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

123 responses

  1. How can I ever talk to Marie?! This is so completely accurate and such a similar situation. Only I don’t think my dad will ever try to contact me.

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  3. Hi,
    I am 23 years old and now confronting the sexual abuse I experienced because my father as a child during my middle school years. I have never told anyone in my family or confronted my father. I am struggling with whether or not I should. My mother was verbally abusive and to this day, though it has improved, our relationship is still very strained. I was raised in a very conservative religious manner where we could not listen to music, watch movies, etc. There were and still are very strict views on a woman’s role and place in life. My family, especially my older brother accosts me frequently about the fact that I am not seeking marriage or living at home with my parents until I do so. I so often wonder if they would view and treat me differently if they knew what he has done, or if they would even believe me. I am so afraid of destroying the family by saying anything, but I can’t keep enduring the condescension from them either. I am a Christian a strong believer in God’s love and grace. Because of this, I have been able to forgive my father and want to live my life honoring my parents. This being said I need to be able to do it in a way that is safe for myself and that is conducive to healing as there is so much more I need to do.

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    • I wish you courage, strength, support, healing, and a sense of true safety.

      I met a woman who had been sexually assaulted by her cousins.

      She got help in a support group for survivors of incest.

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    • Every family is different. My father abused me for 6 years even after I asked my mom for help at 15 years old. My mother took his side and they acted like nothing happened. Then at 18 years old I finally told my therapist he told me to go straight to the cops. I did what she said and because he has money he got away with it a few months later my whole family disowned me. Deep down inside I feel my mother knew this was happening because she was so quick to make it go away and for years she treated me like I was he punching bag. It was confusing to be hurt with no reason why. To this day ive tried to love my mom but when it gets to hard she backs away. I was adopted into this distinction and I wish I could meet my real father so he can help or show him that his choices he made put me in the hands of monsters. I would die inside if I knew I fail to protect my child. Now I look at the world with broken lenses. I felt protect by people that chose to love because they wanted to not just to make me weak minded so they could abuse me. All I want to know and still asking is why i mom chose to love a monster and not he baby girl?????? I want my dad to tell her the truth so she can open her heart and learn to love me and be my mom before she’s to old to remember me. The message I want to send to girls like me is that some people grow up in ignorance and sometimes we expect more form them than they know how to give so stand up !!!! If scared tell a friend first or a friend’s parents someone will care and know how to help, I know the fear,the pain and the human need to make ones parents proud but it should go both ways just cause their your parents doesn’t give them or you the right to think it alright for them to harm you in anyway. Always remember you are loved and blood doesn’t always equal family. Stay safe and keeping thing inside will always destroy your future. Hugs

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      • For a moment I thought this was me who wrote this ! Kyla this was pretty much my life since I was 5 to 13 years old I was stuck in this horrible nightmare that I wished someone would helped me FROM and no one did not even my mom I felt lonely I sometimes still do like a year ago I got into an argument with my parents and my father kept calling me a piece of shit and would get in my face and say it sooooo..everything he did to me everything he made me suffer every night I couldn’t sleep because i knew he would come in my room ang minute every time I would try cutting my veins for every time I would see my cousins hugging or sitting in their dad’s laps for every time I would go to school and realized the hell I was living at home… for every time I just wanted to die . I just couldnt take it …him calling me a piece of shit because my life was not as perfect as my brothers lives I left when I turned 18 and got….divorced at 19 the man was very abusive and as soon as I got a divorce I get pregnant from another guy and I been with him on and off but currently with him 9 years now & w 2 boys still struggling but trying to make it you know? not giving up for boys they deserve nothing but the best….. until I exploded and told him screaming YOU ARE THE PIECE OF SHIT YOU ARE THE ONE WHO RUINED MY LIFE REMEMBER WHEN I WAS LITTLE THE SLEEPLESS nights the times you would beat me so hard and make me go to school with purple eyes scratch face from all the tossing around and headaches from you pulling my hair and forced me to say that I got hurt playing sports what else was I going to say my father beats me ? (I was already being picked at school for being tall and chubby ) my mother with her angry face like always taking his side gave me a smirk like pretty much saying good you deserved that…. I couldn’t hold it in I broke I honestly couldn’t anymore I have 2 beautiful boys that I will die if anything like this ever happened to thm I just couldn’t understand why she was like that instead of hugging me and saying I am sorry my daughter please forgive me she gave me the smirk that if I wasn’t already dead inside she re killed me. I remember when I was little she saw him doing something to me they where arguing the whole day and night until the next day my father takes off to work and I ask her is she was ok and me playing with my little brother she drags me to the bed and starts to choke me saying I was taking her husband away from her!!! Up to this day I still remember that horrible image I ended up telling her off too infront of my youngest brother and he kept just looking at me I knew he was in shock but knowing my mother she probably told him I was lying ever since that day he calls me Hoe …prostitute.. slut … go to your corner bitch every time we bump heads and it breaks my heart because no one has ever been there for me NO ONE I was hoping he will ! but NO! Only God he has listened and I have learned to forgive little by little and forget even though it’s pretty HARD. I been making it through with his guidance and patience and specially with his unconditionally love I been able to move on and pass all this God and my boys give me the strength I need to over come this and everything I am sorry I am all over the place w my story I just got off work and I am too tired but I am glad I read all these comments and letter makes me feel like there is hope hope not only for me but for everyone with a similar situation

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    • MM- your story and your distress have impacted me. I see you. I believe you. I hurt for you. Please find other survivors and get connected to people that you can begin to trust and feel safe with. You live your life for you. How you want. If you are not hurting anyone you owe no one an explanation. You have lots of time. I was 37 when I found my soul mate. Don’t tell people when you are vulnerable as they may push the knife in futher to your wounds. I believe you can overcome this. God is not what man says, you rely on a heavenly and loving and protecting father. Love, hugs and hope

