A daughter’s letter to a father who sexually abused her

Marie Warga, at the age she says her father was sexually abusing her.

Editor’s note: When H. Marie Warga learned that her father was attempting to contact her, she wrote this letter to him. At the urging of Connie Valentine, one of the co-founders of the Incest Survivors Speakers Bureau, she sent it to ACEsTooHigh.com, with the hope that it will help other men and women who are struggling with the same issues: how to give voice to the unspeakable, how to establish boundaries, and what forgiveness means. Warga is entering her senior year in college, and intends to become a lawyer. 

Robin,

I am writing this letter since hearing that you were attempting to contact me. There are things I need to hear myself say to you before I read or hear anything from you. First, I am going to tell you that you were lucky. You are a man who was able to violate the trust

he built with his wife and child and then walk away without punishment. You were able to cause pain and suffering in a child’s life but move on without any repercussions. The destruction you caused was a mere chapter in your life. I know that you deny what you did to me when talking to others, but you cannot pretend with me. I am the one you violated. I am the one you betrayed. I am the one who remembers. You cannot run away from me or God. We know the truth, no matter what you tell others or say to yourself. If you dare try to have contact with the child that you hurt, there are first some things you need to know.

When that chapter in your life was over, and you couldn’t touch me again, you moved on. But your actions had a huge impact on the rest of my childhood. Your actions gave me anger that a child/adolescent should never have to feel. You gave me fear that only children who have been traumatized have. You gave me nightmares every night for years. I would wake up screaming in terror, trying to escape the monster in my dream that, even at a young age, I always knew was you. You trampled my trust for any man or boy to enter my life. You gave me a temper that led me to harm others as well as myself. Due to your actions, I suffered with depression until college that, on occasion, almost led me to end my own life. For years after your new life began, I struggled to keep the only one I had.

Even when times seemed to be good, a simple trigger would give me a flashback, sending me right back to when and where all the fears began. You took away my childhood. You took away my mother’s chance to play and have fun with her only daughter during what was supposed to be a happy, free and playful time in their lives. You took away my chance to have what other kids have, a protective, loving, supportive and respected father. You took away my time to learn and develop respectful and appropriate relationships with others. You left a child with nothing but fear, anger and confusion to grow and develop with. To this day, at 21, I still am trying to learn about what makes an appropriate and healthy relationship between a husband/wife, father and child. I am still trying to figure out if I will ever be able to decipher a good man, from one like you. You did not just molest your daughter until she was 5, you damaged her entire life in ways that you cannot even begin to, and never will, understand. Sadly, you are not the only man to do this, or something like it, to his child. But I want you to know that I came out on the positive end compared to what could have happened, and that is thanks to my mom.

She showed me how to be strong, move on, learn and use the feelings I had about my situation to drive me in a better direction. She showed me how the Lord helped her to save me from you when I was 5, and the Lord showed me how to save myself from you at 19. There are goals I have set for myself that sound extremely difficult to anyone who hears them. However, I believe that these goals have been decided on because I have developed something that others might not have. I have experience in this type of trauma. I have passion needed to make a difference in the lives of other children who are being put through what you did to me. I also have the intelligence needed to out-smart anyone who gets in my way of protecting those kids from people like you. They deserve a chance like I had to overcome.

There is one more thing that makes me different from anyone else who has been violated in such a way. I have forgiveness. When the Lord saved me, he showed me how to forgive you when I was 19. But hear me when I say, do not be mistaken. I did not forgive you because I felt you deserved another chance. People like you do not change and given the chance, I firmly believe that you would harm another defenseless little girl. I did not forgive you because I felt you had been punished enough. The only way I would feel that justice had been served would be if you were in prison with a lifetime of therapy. I did not forgive you because time healed all wounds. My scars are still very much there and I will always struggle, to some degree, with what you did to me.

I forgave you for myself and myself alone. It is because the anger, fear and sadness are a distraction and something I do not deserve to have. I let the pain and suffering you caused me run my life and love for 19 years, and that was too long. It was time to let that all go and find the emotions and feelings that truly make up who I am deep inside. All those feelings I had towards you, as well as the ones you made me feel towards myself, were like a blanket covering the real me. I forgave you to find myself, and I have. You deserve no credit for this. You are lucky. Your child survived a traumatic experience and violation by you, her father, and came out an amazing, smart, driven, kind and beautiful woman. However, you do not get to claim me and my success. I did this on my own, (but in the beginning with the help from my mom). My anger towards you however is gone. I wasted too much time and energy on you and I learned to put it towards fixing what you broke. Now that I have, I feel you should know what you caused as well as the result.

You broke me, and ruined my childhood, but you will not have my present or future. I welcome an apology from you. But do not think for a second that I will accept anything less than a true, honest-to-God and responsibility-taken, apology. Remember, I am smart enough to know the difference. If you do try for contact I will also require an apology for my mom. She was your wife and your love, and you destroyed her trust and hurt her one and only child. You took away the one chance she had at having a happy life raising her child. Yes, she and I have an absolutely amazing relationship now, but you ruined her plan. We both deserve an apology, but we will not hold our breath. Only after these two conditions are fulfilled will I consider any further communication with you.

