat. I mean, I’m the one who’s loudest, who goes against the grain, and who’s different than all the rest, in every possible way. And, I left them, and I haven’t gone back.
Imagine a scenario where you are the only one who can see color. You try to point out that the sky is blue, but everyone else is convinced it’s gray, so they all join ranks against you, point fingers at you, and think that, because you think the sky is blue, everything else you say must also be crazy and deluded. That’s what it’s like to be in my family.
Because I think the sky is blue, I’m on the wrong team. I never tolerated the abuse. I talked back. I screamed, “no.” I fought against it. The last time I was beaten, my mother wanted to dump a bottle of dish soap down my throat; I wouldn’t let her. I wrestled her, and fought her off, until my hair was covered in suds, from her dumping, hoping she’d get some in my mouth, and she’d scratched my entire face. But, no one will ever admit that’s true; not anymore. Now, the sky is grey. If they even claim to remember it at all, they’ll make up a reason where I probably deserved, at twenty years old, to have a bottle of dish soap dumped down my throat.
So now, rather than looking inward and seeing if the sky is, in fact blue, and that there is a way to mend fences, it’s easier to bond with the other people who still believe that the sky is grey. If everyone around you still believes it, it’s easy to compare notes and believe together, reinforce one another. That crazy girl, the one who believes differently, she’s the problem. She’s the one who’s wrong. Let’s forget about her.
And, they have.
I did make a mistake yesterday, that I should own up to. I didn’t forewarn my cousin about the fact that I was going to drop a bombshell about her father. I was wrong, and I apologize for that. It was an important step, for me, to admit that I was sexually abused. It was, however, wrong of me not to consider how it would affect her. Admittedly, I don’t usually associate her with her father, because my stupid brain tends to forget them as father and daughter. I rarely visited him when he had custody of her. It’s like the association isn’t cemented, for some reason; but, that doesn’t mean that I don’t know that they are father and daughter. So, yes, I should’ve taken her feelings into consideration, and how hurt she must be, or must’ve been, to see that about her dad. I welcome her to send me an email through this website, so I can talk to her directly, and apologize further, as I’m sure she’s checking in!
However, I can’t apologize for having had it happen to me. I can’t apologize for being a helpless little girl, in the arms of a grown man, who shouldn’t have touched me. And, furthermore, now, I can’t apologize for being a grown woman who should’ve received comfort and an apology from her parents, when she admitted something traumatizing. Instead, like all things “Rachel,” I have been considered, essentially, “evil;” therefore, I’m lying just to cause trouble.