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  4. Your my biggest inspiration I hold this in my heart for more than 25 years in a black whole I suffer of depression,seizure disorders I finally said it but sad part of all my mother still stand by him after crying like a little girl when I’ve been so strong all my life over protected my brothers and sister due to that same trauma I lived but end no one back me up but my husband and 2 cousins I felt sad lost the first two days but it turn my life around i feel I have more to accomplish and love to give to my kids and family my kids are to little to understand and I don’t want them to have that image of grandparents they love we all do mistake but this is not a mistake u choose to hurt a innocent life

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  5. Thank you for making me realize that I am not alone and that I don’t have to die no matter how much he have hurted me I forgave him for me and not for him he hurted me in a way that he can’t even be called a father I had depression and I wanted to die but God saved me you’re story had a impact on my life and I want to thank you for the insperation xx God bless

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  6. Your strength is inspiring!!!! I know it is not technically the same but my daughter was being raped by my sons father from the ages of 9 to 14. He is now in prison but the pain and trama from what he did is still there for my daughter, my son and I. I can only hope that one day we can somewhat move on from this!! My daughter and I (I am not sure about my son because he won’t talk about it) are still mentally controlled by him when he isn’t even around. Your strength gives me hope

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    • You should never expect your daughter to completely heal from this or “move on” from it. This kind of thing gets stuck in your body, mind and soul and very few are lucky enough to find healing. I am a survivor of sexual abuse from my father and my family doesn’t realize that I still feel this pain all the time. Your daughter will re-experience this when she gets married, has a child, is trying to have a healthy sexual relationship with her husband, when her daughter starts dating, when she has grandchildren, when she hears his name, visits the home where this occurred, sees his favorite foods, is reminded of the t.v. shows he used to watch, meets someone in the same field he was employed in, sees something on the news, watches a movie with any type of sexual assault… etc. And even if its not on a conscious level, it will eat at her subconscious and could make her sad or give her anxiety. I have been looking into something called “energy psychology” lately, which you might look into. After years of counseling and anti-depressants, I can tell you western “medicine” can’t heal the deeply profound scars. I think that yoga, reiki, music therapy, aromatherapy and energy healing are going to be my next methods of attempting to heal.
      As a teen and in my early 20’s, I was able to put this experience in the closet, but it WILL come out and it CAN come out at ANY time in a victim’s life. It has almost destroyed my marriage. So, please don’t EVER think that she has moved on or its “behind” you. This is a permanent thing, its like diabetes or any other disease, it can cause problems at any time in her life. For many abuse survivors, there is the constant “hum” in our subconscious. The girl that wrote this letter is only 21 and has a lifetime ahead of her for these things to resurface There were many times that I thought I was “healed.” Some of the women from my counseling groups had been in the group 3 or more times at various stages of life. I am not trying to be a downer, but I am trying to help you to be a good support for your daughter. There were things I needed and still need from my mother that I never got. You need to apologize to her if you haven’t already, even though you weren’t the abuser, you need to tell her you are sorry this happened to her. Mostly, I felt the need to respond because you mentioned putting it behind you. This is NOT something to put behind you, its like a life-long rash that will flare up from time to time. You should ask her how she is doing with it for the rest of her life, especially on days like today…Father’s Day. It won’t always be an acute trauma situation, but it will always be there.

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      • For those who would like to know, this is Marie, the author of this letter. I would like readers to know that at 25 almost 26 now, I still feel the exact same as I did years ago when I wrote this letter. And today being father’s day makes no difference. I have read every single comment/ reply to comments, and take to heart every emotion and feel for every victim in pain. I am so sorry for every person who has felt this pain or knows someone who has felt this pain. I never plan to allow my children to visit my father, that was never the point or idea of this letter. I never plan to forget or “deal” with this reality as some have suggested. I have only planned to live from it and move forward without allowing the scars and anger to drag me down. He had control and power over me until I personally ceased to allow that power to continue.
        I never want any victim to feel as though she/he is expected to forgive and forget, but I plan to forgive, fight, and move forward. As I said, he had my past, but he will not have my future, nor shall they have yours.

        With love, prayers, and hope….

        -Marie

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  7. You are such a brave woman! I myself was molested by my father from the age 5 until nearing my twenties. Reading all of this gave me so much hope. I’m 27 now with three kids of my own. No one knows my secret as much as I just want to scream it. My parents are still married too. I’ve been damaged for too long and its affected my whole life. From self harm to addiction to cope. I’m one year sober and starting college again to study psychology. I want to know why! Why do people hurt others? Or better yet, why did my father hurt me? Because of your story I know that its going to be okay. Thank you !

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    • I was a psychology major myself too. I was abused by my father from 3-12. Why did your father hurt you? I have no idea, I can only blame sickness and pure evil. There is a book called “The Emotion Code” by Dr. Bradley Nelson that I would recommend. I’m trying to assess if this will help me heal. Yes, this does impact you to your core and addiction, self-harm, anger are all side- affects of this horrible thing. I think of it like a tree, when there is a year that a tree has a disease, you can see that in the rings when you cut the tree.

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  8. Thank you for being willing to share. I am 61 & started coming out of denial about 20 years ago. But I had a hard time believing myself. Your letter here is so encouraging. I had the abuse until I was in my 20’s. Then I found my Dad talking to my daughter just like he had done to me. Totally downgrading her. I was not out of denial but God gave me wisdom to leave. I left the family & no one supported me. I struggled & went in the hospital for depression. Then when I turned 40 my flash backs started. Your letter I’d so encouraging here. I had no support. But as time went on they did not stop. Then yo realize it went into my 20’s. I knew it was real. I like your letter about forgiveness. I have been struggling st that point. But hope is in your letter & boundaries. For me I am not sure about anything ever being there if my Dad said he was sorry. I am struggling with grieving over the fact that He could never be a Dad in my mind. It is sad that incest by a parent seems to end that relationship ever becoming anthing., because that relationship was supposed to be for my husband & my Dad was supposed to be there to help me save myself for whom ever God picked for me. The marriage bed undefiled. That is in the Bible. I see my right to my body stolen along with a family & no Dad. How sad & a lot of losses. Sorry if this was long! God Bless You, and thank you for caring enough about others healing to share your testimony.