(signed) Marie; aka Survivor

67 responses

  1. Marie,

    Thank you so much for this letter. It is exactly what I needed. I’m at a place right now in my life where I’m ready to write a letter to my dad. Your letter was as if I wrote it myself. Thanks

    My Story

    I don’t remember when it started. I know I was not in school yet that’s when I remember the first time he touched me in a not father like way. Gradually over the years it went from touching, oral and then to intercourse. I don’t like to sleep by doors because of this. I use to open my eyes feeling like someone was watching me..and the monster was there. He was always planning father daughter trips anything to keep me to himself away from mom and family. Hunting trips….camping and canoeing trips…the trips never ended and went on for a long time. I was helpless and weak…SCARED. He made threats which now when I think of them I think of how stupid I was in believing him. Nothing should of stopped me from telling my mom. But it did….and continued even after I started my period which I was in 6th grade when that happened. Middle school was rough..I was into drugs and drinking. Both on my way to school, during and after. I also was into boys well I let the boys have their way with me. This of course made it easy to except thoughts of suicide. By this time he would say things to me like I wish we could get married and how he loved my body. I sometimes think back…why…why did I not just say, “whatever monster…go to hell”. My survival mechanism was shut down…stay quite as a mouse. Just let it happen, so he will leave me be.

    The hard thing with the above is that was the one side of my father. The Closet Monster, the monster that I only knew. I think he felt bad about the monster that he was. Because the other side of my father was my daddy. I have many great memories of growing up that I love to remember and tell people about. When I look back it was like a Hallmark Movie about the perfect daddy and his little girl. helping him build things in his wood workshop, fishing on our lake, working in the yard and much more. I truly have many great memories. See I’m messed up….now as I’m typing I’m uncontrollably crying.

    I’m 33 yrs old. And for 32 yrs I lied to family and to myself.

    Let’s back up for a moment I some how was able to continue a relationship with my father. How…well it was hard. Over the years I learned to separate Monster and my Daddy. As an adult it became easier to do this because I did not see him all the time. The Monster did appear in my dreams…well more like nightmares and night terrors. My breaking point is when he and his girlfriend stayed at my home when they had vacationed in the state I lived in. Of course the girlfriend wanted to hear stories…and stories she heard well the Hallmark daddy version….not the monster stories that I should of told. Then the photo albums came out. She made a comment to me about how great of a daddy I had. This was not the first time in my life that someone had said that to me. My friends always made comments to me when I was young that I had the perfect family. So the girlfriend’s comment blew me away….away to a place of darkness.

    This darkness actually brought light to my life. Or should I say my fake life. I married the guy I was dating when I was in high school…divorced after 12 yrs of marriage. The survival mechanism I mastered when I was young due to my father was used in my marriage. I married a man that knew how to control me to do what he wanted and when he wanted. A little submissive belittled wife that took the emotional abuse and wonder if she was going to get hit or yelled at for the most stupid things. He too wore different hats like my father did. My family or his did not know the extent on how he treated me. Because of course I was a master of hiding it all from everyone. Its weird how my fathers girlfriend actually helped me to open my eyes for the first time and to do something about the life I was living.

    The NOW…

    I feel stronger as a woman. For the first time in my adult life I decide what I spend money on or how I want to save money. Doing a great job at it I might add. My love life…well lets say I found a man who treats me how a woman should be treated. He cares for me like not other man has. I do sometimes still get a bit paranoid that I don’t do enough for him. He reminds me that we are a couple and we help each other out with things. Its not a dictatorship. He’s the same person everywhere he goes…no need to wear different hats. He is good for me and well I think we are good for each other. I have done a ton of first’s with my new love. Making a home our home is a first…plants and pictures on the wall. Its the first time that I feel HOME when I’m at HOME. Loved and cared for is all I ever wanted. I know in my heart that I’ve found this love.

    I’M WHERE I’M AT NOW BECAUSE OF ME. THE MONSTER WILL NO LONGER HOLD ME BACK. I’M BUILDING A FUTURE WITH A MAN WHO TREATS ME HOW I SHOULD BE TREATED.

    As far as my father. I would like to thank him for the good hallmark memories that he help create in my young life. It was fun even if it came from guilt. I forgive the monster version of him. Because I can see that monster has a sickness. A sickness that I pray he is getting help with. I don’t know if I will be able to forget. Or if the nightmares and night terrors will go away. Time will tell. Since all this came out and the monster was revealed…I have yet to hear from my father. Not sure why??? I would think he would of wanted to apologize for what he did to his little girl. How can one help bring life into this world and instead of protecting you suck the life right out of her. This happens all the time in the world we live in. In my case…right now if he is even half the father I remember him being (hallmark version) he would apologize in writing. Then apologize to my mom for hurting her only daughter and for being a closet monster. And then to my brother his son for not only destroying their relationship but for ruining what family he thought he had. Next, would be to receive a letter from my grandpa because when he heard what his son did all he wanted to do is sweep it under the rug to protect his son over his grandchildren. He too will need to write to my mom apologizing for making her feel that this needed to be swept under the rug. And to my brother apologizing for making him feel guilty that he was not talking to our father. When I read these letters it needs to truly feel that you are genuinely SORRY for hurting me and a child and teenager and as an adult. Only after those heartfelt apologies will I ever consider talking or meeting in person. I can’t promise what may come out of a in person or over the phone discussion. He’s been lucky that he has been able to move on in life and not be in prison. Be a MAN and a REAL FATHER and admit that you’ve done wrong by your ONLY DAUGHTER. Your ONLY SON and the MOTHER of your children.