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    • Kathy, I read your comment. We seem to share a lot in what’s happened to us. I have a daughter as well. I’m so terrified of her leaving my site. She will be 5 soon. That’s the age I was when it first happened (I think). If you’d like to chat via email, mine is marybethminton3660@gmail.com. If your not comfortable I understand fully. I never told anyone but the man I have children with. I could honestly just use a friend. One year sober and I’m learning how to cope on my own and its not easy facing these feelings that I wish would just go away. I suffer from depression, severe anxiety and PTSD from what’s happened. I’m determined to not let my last define my future…..

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  9. I have never been able to relate to someone on such a personal level so much. I was molested by my biological father at the age of 7. I remember he would always enjoy taking showers with me, and I recall my mom being bothered by it and telling him not to do it but I didn’t think anything of it as a child, as my mind was pure innocence. After my parents split up at the age of 6, I had to go with my dad every weekend to his one bedroom apartment. I remember hiding under the table and telling my mom to tell my father that I was sick or I was not there, but since it was a court order, I had to comply or else my mom would have had to face the consequences. As time went on, I realized that the stuff my dad and I would do together was no longer normal. Sleeping together and showering together was not okay. On one particular night of sleeping in his same bed, he attempted to touch me in inappropriate areas. After he was touching me, I remember so clearly getting up and going to the fridge just to have some excuse to get away and looking at him funny and him asking me “what’s wrong?” and I just couldn’t believe what he had done. The very next day, I contemplated whether I should tell my mom or not, and how I would tell her. The next day, I recall having gone to Hometown Buffet and telling her “I need to tell you something..” and I just remember giggling because I was so nervous about what would happen next. After telling her, we went to the police station, this moment in time is a blur to me. Following weeks or months, I had to go to court with my mom. My dad was there, I did not know how to react. I remember the people gave me this doll to show me how my father touched me. I was way too embarrassed to even show them, it was just so inappropriate. After this, I remember I had to go every Tuesday/Thursday to counseling. Oh how I hated counseling at the time, but it was a court order. I had to deal with going to counseling instead of hanging out with friends and being a normal child. A restraining order was put on my father and I no longer had to see him anymore, but it forever traumatized my mother and I. My mother recently told me after the whole incident, I wasn’t allowed to see my mother naked anymore at any time, they treated her like the criminal. My dad did not get incarcerated at all because of this, but I do remember him did get incarcerated once for domestic violence and hitting my mother.
    On my 18th birthday (last year), he sent me a freaking INSTAGRAM comment from his step daughter’s instagram. With it enclosed, he wrote that he had been waiting for that day to come. What a joke that comment was. When I think about my childhood, I think about my father and all he had done and all the counseling sessions I had to undergo because of him. No child should ever have to deal with this.

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  10. I was molested by my father and have not had the courage to confront him. Everyone thinks my family is perfect. I am now 42 and moving back to my hometown and it’s all coming up again for me. It’s not going to let go. I am really close to my parents and we act like nothing is wrong. I am in hell and have no way out without destroying my entire family.

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    • Similar situation here. No one else except someone in similar situation could understand this. I’ve been judged so much. How can u stand to see his face? Ect. It’s never straight forward. I would love to cut him off but my mom is not able to manage on her own so I’ve got to respect her choice even though it hurts me. Worst part is not having anyone to talk to and not being understood. I’m sure my husband has a million doubts he can never air. Also dealing with being stuck in the past abusive acts and reliving them everyday. Also dealing with strong anger issues and lashing out at my own family. This is my first time speaking out. Thx for listening.

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      • Thanks for sharing. I am trying to move forward too & it is so hard when there Is no support. This is so painful & such a great loss. Thanks for sharing your heart!😊

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      • When I was 13 my soon to be brother in law molested me. I soon resisted and avoided him and just tried to forget it. I couldn’t turn to anyone. 30 years later it has all resurfaced and I finally told my sister. We talked about it But now after a few months she acts like it never happened…I guess she confronted him and he denied it but now I see her and she is just like nothing was said . I don’t know how to navigate this. I’m tormented.

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    • I feel your struggle. I myself have kept my secret for 22 years now. I coped anyway I could find whether it was alcohol, drugs or self harm. I’m now sober 1 year and everything is so real now. I’m no longer masking my pain and I’m just now dealing with my feelings. My problem is that I had to move back home after my children’s father and I split up. My parents are still married 40+ years. I now am back in the same home as him. I also have a 4 year old daughter. She never leaves my site. I will do everything to protect that little girl from the life I had to have. I resent myself for not telling someone. I don’t know how too.

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  12. I have seven granddaughters, and I cry to think of any of them going through such pain. When my daughter was seventeen she gave me a letter thanking me for being a good dad and never doing anything that was perverted. You don’t thank people for not being perverted; so I knew there was a problem. Thank God it wasn’t her, but her best girlfriend who was raped by her brother. Still. it has left an imprint with her. She trusts few men. Unfortunately, it is best and necessary.
    Sincerely
    Michael

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    • You Are the bravest , I know what you have been through and the same thing happened with my sisters and my self , from our own Father , and after all these years, my sisters protect my father till this day, because how scared they are of him still, but god bless you

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  13. I am from Pakistan, and tears are in my eyes. I wonder how a father can do this with his little Princess. Little girls are very innocent and like angles, how can you even think about it. One day God will punish all these monsters for steeling innocent children s childhood.
    Sincere sympathies to all victims.