    Sincerely,
    A SURVIVOR

    AMBER

  2. Marie,
    I’m a 24 years old from India and for the longest time I felt that I have a peculiar problem as it was none other than my own biological father molested me when I was in 7th grade. I hid it from everyone for 2 years while I had nightmares, trouble sleeping and no real friends at school. When I did tell my mother and she confronted him, he openly refused and called me a whore in stead. My mother being financially dependent on him, could not do much. I felt stigmatized and like a loner in a crowd for so many years. I felt an incompleteness, a restlessness to be somewhere and be somebody else all the time. Even though the sexual molestation stopped, my father always called me a loser. Refused to finance my MBA and made life a living hell for both my mother and me. I persevered with my studies and my general confidence for years to only now become financially independent. I am told by few of my friends that I have done exceptional for myself given my circumstances but I miss the reassurance of a family and tranquil memories of childhood.
    in spite of surviving some big struggles in life all alone, at times I feel weak like a china doll and everything flashes back as if it only happened yesterday. At times, like today, I feel tired of fighting another battle.
    But today I impulsively googled on this topic and came across you. And it gave me hope that there is someone out there who has gone through the exact same struggle and who would know exactly how I feel when I am down, and how I pick myself up each time. Thanks for sharing.
    love

  3. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes for all of us. For me it wasn’t my father, but my eldest brother (9 years older) molesting me from the age of about 5 – 7. I was not so fortunate to have such a strong mother, as mine had been through her own childhood traumas at the age of 4. When I told her she didn’t believe me and told me to stop trying to get my brother in trouble. So when my next to oldest brother (7 years older) raped me at the age of 16, I didn’t tell anyone. She had taught me the lesson not to tell, I wouldn’t be believed. After mom died I finally entered therapy at the age of 42. At that time having two daughters of my own, ages 6 and 8. With the help of my therapist I wrote them similar letters, though not as complete as I had not yet forgiven them, letting them know that I knew exactly what was done to me and I did not wish contact from either of them until further notice. I still have not reached a point of forgiveness almost 6 years later. My therapist had me reading information on *Toxic Shame* when finances caused me to have to stop. For over 40 years I have lived with this. It has altered me. I wonder the person I might be now had I not been denied the safety and security a child needs and deserves.
    Thank you for showing such strength. I wish a wonderful future for you!

  4. I value ur courage and strength my wife of thirty yrs still sees her father whom I hate with all and I can’t forgive it’s affect on are family’s relationship to this day I messed up and had an affair which i know was a big mistake now I’m struggling with exceptance and love from both my children and wife he’s still in her life and I can’t find peace and forgiveness. Thanks for ur letter to me it gave me hope:)

  5. I can’t evn image what u went thru. But am glad that u cme out of it alive and strongr and that u ddnt let dat determine ur future.

  6. Thank you so much Marie for your inspiration and for being such a clear reminder that God is there, He hears and He cares, and that His power to heal is greater than any thing anyone can do to us. I am in New Zealand and we are going through this situation with my niece. We are beyond panic but God keeps speaking and He has used you for such encouragement just when we need it most. God bless you!!!!

  7. I just recently found out that my daughter has been molested by her father from about 8(maybe or could be longer and she not remember) until about 13 she is now 14 . This letter is something I will save print and give to her. Thank you so much for sharing this letter and your experience. You are very brave and your letter will help thousands. YOU are making a difference and HELPING others and I thank you.

  8. If it was me I will never reconnect with him nor have him near my kids. This father of yours is not worth the chance to risk it again with your own kids. Even an apology is not worth it. Its great that you have forgiven the things that happen and became stronger but its not justice because he still continues to have a family that he doesn’t deserve.

  9. Now I’m crying.
    I don’t know whether you can say justice was served for the monster in my life (aka Dad) He’s in a mental institution, officially called criminally insane. My mother, who I grew up with, was emotionally abusive.
    But what I always said was: I am not abused. The people around me are abusive.

  10. I was raped by my father from the age of 3 until I no longer wanted to go and have anything to do with him at the age of 16. My mom didn’t know until he tried again at the age of 18, when I agreed to meet him in Boise, Idaho so he could meet his first and now only granddaughter. It was then that I cut ties with him for good. I am so grateful for this letter, I have been trying to find the right way to go about what happened to my grandma (his mother), about why we no longer have a relationship. I also have been needing ideas to help me move on and not feel the regret and guilt that he put on me. Any advice, websites, or other example letters would be appreciated. Thank you!

  11. I love this. I wish I could just copy and paste. But my mom is still with my dad. And she knows. I also have a son. I would kill to keep him alive. I want to get away. I just don’t know how.