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  14. what an incredible story. i can relate on so many levels. sometimes i wish i could just escape the emptiness the damage thats so deep inside my soul. i grieve that it ever happened to me too. my father took my virginity. i believed it to be my fault because sex is a pleasurable thing and i began to enjoy the feeling my father gave me. i knew too that there was something terribly wrong with what had taken place but i didnt feel powerful enough to stop it. i left my grandmothers house to stay with my mother, where it happened. i was eleven years old when my father began molesting me, fondling me, touching, caressing, sexing, grooming me for further violations from him and other men i would get involved with over time. my dating world was horrendous. i knew a young man who loved me to death. he proposed and i wanted to love him but i had done so many things to hurt him because of the damage i had in my own life. i cheated on him countless times, experimented with girls, broke up with him to be with someone else who wasn’t as sweet as he was. i just could not appreciate him. i wanted to want him because i knew that he was a good guy but i kept gravitating to the kinds of guys that were unhealthy. the bad boys, the ones who were mean, abusive, tough tony’s. guys who really didn’t care. men who were older. men who just wanted to take advantage of me. and i’d let them too. i crossed all kinds of boundaries with family members. extended family members. i sexually abused my own brother. acting out on him what as done to me by my father. i started masturbating at a very young age and was drawn to sexual intrigue. i was very flirtatious. i eventually slept with some guys for money. i slept with older men. i slept with married men. i had multiple partners at one time. i contracted my very first STD not even an entire year ago. my personal life was completely unmanageable but it was all that i had ever known. my childhood was unmanageable and managed in this fashion. i grew up accustomed to really no order or sense of healthy boundaries in my childhood. i was raised by my grandmother and uncle(s). my mother was a drug addict. she was ill. she had diabetes. she had inner turmoil and demons she tried to fight. cocaine only made her monster grow taller. she tried. she really did. but she was caught in the grips of a terrible addiction to temporary relief. this year i made the biggest decision of my life. i married a man i choose to grow in love with. it was a turning point for me and my development. i didn’t want to miss my chance a real shot at being happy. i didn’t want to miss my shot at becoming whole while sharing my existence with someone as kind to me as my husband. now of course…because i have sexual issues. i, too could be an addict. a sex and love addict. addicted to fantasy and escape. addicted to familiar pain and sufferings, addicted to being overpowered addicted to surrendering my will and power to another human being preferably a man…and i have acted out in these ways. i self-medicated. i drank alcohol. i tried to party the pain away i tried to fame it away landing an opportunity to become a star. one of my biggest accomplishments in life was meeting and working with Oscar winner John Legend. i had dreams to become a singer. a star. i had been raped. i ran away from home. i isolated. i felt alienated and misunderstood. my family’s background–as Christians, growing up in the church made me feel that i could never be good enough for them. i was a sinner. i was tainted, selfish self-centered. i was a thief everything bad. i was the rebel. the black sheep. i was the one who got praised for her beauty and talent her abilities, her wit her intellect. her fashion sense. yet i was torn and tormented. the very things people loved about me would be those things that would too make me hated. even to this day, i shy away from my immediate family because i feel that i will never be forgiven for isolating myself, because of my inner turmoil, the guilt i felt behind all the pain i had and what it had turned me into, what that pain caused me to do to their trust. i felt that they were my enemy. i feel even to this day that i will never add up from their point of view. loving who i am and forgiving who i was is still very hard to do. to believe. to feel. to feel love…to understand it is still very hard for me to decipher. i married to lead a healthier lifestyle. i thought that by getting married i would gain my families trust and respect back. but it did not. i’ve been in and out of the rooms of all sorts of twelve step programs. trying to make sense of life. my life at least. i learned that social acceptability does not equal recovery. although gaining my family’s relationship back their support and respect had been tailgating my reasons for marrying i am glad that i made a conscious decision to share my life with someone with prior marriage experience. of course its not that simple RIGHT? nope! for a person like me, its never quite that simple. i had a relationship with my husbands cousin years ago. in fact i lived with his cousin. the cousin is now in Dakota. i reached out to him to revisit the past aka familiar pain. i reached out to him in hopes to rekindle something. i was hoping that i had been greeted with a better version of himself. but ended up marrying his cousin. funny right?! yeah… crazy! i cannot say that i am madly in love with my husband but i will say that i want to be. i willing to work for the kind of love i’d like to feel not only for my own self on deep level but also for him. i think he’s an incredible person and in this day and age… i just dont see any good ones left in the world in which we all reside. i’m not saying that there isn’t any good ones left…i guess i’m done with trying to test them all out. for once, i want something i never had. stability. normalcy. although it is very very different from the lifestyle i was leading i do know it is the better life. i led a life that was carefree, unstable, dysfunctional, sexual active in risky ways, promiscuous making a reputation for myself in communities. dumping on guys with all my heavy stuff trying to get answers only i could begin to find out from within on my own. i would hop from relationship to relationship trying to fill the void inside me, the emptiness, the pain, that “whatever was missing”. looking for that peace of mind, looking for someone to take care of me. looking for someone to love me. looking for someone to love me FOR ME because i just didn’t know how to on my own. as a matter of fact,,,i still don’t know how to. i choose to every time i take out the time to make a meeting somewhere thats challenging me to go within. to face the darkness from my past. every time, i decide to challenge myself to do something that requires my participation, my responsibility, my dedication, my commitment such as my decision to marry…i am choosing to learn how to love, nurture, protect and honor myself. getting married is a big deal for me because it requires something completely different that what i’ve grown accustomed to. i gotta say its not as exciting as the life i was leading but i know it is an investment the older me will thank me for later on in life. i’m proud that i took a stand and took on the challenge. the fact that at times i still fantasize about the cousin makes me face it and makes me work on it. and the fact that i have not acted out on these thoughts and fantasies amazes me. boy have i grown. doesn’t feel like it, but i have. i too have become a beautiful intelligent successful success story in spite of all that has happened in my life. the destruction i tried to inflict on myself because of the pain and dysfunction, i, alone am not solely responsible for. i did not include my family in my nuptials. part of me wanted them to be apart of it, the other part of me could not share that experience with them. another part of me would not explain to them and knew that i could not explain to them the truth about how me and my husband really met. i knew in my heart based on everything else i have ever openly and willingly shared with them would only get me further ridiculed and outcast. i kept it all to myself and wrote really nice FUCK you letters to all of them on facebook. in fact they all found out about my nuptials on facebook. yea! funky right? i know. it wasn’t planned out that way. just sorta happened. oh well. no use in crying over spilled milk. i mean, not being close to them does make me feel bad at times but knowing how hard i have tried and knowing how much they choose to see me the way their only capable of seeing me kinda helps me move forward. im left with the assumption that the way they choose to view me suits their lives just the way it is and thats enough for them. their comfortable in their dysfunctional while i started my journey of self-discovery and recovery soon after i realized something was really wrong with me.wow, i’m married. i dont smoke cigarettes anymore, i dont drink or take drugs. and i dont party. i spend all my time with my hubby. the only time i do not is when i’m at work. when im away from him it doesn’t feel right. what a complete turn around from what used to be. its challenging. and it is a huge responsibility. but settling down put a halt at destroying my life. i dont do any of the things i used to do. today, i try my best to do everything the right way. today, i try to do the right things for all the right reasons. have i made mistakes…plenty. and will continue to. but today i am learning to accept the things i cannot change have the courage to change the things i can and ask for wisdom to know the difference. sigh! thank you. we are survivors. its a struggle and the pain never really goes away but we work on it one day at a time.