  12. My name is Erica 37 years ago I was molested by my stepfather and it continued for 4 years. I battled 30 years of addiction, affliction, oppression, depression, incarceration, rehabilitation so the next thing left for me was death. But how can you kill somebody that was already dead. I finally came back home after living abroad for 27 years. always finding a man that carried the traits of being an abuser whether it was physical, mental, or emotional, or all 3. I though that I had a handle on my life I have been clean for almost seven years. But I was mistaken. I ran into my stepfather last June on fathers day. Out of 5 million people that lives in Philadelphia Pa. I ran into him and was able to ask him why did you hurt me why did you take my childhood away. Since then I have been a mess because I feel that he has gotten away. recently I attended a sexual awareness conference at my college and I heard that I have til the age of 50 to press charges. I just want to stop hurting. I feel as though that God sent me back home to close this chapter in my life so that the healing can begin. I may lose the support of my family because of there narrow minds. But I have a God in heaven that sits high and looks low. I’m taking back my life and I am so proud of you. Thank you for your letter. I was just browsing the web and I found this. May God be with all the victims that are now survivors.

  13. Please HELP someone please my lil ♡9 yr girl has been physically sexually and mentally abused by her bio father they say shes to young ive seen what he does with my own eyes hes a monster in and out of prison a criminal ive had cps cases open and shut quickly hes broken her bones busted het mouth and she tells me and her therapist for two yts everything he done she drew pictures details its horrid please he gets his visits back in 2 days im so scared for her please god please god help her

  14. My father abused me from the age of 3 until I was 15… I didn’t know that was unusual.. After a short lived school romance a met the man of my dreams…we enjoyed a life with our three children,,until I confided in him…. My husband killed my father because of the abuse he had done to me..but what is worse? Cos I’m feeling ..bad. Over both?!

  15. My father did the same to me, it will be part of me forever. I am 37 now and I can say since I met my husband 15 years ago that I have become a far better person without my memories trying to invade my future. I don’t know what made me tell my mum when I was 8 but thank god I did and thak god my mum believed me. My mum told me she confronted him and could always tell when he was lying. Over the years I learnt that he molested my eldest brother but I am so glad my younger sister was protected. Now this man has got away scot free rebuilt his life, got a new wife and son and I don’t know what possessed me but he is on facebook. Your letter is what I would like to send if only he woul appologise and acknowledge what he did was the worst thing you could ever do to a person and hevdestroyed my childhood. He joined facebook on my birthday so I think he must acknowledge his past. I want to contact him but I don’t as I could never have my children in contact with him. I don’t want to tell my family I just want to get on with my life but before he dies I would like to confront him. Anyway thank you.

  16. I am also a victim… I was adopted when I was 11, and my aunt husband wouldn’t touch me the wrong ways…. Gotten to the point where we do oral in me and I would cry and pray it to be over!!! It was gross, nasty and just plain fucking sick!!!! I was moated from 11-20… I am ashamed.. It was never going to stop and I knew this was my fate. He held everything against me if I didn’t do what he wanted me to do. He takes away my support and threaten to deport me. I hate that man. Today he comes to my house, and acts like nothing ever happened. But everyday I think about it hates start build up more and more and it’s affecting me mentally. I am becoming paranoid!!! And I don’t know what to do!!! I am scared to talk to my hubby, I need someone to talk to but I am too ashamed of what happened..I know I will never rest in peace and I will have to take this shame to my grave one day.

    • Hi Dawn
      Don’t be ashamed- you have nothing to feel shame for, You are innocent! You still are! You are a victim of this vile man- he took advantage of you! He then tried to shift his blame and shame onto you- don’t take it ! How old are you? Are you still financially dependent on this man? Why do you have to keep relationship with him? Why does he have to come to your house? You should”t let him! Tell him that you don’t want any more visits from him! Tell somebody, anybody about what he has done to you- once you tell you story, you will feel so relieved and not ashamed anymore! Then you will want to tell your story to the closest people- and you will tell your husband! Don’t worry about his reaction- he will be supportive and angry for you, you have nothing to loose and everything to gain if you tell! This pretence is affecting you mentally! You have to be honest to yourself! And to people closest to you! Or seek counselling, and tell your counsellor first. Then with the counsellors help you will be able to come out! Don’t be ashamed! This is not your responsibility to keep this vile man;s secret! You wasted your precious life on keeping it and need not to do it any longer!!!! If I were, I would confront him and make him take 100% of the responsibility! Remember, even if you are scared, you are not that little child anymore who can be controlled and manipulated! I was the same, been abused by my father for all my life, until I stood up at the age of 22 and came out to the rest of the family. They don’t support me though, so that gives me even more heart ache, but I hope one day they will see my truth! Let me know how it goes! Remember, you are not alone in this!

  17. Marie, you have lived your life in stages, haven’t you? One building on the other, sometimes piling on more fears and doubts only to find courage and strength to shake it all about, knocking the bad stuff to the bottom of the pile. Eventually, with loving help from your Mom and therapist, you have risen. It took a lot of churning, but finally “The Cream’s Up”! I am so proud of you for your passion to let your strength reach into the minds and hearts of all to come before you in need of that passion and strength! I can feel your determination and it gives me goosebumps! Just look at all the healing you’ve begun right here, just with your mind and heart
    and (virtual) pen!

  18. Dear Survivor
    I came across your letter while trying to heal my son and myself from what my sons father did to him. My son is 5 and began telling me about the abuse just over a year ago. He has gone through and continues to go the the emotionally roller coaster night terrors if he does sleep stomach and phantom illnesses that have all check out with his doc as psychosomatic. It rips every fiber of my being apart to see him going through this. We have very strong supports in place family friends therapist and of corse I prey everyday he grows up happy strong and not fearful of everybody. Your letter to your “father” was the most amazing therapeutic words I’ve come across and I want to thank you. I cried while reading it and when my son is much much older (your age) I plan on sharing it with him. You are a very brave and strong women.