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    • Sorry for all you went thru. I have been there before . I was molested from the age of 6 till i was almost 13. I grew up permiscuois, looking for love in the wrong places letting my body be used ..thinking that they actually loved me. I was miserable until God set me free. Everything I went thru had a purpose. I also was unfaithful , but finally had the courage to confess to muy husband. He forgave me , we have been married for almost 20 years now and have a beautiful Daughter, who knows my past and loves me regardless. Just know that God loves you very much. He sent his son to die for our sins, to save people like you and me . We are the ones who need his mercy and love. He understands us. Email me if you’d like. God bless you..lacheetah8999@yahoo.co.

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  15. Correction on my second sentence is age 5 to 15 years old of sexual activities by my father. Thousands of times I was raped/molested. Everyday at 2:30 coming home from school he would be waiting for me. His job was a baker and so his work started at midnight.

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  16. My biological father engaged me into sexual activities. She he started on me. This continued till age 15 . It stopped because I ran away. My mother caught him in the act when I was 8. She did nothing about this. She ignored me thru my growing years . 7th grade the principal of my school called her to the office to find out why I had no clothes. At 35yr old she apologized for what he did then she said ” but I had the other kids to worry about “.my childhood has been stolen, there has been none intimacy in my life with men. They just take what they want I don’t know how to stop these predators. At 65 I still suffer PTSD. I take meds for anxiety and insomnia. They are both dead now. Still I don’t know what love is. And I would rather be lonely than alone with any man in any room. I feel damaged. At times I still feel rage when I sense a man finds me attractive. And yet I’m not gay but wonder if that might have given me a better life. Cathy.

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  17. The letter and all of your comments have me in tears. I was not molested by my father but I thought I would still share what happened to me.

    I was in primary school, 3ird grade when I was first molested. A girl (lets call her Abbey) who I was friends with had another friend (lets call her Kay) over to her house one day after school. Kay somehow got us to do what she wanted and that was the first time I was molested. For Abbey and I the abuse lasted for 3 years and we have never discussed what happened and would never talk about it together afterwards. Only this year did I remember what had happened. I must have totally blocked it all out, memory is fascinating like that. However, I now know it shaped how I viewed everything and may have caused how I handled the next incident, occurring 9 years later.

    I was camping with people from my sports team, my dad was there too. I was sexually assaulted at night by one of the guys i believed to be my best friend. I was woken up to him kicking, punching and shaking me for about 1 minute when i realized he was checking to see if i would wake. So there I was and in a split decision my body made the decision for me to freeze and I pretend to be asleep. He was 3 feet taller than I was so I guess i though it was my only option. But only later did i realize a fight is a fight and I should have at least tried to win it. He groped, masturbated next to me and orally raped me, and to this day he doesn’t know I know what he did. I told my dad the next morning a lighter version and he told me you must of invited it, boys do that sort of thing all the time… I was 2 months off of 18 and the guy was 20

    I don’t even know how I feel. But this young girl and man have taken my innocence, and my dad stole me of my right to value myself and be worthy of an opinion. I have flash backs almost everyday. I find myself searching for a point to life. I cant get rid of the monsters in my mind that they have become. These people don’t deserve the space in my memory or in my dreams at night. I might look the same to them, but I am now different because of their selfish choices. I have trouble being intimate and rarely will someone see my true self. But I am working on it. I hope that you all are able to find your inner courage and beauty like I am learning to.

    On a good note my experiences have brought to light the things I believe in and I have been accepted at University to study so that I can one day be the voice or friend to someone that needs it.