    Thankyou
    Trying to survive

  19. From a person who’s mother was abused at age 3: My mother remains stuck in the past. She is emotionally, mentally, and behaviorally stuck at age 3. She holds on to bitterness and anger and has terrible trouble with maintaining any kind of relationship. Because of this, she was, and is, a terrible parent to myself and my siblings. She refused counseling and never entertained the thought of trying to forgive or move on. Therefore, all she could think of was this bitterness. I am 38 years old. I basically parented myself and had tried for years to have a positive relationship with my mother, but it became toxic for myself and my children. I haven’t spoken with her in over a year and I won’t again unless she agrees to get help. She has allowed her anger at her perpetrator (and her parents for not knowing and not protecting her) to become her life. Therefore, her perpetrator continues to control her by destroying all of her relationships. I pray that anyone in this situation has the courage to get the necessary help so that they can parent properly. If not, your children will pay.

  20. I have gone through the same thing as well as my little sister! Our past defined who we were for years until our father died in 2010. That was when we began to start our lives, I was eighteen she was fifteen. I am truly sorry for what has happened to you, but it seems like your doing well for yourself as we’ll as my sister and I. We are not alone and the people that have helped us heal deserve a huge reward!

  21. At age 33, I begin the journey of finally putting what my father did to me in the past. I’ve been working on writing a letter to my father for several weeks; however, every time I begin to write, my whole body shuts down and I instantly turn back into that weak little girl. Physically, my heart races, I begin to sweat profusely, my body shakes, I get nauseous and dizzy. Psychologically, there is so much shame involved, I think about wanting to just die to end the pain in my head, but I ultimately divert it toward self-mutilation because that is how I’ve dealt with it throughout the years. Facing this is beyond difficult even though I know I was a child and it is not my fault. Somehow, my feelings and knowledge conflict and I feel guilty, as if I am responsible for what happened. I Googled “how to write a letter to my father who molested me” and your letter appeared. As I read, I felt as if perhaps I had already written my own letter to my father as it was exactly everything I wanted to say to him! Thank you!

  22. I WILL NEVER FORGIVE . If he killed me I would have died with a bit of dignity but living with a body I feel disgusted with and sleepless every night with the memories . I pray to GOD he has the most cruelest death and that he burns in hell .

    • Don’t feel disgusted with yourself forgiveness is weird sometimes I feel I forgive my biological father for what he did sometimes I have the deepest hatred. Your attacker will burn in hell along with mine and all the others out there. You are so strong, everyone here is & God bless you all!!

  23. I am just wondering if anyone can help. I was sexually abused by my father between the age of 4 and 12. At the age of 30, after years of anxiety I finally broke down and told my fiancé and immediate family. My brother, sister and I were all trying to have children so that was the driving force for me to come forward. My main fear for not telling mum for so long was that I was afraid she would kill him and I didn’t want her to suffer those consequences. In a totally unexpected twist of events, mum supported dad and stayed with him, but still wanted to somehow support me. My brother withdrew from me instantly and has not informed his now wife. They now have a daughter age 4, and I panick all the time that because his wife doesn’t know, that she can’t protect her daughter the way she needs to. I am now 40 with a 3 year old and pretty much in the same predicament. I live in another city and haven’t been home for 8 years. I miss the rest of my family and don’t go to extended family events as I don’t want my dad anywhere near my daughter. I’m sure my extended family think I’m terrible for not making the effort. If only they knew the reason. I’m so confused and angry. Ironically the one I am most angry at is mum. How could she choose to stay with such a monster? I feel like I’ve lost my family

    • Many people are experiencing something similar, Kat. One person will be courageous enough to speak the truth, and the rest of the family will flee in fear or become angry enough to cut off all communication.
      Here are some groups you can explore — I’m sure you’ll find others who are grappling with the same issue.

      Adults Molested as Children — Links to resources and online e-groups, including co-ed groups, and groups for men, women and women who were molested by a female.
      Survivors of Incest Anonymous — Links to local groups and meetings, upcoming events, an online store, translations of SIA-approved literature into several languages.
      Adults Survivors of Child Abuse — An international self-help support group program designed specifically for adult survivors of neglect, physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse. The program offers community-based, provider-based, and web-based self-help support groups.

    • I told my mum about it at the age of 18 and Iam 20 now . When I told her she didn’t believe me at first and accused me of loosing my virginity to a boy and being afraid to tell her so I was blaming my dad. I cried and cried without any words coming out. She then believed me but blamed me for it. That it was all my fault I should have told her earlier. At the end she kicked him out. But it still feels like she doesn’t feel sorry for me. She didn’t hug me once he sed it was my fault as well and we never talked about it since.