    With love, Gabby xox

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  18. Please ignore my first post because i hit the pist button accidentally.
    I can relate to so many things said by the other women who commented and the author of the original post. I was molested from age 5-6 with my best friend, Patty, who lived down the hall from us in an apartment building in Honolulu. However my abuser was a neighbor, not my dad. I know too well how damaging it was to me, especially the shame i carried for remaining silent and because parts of it felt good to me. I think most people have this idea that children who are abused sexually are always forcefully molested. While im sure this is the case for many victims, many of us went along with the abuse somewhat willingly because of the pleasure experienced, which was in most cases our very first exposure to sexual arousal. I actually didnt realize that I had been molested until I was 16, because I had Allowed it to happen and continue. I know now that our bodies and brains are wired to respond to sexual stimulation whether it is welcome or not. I have read that many victims of violent rape experience orgasm during their attack, and that they too suffer from guilt about this. This is why laws about consent and age of consent are in place. A 5 year old can’t give consent even if she doesnt say “no”. Most girls that young dont even know what sex is yet, how easily they can be manipulated with the power of pleasure, so many years before theyre prepared emotionally to experiment.
    I am surprised by how many women here were able to find comfort in a relationship with the god of their choosing. While I am happy they were helped by their faith, I certainly understand better how a monotheistic, masculine gender and all powerful deity would be impossible for many to find solace in, especially one who assumes a “father” role; after the only father they knew so far had wounded them so deeply and betrayed their natural, innocent trust in him.
    To the OP, I have to say i have the feeling your father is reaching out to you to try and repair the damage he caused. It would be far too much easier to pretend you don’t exist and it never happened. Perhaps he is working through the 12 Steps of Recovery, or maybe he is facing an illness and has little time left. I sincerely hope his intentions are to acknowledge his wrongdoing and beg for your forgiveness. As disgusting as pedophiles are, I actually feel sorry for them because they know that it is so wrong to be turned on by children…they know how sick that is. They are reminded constantly how loathed and feared they are for having a sexual preference that they cannot make go away. I’m not justifying their actions, which they can control; but I do feel pity for their sickness because they cant control that and didnt ask for it either. Its a pretty horrible reality to have to live with, maybe even worse than the scars they leave their victims with. If I were forced to chose between having to be a victim of childhood sexual abuse or having to be a pedophile, I’d rather be the victim without a doubt – and i’d bet that almost everyone else would too. Imagine having to live with the guilt that must consume some of them…even the ones who struggle with these desires but have never acted on them. For me, it was only when i could see things this way that I found true forgiveness for my abuser that permeated my heart all the way through. The monster he had previously been in my mind shrunk down into a sick, sad, feeble old man who died burdened with regret for his wrongs and fear of his judgment.

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    • Hi Jen

      I agree with you sexually abused children are often not physically forced into it, but that doesn’t mean children necessarily went along with it because they experienced sexual pleasure from the abuse. In my own case I experienced no sexual pleasure, yet at the same time I didn’t realise it was wrong at the time. It was only later that the truth dawned on me. This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with a child having experienced sexual pleasure while being abused, as you say that can be an automatic reaction. It’s just it’s not the only reason a child not physically forced might still go along with it. Personally I didn’t give it a second thought at the time. My ‘daddy’ suggested it, he had been grooming me as far back as I can remember anyway, showing me how he ejaculated while in the bath and putting his hands in my pants as part of ‘tickling’. To me it was just what ‘daddy’ did, even when he moved on to suggesting performing oral sex on me and then getting me to masturbate him. He didn’t ‘force’ me, at least not physically, and I personally didn’t get any sexual pleasure from it either, yet due to his grooming I had no idea it was wrong at the time. Ultimately no survivor is to blame, whether they were physically forced or not, or whether they experienced pleasure or not. Only the perpetrators are to blame and children who take their reference for the world and reality from adults are always easily manipulated.

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    • Most pedophiles do not believe that it is wrong to be turned on by children. Also, many children do go along willingly, not because of the sexual pleasure but because they are young and are taught to do what adults say to do. I was repeatedly raped by my father from age 2-12…Rape, yes, forceful, no. I was a willing participant because that it how I was raised, even though there was pain I thought it was a normal part of daughter/father relations. How was I to know different? However, my subconscious knew the shame and pain were not a normal part of childhood. Guilt does not consume most of them, most of them (pedophiles) do not feel guilt, they feel nothing in terms of hurting children, in fact most of them believe that the children enjoy and love their company.

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  19. I am so sorry that those things happened to you. At this point in my life I am about to be 17. Only 16 years old. I have gone through the same things. I’ve been held in human trafficking, and raped several times. I have so much trauma from that, and being molested from my grandfather as well for 6 years of my childhood. Please know you have people who completely understand, and you are not alone. I am struggling tremendously, and I am so glad you have overcome your pain. You deserve to live a happy life and not let some ***hole mess you up. He’s not the one who’s going to feel your pain. I had to forgive those men who raped me. One got arrested and sent to prison, but the other 40 or so, got away simple and easy. Just remember, karma will come to those who hurt. Just because people may get away on earth, doesn’t mean they get away with it by God. He will punish those who deserve it. And it will be much more than keys and bars with a few guards. Believe me. If you ever need anyone to talk to, email me at laurenpluslife@gmail.com and I will respond. All I’ve ever wanted was to be there for people who’ve been through similar things as me, because I know how it hurts. You are a very strong girl. Keep your chin up. You are one of God’s fewest strong people. You are stronger than most people. Keep on striving high and never let your guard down too far. But live your life knowing you no longer have to be afraid.

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    • How did you get beyond your fears? I have struggled my whole life & I realize its my fear that is bringing sex addicts to me! Thanks

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  20. My daughter is 17 was with my boyfriend 8yrs an he had sex with my child an offered her 20 an made her perform oral sex on him an she told an the law is 17 u an adult I have a.6mos old son for him now he hate me block all calls tryin to hurt me in every way is that signs of guilt? Put me an kids out the house

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  21. I suffered from CSA with 3 separate abusers, starting at the age of 3 or so. As a very young child, I lived with another family during the week as my mom was divorcing my dad who was physically abusive to her and she traveled extensively for her job. The family was wonderful. I am still extremely close to most of them, but not my abuser. My first abuser was a teenage boy in that family. He abused his sisters and he abused me. Once my mom found out about the abuse (about age 6), she made sure it stopped and his family had him committed for treatment.

    When I was about 11 years old, my stepdad started molesting me. Although the abuse did not include intercourse, it made me feel dirty. I used to daydream about scarring my face so I would be repulsive to him but I was too vain for that. I wanted so badly to tell my mom but I was too afraid. It lasted until I was fifteen, when is began locking my new door ( begged mom for a door with a lock) and then snuck out the window to stay with neighborhood friends until mom came home from work at midnight. So I was able to stop the abuse on my own.

    At age fourteen, I was hospitalized with a very serious back injury. I was completely unable to protect myself. I was a very pretty child, and the porter watched me a lot. I didn’t like it but thought I was safe in a hospital. He was much older- sixties or so. On the morning I was being released, as I lay sleeping, he molested me. I woke up and grabbed the call button and called the nurse. He left immediately. I was very shaken and sick to my stomach but I am ashamed to say I never told anyone. If another child was hurt, that fault lies with me. I was very frightened though. Very frightened. I often hated that I was pretty and blamed my being abused on my looks. Now, I think it was more that I was a damaged, shy, vulnerable child and predators recognized this in me.

    Years later, the only time mom let me down, I told my beloved mother what my stepdad had done to me but she didn’t believe me. She didn’t think I was lying, more that I imagined the abuse because of my early abuse. I didn’t have the heart to destroy her world so I agreed with her to spare her. Why should she suffer? I was in no danger any longer and I do not believe my step dad abused anyone else.

    When my mom died, I took my stepdad in. I forgave him and did my best to remember the good times. Shortly after my mom died, he cut me out of his life for no known reason. We remain estranged until his death last year.

    I struggle with understanding how I can forgive and even love my step dad, who was good to me and mom in many ways, while he could cut me off for an imagined sleight. My mom died in a fire and I took my dad in afterwards for a year while the house was being rebuilt, and he hurt me again so badly when he was all I had left.

    It’s so confusing. Why am I so hurt by his last betrayal and yet have forgiven his worst betrayal? He helped steal my innocence and childhood, yet I forgive him that. I am so angry though how he treated me as an adult. My boyfriend thinks I should never have forgiven him and believes the estrangement was for the best. But I think he is wrong. Mostly, I feel like I am betraying my mom because she wanted me to take care of my dad but he wouldn’t let me. I don’t understand any of this at all.

    I would appreciate any insight you might have.

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    • I’m so sorry you went through that. My abuser was the man who adopted me and my brothers after marrying my mother. In adulthood, he has actively supported other family members who have used me as a scapegoat my entire life. I have gifted him money when he told me he was struggling (turned out he wasn’t but he just saw me as a soft touch).

      He has treated me my whole life as if I have something to make up to him. I’ve always been the first person he calls when he needs something and I came through for him every time, yet I’m the black sheep, the disappointment.

      I believe that they make you feel like this so that in your mind YOU are the bad guy – it’s another tactic to keep you feeling guilty and stop you from telling the truth about them. Another part of this is, if they convince themselves and others that you’re the bad guy, when you do speak out nobody will believe you because they’ve sullied your reputation for so long.

      None of this was your fault. Sex abusers are evil – we just don’t want to see it because we NEED to love our parents. But their only consideration remains self-protection, even when they witness the destruction they’ve caused. HE did wrong, not you. I firmly believe his actions after your mother’s death were a two fingered salute to you: “Don’t think that I have to be grateful to you because you let me live there.” You showed you were a compassionate human being – he didn’t want you thinking that you should be appreciated for the generous and forgiving daughter that you obviously were. So he had to bring/put you down. Selfish and narcissistic to the end. It’s his vile behaviour, not yours.

      I hope you find peace and go on to have an amazing life without this misplaced guilt weighing on you.

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  22. Hey Alexia. I am so sorry I made it sound cloudy and dreamy. I am not justifying what he did, its sick and inhumane. It is very painful, but I can never ever deny what Jesus did for me, I have experienced him through all this pain. He has healed me like no other doctor could, and he still is. And if it wasn’t for his love and encouragement, my father would be six foot under and I’d be in jail(I have actually thought about it). I am more free than I was, me forgiving him was not an act of weakness, rather courage. In this world there’s little justice, God is just God , and he alone knows everyones heart, and will alone jugde. I am hoping God would restore my relationship with my father. Its hard, very hard. My healing comes more in God showing me what a father is. And He is great Dad!:)

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  23. I was molested by my father for 7 years. Untill I was 19 I didn’t understand how much he had hurt me. I kept silent cause I was ashamed and thought it was ny fault. I never told anyone, untill in 2011 at church when God touched my heart about forgiving him. Out of nowhere I found myself pouring my heart out to a friend. Anger, confusion and bitterness started to grow even more. I questioned God. And in my questioning Jesus met me and started doing a heart surgery. He helped me just release the pain, He healed my heart, and continues to do so. I wanted justice to be served, I wanted some kind of justice, especially from God. But God had another plan, forgiveness and restoration . I struggled with that, but getting the revelation that God so loved my dad that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ so that if my father would believe in Jesus he wouldn’t perish but would be eternally forgiven. It broke my heart to pieces, there was an undoing that happened in my heart.I can’t really explain how I am not angry at my father anymore, I look at him , and I just don’t see the monster I used to see. As much as my earthly father hurt me like no other person ever could, my heavenly Father continues to heal and restore me. The results of molestation are hard, but God is slowly breaking those walls.

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    • So an imaginary sky daddy tells you to forgive and be around your pedophile father. This is just disturbing and reeks of the patriarchal aspects of religion. Has this asshole even felt remorse? Not likely. Id take revenge by letting the sick bastard die alone.