    • Hi Kat

      I can really relate to your experience, as I am in a similar position. I was sexually abused by my adoptive father at around the age of 7-8. I too carried the secret until the age of 30. I didn’t think my adoptive mother would kill him, but I imagined she would be enraged and her world would be destroyed, and so I kept it in. She had always seemed like a really loving parent to me, and I hated the thought of her being hurt. At 30 I went through a period of extreme anxiety to the point of near breakdown and I ended up telling her. I couldn’t hide it any longer. The minute I did I knew her reaction was going to be far from what I had expected and she was not the mother I had thought her to be. She was stony cold. She didn’t believe me at first. Then she did seem to believe me but refused to confront him and came out with all manner of excuses for him, while laying the blame on me for disclosing. After a few months I confronted him myself, and he immediately admitted it. If she had still retained some glimmer of hope that I was making it up, that was now totally gone. She continued to defend my father and castigate me for revealing what had happened. My father at once blamed me for having led him on and mocked me for the way I was reacting, even saying sexually inappropriate things to let me know he still saw me as a sex object I guess. She did nothing to protect me from this, even though she insisted she wanted to support both of us. It was as though he was allowed to abuse me all over again. I told my two sisters and they too showed no support, only concern for our parents and criticism for my behaviour.

      This came out 10 years ago, and like you I don’t see any of them now. I write them nasty messages sometimes telling them exactly what I think of them. I don’t feel proud of doing that, but it’s the only outlet I have for my anger at how they have treated me. The abuse itself was damaging enough, but the reaction of my supposed family, albeit adoptive, has in some ways been even more traumatic.

    • Kat, my name is Sonya and I have been a victim of my own father’s vileness since the age of 3. You are not alone in your anger and pain. I too stayed away from my family because I felt long distance would keep me safer. As I grew older I felt the void between my family and I was unnecessary and unfair and I knew they missed me as much as I missed them. Sometimes, my mother would let me spend holidays or school breaks with my father’s side of the family. My family was unaware of his perverse habits and would always leave me alone with him thinking that we needed time to bond more. It was those times he took the opportunity to take advantage of his own flesh and blood and destroy my trust and soul. I was afraid that if I told anyone what happened that it would divide up the family and make people pick a side. I loved my family too much to say anything about it and so I endured it until age 14. I am now a 27- year old married, Navy vet and bachelor student and I still carry the burden of keeping this secret disclosed. Even though more people within my family know about what he did to me as of now, i still have not found the time and much less the courage to confront him and ask him WHY? What makes matters worse is that my grandfather revealed to me a few years ago before he passed on, that my father was diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age. How am I going to get him to confess when he probably lacks the logic and memory that he’s done it? How am I going to forgive him when he doesn’t know, understand, or remember what he’s being forgiven for? And so the questions persists and abounds. Though I received support from most family members, some members wanted me to just reconcile with him and simply put it behind me like it never happened. Like my grandmother who recently told me to give my father a call so I could wish him a Happy Thanksgiving, because she thought that would be a nice thing to do since he hardly hears from me. Her denial strikes me deep because I always felt we had a deeper bond than anyone in the family. I was even named after her and she sided with her son against me. I not only feel like I lost my closest family member, I feel like I lost myself. I will tell you this. YOU are your own family. Your children are your family. And a man that loves, respects, and protects you and your children is your family too. If your blood pushes you away SO WHAT. You are still alive and raising the next generation with their best interests at heart and YOU know that they are going to have a better childhood and life because of YOU. Find strength in the love that you do possess, and if no one can accept the truth, God KNOWS and your father and my father will have their day with Him. Right now, you need to focus on surviving from the memory and the incident and become a stronger person for your children. You are a pillar of strength for someone else and in turn that will enrich your life with new meaning and purpose. I tell you this because I am experiencing this RIGHT NOW. You know who you are. If you feel you would be putting yourself or your children at risk for showing up at a family function where your father would be present, you wouldn’t go anyway just to make the family feel better about themselves. You have a bigger reason and only you know them well. You don’t owe anybody an explanation. Not if they don’t care. You owe it to yourself to say I’m DONE with this S—. Be the bigger and better person. You are not a coward and what happened to you was NOT your fault. I’ll be honest with you, God forbid if your father does it again to someone else it won’t be your fault either because you didn’t say something. It would be the family’s fault for not wanting to LISTEN and it would be their lesson to learn. You have done your job getting this far with your life, but your work is not done yet because you have the lives of your children to tend to. Do something about it if you feel it would revive your spirit and release the years of pain out of your heart. But if you feel it would add further torment on yourself or endanger you or your loved ones, don’t do it. The way I see it is once you give the truth to someone it becomes their burden and their weight to carry. And you LET them carry it because they need to decide if they want a man like that around their own child. They wouldn’t even think twice if they thought of it like that and if they knew they wouldn’t blame you for your choices. You are a Mom and you have to use and stick to your instincts. Do not feel ashamed. God bless you.

  24. Thank you so much for posting this letter, I have had a similar situation & it makes me so hopeful , that you came out so strong. I am not ready to forgive yet, I am still angry but hopefully one day I will be at the point where you are.

  25. Thank you for posting your story. It is what iv been searching for. Someone I can relate to and unfortunately had same experiences. I’m not at your point yet but I’m trying to get there as still live in fear and secrecy. Don’t want to hurt others by speaking out but reading this has given me strength to heal from it, I’m not alone !

  26. I was brought to tears by your letter. My daughter disclosed last year that her father molested her. She was 4. I did everything I was supposed to and he was found not guilty. She is just amazing and I’m blessed to he her mother. The judge handling our divorce is granting him supervised visitation which scares and angers me and she is also scared and upset. Each day we deal with the fallout from his selfish, sick actions but I hope that she can he just as brave and strong as you are and that I can be as strong as your mother was. Thank you for writing this, it helped me immensely.