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      • Yes quite. I didn’t want to respond myself, as even though I totally agree with your reply, I can see this religious belief has given Mary some comfort. Since you have though I will add my opinion that it is indeed total BS. As you say it’s totally patriarchal, all about the male being in power at all times whether that is in the form of sexual abuse or as you say some sky daddy dictating how people should perceive their world and forgive their abusers. It ultimately seeks to make child sexual abuse seem ok. Yeah right, God has plans. Therefore somehow men who molest children is part of his plans then? No actually this attitude makes it more likely that children will continue to be abused…

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      • I’m sorry that it seems you two have both miss understood my meaning of the word forgiveness in the context it was meant. I also did not say that I was going to have a relationship with him again or forgive him in the sense that I just pretend like it never happened.you should re read the portion where I talked about my use of the word forgiveness, it is for myseld , not for him.
        And the reason I am able to do this for myself and not let him hold me down anymore is because of the strength my mom and the lord have instilled in me.

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  24. I’m not sure when my father began to molest me. It stopped when I was 17 and told him “No More!”. I was angry with myself for a long time for not saying this years before . I wasn’t ready before then. I had no support system since my mother verbally and most likely physically abused me as infant then verbally into adulthood If it weren’t for my pets, I doubt I’d have made it into adulthood. I joined the Army after graduation from high school and haven’t looked back. I had a bad 20 year marriage He was verbally and emotionally abusive in addition to being an alcohic I’m 60 years old now. I’m trying to still deal with the betrayal, mistrust and scars. I’ve been in counseling over 20 years now. I went thru many counselors and finally have found one who has helped me tremendously. I’ve been a survivor for all these years and didn’t realize it. I moved to another state and am beginning to feel the happiness that I deserved all those years ago. Trusting men is a slow process and I may have finally found one who understands and accepts me for who i am. For many years, I only existed and didn’t know how to enjoy life. I’ve journeled my experiences. This helped me tremendously I wrote a letter to my father but didn’t mail it. He would deny what happened and with what I’ve learned about myself, I don’t need his apology. I forgave him years ago. It’s not my place to judge him and what he did to me. My younger sister and I aren’t close which I blame on my upbringing. I’m sure she wasn’t molested and because of “the secret”, we were pretty much kept separate. I have the diagnosis of bipolar, PTSD and borderline personality disorder. I’m on disability. Not working in itself has relieved much of the stress I had having to deal with management and co-workers so I can work on my recovery.. Of couse, I still have my 3 & 4 legged family who listen without judgment. My grown daughter and son both know I was molested, don’t understand the magnitude of how it’s affected me, so offer little support. I’ve finally found my voice and tactfully don’t let them manipulate or make me feel guilty anymore. The healing process takes many years as it didn’t happen overnight. Don’t give up on yourself.

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  25. Thank you for this. My girlfriend is a survivor of sexual abuse. Recently we’ve been going through a rough patch. This has helped me gain insight on what she’s been through and is still going through. It has helped me to help her. Thanks again!

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  26. That is amazing. Im very glad youve made it through. I wasnt so lucky. Apart from the sexual abuse, i was also adopted and my adoptive father was physically and emotionally abusive. My adoptive mother defended him. So basically I had no support. So now at 30 I still have emotional problems. Ptsd, major depression, borderline personality disorder. Its been a rough ride. And its really hard to let go of the anger.

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  27. Your letter had me in tears. You are courageous. I commend you for your strength, loving kindness and choosing to forgive for we know choosing not to forgive only imprison. I googled, ” I believe my husband is a child molestor.” And, it brought me to your blog. For years I have had feelings that my husband was doing something inappropriate to our girls when they were babies, but had no solid proof. Still, I would ask him if he would do something so vile. He would become angry insisting that I was making accusations against him. And, I would feel terrible about because of course, I didn’t have any evidence other than my gut. I was only young, naive/gullible in my twenties then . Now, in my fourties, I am learning that my gut was right on. I now believe that my husband orally raped both of our daughters when they were babies. How low can you really go? So low to violate a baby, your own babies, someone who cannot talk let alone remember. I am distraught. So much as happened over the years enough to convince me that my in total feelings I had of him was true after all. Thank you for your story. Imagine how many will benefit . My best to you. Love.

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  28. Your letter was amazing,but probably the man who abused you wont say sorry for what he did,i have a stepfather who abused me as a child,and he has no conscience at all,in fact all he says is hes looked after me and loves me?i have not confronted him yet and im 45 now.he is in a hospice dying and your letter has inspired me,i may write him a letter to tell him how i feel about what he did to me,thank you again.

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  29. Thank you for your amazing letter, I am a single mom with 3 years old i divorced 2 years ago, i am having hard time dating other people because of possibilities of danger, i don’t want anybody to involve my daughters life, you never know until it happens, so i don’t take any chance!!! My precious Daughter shouldn’t have bad memories, i want to build good memories for her,

    I never had sexual abuse but i had emotional abuse, and still effects my life, i cant imagine how people can be that horrible, i would kill who ever try to hurt my baby !!!!

    You are very brave person, god bless your hard,

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  30. 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

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  31. 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

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  32. 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!

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  33. 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:)

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  34. 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.

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  35. 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!!!!

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  36. 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.

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  37. 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.

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  38. 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.

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  39. 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!

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  40. 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.

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  41. 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.

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  42. 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

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  43. 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?!

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  44. 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.

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  45. 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.

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    • 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!

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  46. 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!

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  47. 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

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  48. 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.

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  49. 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!

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  50. 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!

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  51. 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 .

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    • 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!!

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  52. 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

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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  53. 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.

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  54. 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 !

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  55. 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.

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    • 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

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    • 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.

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  56. 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!!

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    • 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.

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  57. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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  58. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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

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  59. 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.

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  60. 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?

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    • 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.

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  61. 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

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    • 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.

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  62. 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.
    :)

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  63. 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

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    • 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.

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  64. 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.

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    • 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.

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      • 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!?

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      • 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.

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