    • Im so sorry to hear that. Im glad ge didnt get custody but its horrible that she still has to see him. Parental involved child molestation is the only part of out justice system where “justice” includes a victim being forced to repeatedly and regularly spend time with the perp! its rediculous! Make sure the monitors are actually monitoring like they are supposed to. We went through 3 monitoring officers (cops) because each one kept leaving me alone with my perp of a father. You sound like you are doing everything you can which is all the two of you can do. I’m so sorry and I hope she gets through it all ok. She’s a survivor too.

      -Marie

    • Erin,
      A suggestion for you in regards to supervised visitation. Demand that no family or friends be the ones who “supervise” the visitation. There are facilities which handle these services. Your ex will have to pay for these services and the visits will be monitored by someone who is trained and is there to protect your daughter while she is visiting with her father. The conversation and interactions(during play and there is very minimal physical contact as well) between the two of them will be monitored closely. If she does not want to hug daddy when she visits him she does not have to do this nor can he have her sit in his lap while they put a puzzle together. He is also monitored on what he can ask and say to her. And the visits only last 1 or 2 hours each time. This may help her fears knowing someone is there to keep her safe. I wish you and your daughter all the best and will keep you in my prayers.

  27. My four year old daughter told me 7 weeks ago her father has been molesting her for what he confessed to as “6 months”. She changed one year ago and I believe it started then. I told the authorities and now he is charged 43 years to life and is currently in jail. She is a f*cking rockstar. She is traumatized and very hard to cope with I look forward to the day she will rise up and show her strength as you have fighting for others like you.

    Than k you for your inspiration and please let me know what area od the US you live in as I would love to organize something for young kids to speak out!!

    • Thank you so much for commenting. It is so great to hear that someone succeeded in putting a perp father away for doing this to his child. Most mothers are not able to accomplish protecting their child let alone get justice for them in this way. Sadly many woman try so hard but the system fails them. I’m so glad you and your child were heard and protected. I am currently in Northern California. Here we have the Protective Parents Association who would be a great contact to look up regarding your speaking out plan.

  28. Thank you so much for sharing. My 10 year just told me about her father and I feel like I’m the only one trying to protect her. No one is taking this as a big deal because he is her “father” . I have done police report, cps report, which were both men and she couldnt tell them. A therapist a court investigator, now her own attorney. I pray for her strength and don’t want to loose her trust. She never wants to see him again. He’s been doing it for as long ad she can remember. Do you have any advice for me. I would love to hear from you.

    • I don’t mean to hijack this post, and I’m sure you meant this for Marie, but I just wanted to say that it would have meant the world to me, and would have had a huge impact on my emotional health, if my mother would have come to my aid. (She denies it to this day.) How awesome that you are in such a healthy frame of mind to help your daughter. I know that it doesn’t end there, but it starts there.

    • Go to Ducote Law.com, he is who helped out my mom with suggestions and great insight. Just please keep reminding your daughter how important she is to you and how none of what her father has been doing is her fault. She will also need help to understand that she has nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about because this is her father’s sickness, not her’s. my mom says to hang in there, you are in for the fight of your life.

  29. I am fourteen right now and my dad is doing the exact same thing to me. I tried to commit suicide yesterday, but it didn’t work. I haven’t told my mom or anyone and I don’t know what to do. But it’s good to know I’m not alone. Thank you for posting this letter.

    • I am so sorry for what your going through. All I can really tell you is to not give up. It didn’t work, and that’s a very good thing. You are right that you’re not alone. When your ready, talk to your mom and if you are afraid to do that, try the school counselor. Just telling one person can get your foot in the door to find help. Just please do not give up. There is a life outside of this and you will find it.

    • Lyss, please hang in there. I am so glad that you are still here. I want you to know that it’s nothing you’re doing that is making your dad do these things to you. It is his own problem. Tell him no when he tries things with you. Tell a counselor at school. If you can, tell your mother. Tell a family friend who will listen. It is not your fault. Please get help. It is not worth the end of your precious life. You are not alone. I can imagine how you feel. Just keep yourself safe however you can and you will be in a better place in the future. I wish I was there to help you.

    • Lyss……….Please don’t commit suicide. My daughter just told me (mom) that, it happened to her. She was 11 yrs. old and our divorce had just been finalized. I thought she was just having a hard time with the divorce so I was clueless. Now 12 yrs later she just informed me whet really happened. I want you to know one thing tell your mom, tell your friends, tell anyone that will listen to you. Tell the police…….. if they don’t. You need protection and you can’t do it alone. I am sure your mom loves you. She will have your back and know whet to do. My daughter took 12 yrs to tell me and now I wish I had knowen sooner. So that I could have told her I believe you , I am here for you, and that I love you with all of my heart. I would also have gone to the police to make a report if that is something that she would have wanted. You are not alone, and I will pray for you tonight.

    • Hi Lyss, its been a while since you replied to my letter. I have been thinking about your post and wondering how you are. I hope you are doing well/better than before. I hope you were able to find someone to hear you.

      -my thoughts are with you

      -Marie

  30. Marie, I want to thank you for posting this letter. I was molested at a young age by my own brother and I was looking for advice on how to heal from this horrible piece of my past when I came across this letter. I don’t know how on earth you got past the anger toward your father. I am stuck on that right now. I have told my mother, recently, about what my brother did to me and she denied it and later forgot that I told her. I told my sister years ago and she said that my brother was in his early teens and boys that age are just experimental sexually and that it wasn’t something that I should take as an attack. I was five or six when it happened. I can’t see how my sister could say such a thing! Clearly, my mother and sister just don’t want to deal with it, but it showed me that it’s useless to tell my family what happened. Now I don’t speak to my sister or my brother and I am hated by my entire family for that. I don’t know how to get past this. But your letter helps me to see that others have gone through a similar situation and have gotten past it. Thank you for that.

  31. I have always wanted to speak to a survivor of abuse. I have been abuse myself, not by my father ( thank goodness) but by boyfriends and I’ve always wanted to speak to someone about their journey from victim to survivor so that I can become stronger as well. Do u mind marie?

    • You can find abuse survivors to talk with in local domestic violence support groups and local social services groups such as Crittenton. You can also check the local YWCA and even some of the 12-step groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Adult Children of Alcoholics, because addiction and abuse go hand-in-hand.

  32. I am a mother of a now 18 year old daughter who recently attempted suicide, died for 20 mins and came back to this earth. She is my angel. My daughter has been battling depression and PTSD for over four years along with severe anorexia. At the age of three there was an investigation into sexual abuse that went unsolved and closed for lack of a suspect that had access to her. After many terrible years of marriage I entered therapy and moved on to find a loving healthy relationship. My daughter is not as lucky.
    The words in your letter could have come exactly from her lips. She has not yet come to the realization that her abuser was her father. I struggle to accept this as well. Thank you for your honesty. Your letter has helped me to further identify similarities in our life and stands for an example of how to shed light on a nightmare.
    If you could share with me any details from what mother did to help you through I would appreciate it.
    Thank you again

    • My mom put my in therapy early on, even when I was forced by the court to have visitation with him, I was in therapy. My mom reminded me of the evils in the world and how the best way to beat them is to live your life better than you ever imagined. For years I rolled my eyes at the things she would say. But then we started talking about God an his help. As time went on, I got into college an started doing things that showed me that my mom and God were right. I survived. But if it wasn’t for my mom pushing therapy and my personal relationship with God. I wouldn’t be here. I’m SO sorry to hear about your daughter.

  33. Marie:

    This Letter was sent to me recently,and to be honest, I am beyond impressed.
    It is evident by your words that you are a new person. I happy to hear that you have found God through his, and that you are leading a happy life.

    I wish you the best, I know you will be an excellect advocate, improving the lives of many.

    Joe,

    The only one you know.
    :)

    • Joe,
      Thank you for your comment. I can only hope that I can make an impact as an advocate and I’m thankful for your encouragement.

      Oh..and the only joe I know was a nickname.. . . :) . .?
      But anyways, I really appreciate what you said.

  34. Dear Survivor,
    I don’t know exactly what to say.. but my father did the same thing to be from ages 7-14. I’m 21 now and still do not have the courage to write him a letter. You have truly, completely, and utterly inspired me, that someday I will be a survivor, and no longer a victim. Thank you for your strength and for sharing this. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. Much love, Aly

    • Aly, I’m sorry for what happened to you. It warms my heart to hear that my letter gave you something positive to think about, even for just a moment. All I wanted to do by posting this was to TRY and help others put it in their past and push forward for a different and bright future. We may not have had control when it was happening, but we have control now.

  35. Dear Surviver,
    Your story touched the core of my soul. I work with teens that have experienced abuse in their lives. You have put a voice to what it means to have that child father relationship destroyed. You are one of the survivors that has learned to overcome your wounds to accomplish the things you do deserve in life. However, you remind us that the scar remains, and needs some attention from time to time to keep growing forward. Thank you for having the courage to be the voice for the thousands of victims that have experienced such horrible abuse. As a father of three daughters, that bring me joy to my life, your father has turned his back on one of the greatest opportunity to be a loving father. You are strong, intelligent, and have wisdom beyond your years. God bless you and keep moving forward to be that incredible person you are intended to be.

    • It doesn’t make any difference how much feeling or hurt went into this letter. The abuser doesn’t give a shit and he’ll just go on about his life as if nothing happened…it’s because he’s selfish and only thinks of himself. Believe me, I know; my ex-husband molested my daughter when she was twelve and Human Services took his side because he’s “an upstanding citizen of the community”. No one cared about my daughter but me. I had to send her to live with her Godparents to get her away from this monster. Did it hurt him? Of course not. He just starting going out with the local town pump, divorced me, took everything I ever worked for and got physical placement of our other two children and remarried. Justice is an illusion.

      • Instead of sending her away to be with godparents, why the hell did you not leave him first and take the kids!? Why would you stay with a man you know did such a terrible thing to your daughter!?

      • Jordan,
        I’m so sorry for why you and your daughter went through. Justice for child victims is extremely hard to achieve right now. That’s why I want to be an advocate. I know my father probably has no guilt for what he did, but the letter was more for my satisfaction and sanity. My prayers are with you and your daughter.

    • Indeed. When we chatted, Marie’s determination came through loud and clear in her voice. Thanks for commenting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: