Dads, we all need them. Dads show us girls how to respect ourselves and teach how to act when it comes to men whether they know it or not. Dads give us the love and the protection we need as we go out into the world even if it’s just to school. If we don’t get the adequate love and care of a father, we end up a lot of times “looking for love in all the wrong places” and that can turn out bad.
I loved my dad very much and he was my shining star from ages 1-11. He taught me how to eat raw garlic, fish, help him with his carpentry (he was a beautiful carpenter and could make anything – probably where I got my gift of working with my hands), learn to play chess, make kites from scratch, fly airplanes at the park, learn french words (he spoke french beautifully – he was French-Canadian), dance-roller skate to music and many other wonderful things. What I didn’t know during that time or didn’t realize is that my dad was abusing me. I didn’t realize it till I was 11 years old.
My dad made everything a game so I didn’t realize that the touching that he had turned into a game and the other things that were going on were wrong. We would laugh and I enjoyed all of the love and attention that was going on because it was me and him, what else could I want? My father and mother divorced when I was 4 because of the things he was doing to me but she never told me – she must have just thought that he would stop or that I was safe for just one night. I do know that my dad was always yelling while telling me that my mom wouldn’t let him see me, but I never knew why. Again, I didn’t realize what was going on till I was 11.
My story begins: It was time to go to dad’s house. I was excited and couldn’t wait. Would it be another weekend of learning to play chess – sometimes if I liked it or not? Or, were we going to fly planes or kites that we had made or might we even go swimming? But no, dad had a present for me! I love presents so I was very glad to open it and was even more surprised at what I saw when I opened the present. It was a beautiful fabric, my favorite color: blue, and as I lifted it out of the box I could see that it was a nightie. There had to be more to it, maybe the part I lifted out was a scarf that went with it? Or, the cover up or robe that went over it? No, it was completely see-through…completely! I choked as I looked at it and laughed nervously as he asked me to go try it on and come show him out in the Living Room. I obeyed and went into the bedroom. I tried it on. I broke down and cried. I couldn’t leave the room and I couldn’t stop crying. It was right then that my dad, the pedophile, realized that his victim was to old to carry on with what he was doing.
I never saw my dad again. I didn’t understand the rejection – why couldn’t he just stop doing that other stuff and keep seeing me? Because he couldn’t. He was sick.
I talked to him a couple more times when I was 15 and told him that I was moving to another state and wanted to have lunch with him. He stood me up 3 times. When I called to touch base after the 3rd time, he said, “I am not coming to have lunch with you, have a good life” and hung up. WOW! That was it, the end of our relationship.
I would love to say that it wasn’t a big deal and that I found what I needed in a step-dad or other male adult, but I didn’t. I spent literally the next 15 years in promiscuity, alcohol and drug abuse, abusive relationships and self-destruction. The adult men and teachers in my life that I connected with became a beacon of light in my life and when the relationship ended (usually because they taught another subject that I didn’t have or I moved up into another grade at another school), I was devastated and that devastation took me even further down into the self-destructive path that I was on.
I looked for my dad over the years and always thought that maybe I would see him somewhere or I would meet with him again. I had hope about it. But, no. I found his obituary a few years ago on the internet because he had died. He had a wife, had step-kids and grandkids listed in his obituary but nothing about me. They didn’t even know about me. That shook me. It was like it never even happened – my life with him. I was nothing to him and nothing to anyone he knew. I fell apart that day.
Through this hard time of remembering, I started to wonder if he abused other kids? As I looked on Google to where he actually lived, it was by a school and that made me choke. My heart was pounding as I considered what he might have done. (In the past his girlfriend had come to my mom and screamed and yelled at her for her not telling her about him abusing little girls because he had abused hers.)
I searched the internet and pulled all the legal and criminal files i could search on him…nothing. He was either never caught or maybe God had got ahold of him and he actually stopped -that is what I would want to think or desperately pray. You see, when God got ahold of me in my 30’s, He used a very special person in my life who later became my husband, to show me the unconditional love of God in my life – love I had never known before – supernatural.
God pricked my heart one day to start to write a letter to my dad. To write down all that happened in detail, ask him why he did it and then forgive him and pray for him everyday for his salvation. Through sobs and pain and a lot of wrestling with God, I did write the letter – it never got mailed because I didn’t know where he was but it was good to write it. It brought a lot of healing. (You see I never even spoke of the abuse till I was 25 years old – never told anyone and then one day it all came spewing out as I was cooking bacon one morning at a friend’s house.)
I did pray for him everyday. I also came to remember what my mom had told me about my dad and how his life was so horrible and how badly he was abused. He would be locked in a closet with no food for days and many other horrible things. I felt his pain as I looked back on my own abuse – I knew that he was sick and I was not mad at him for hurting me. I was mad at him for leaving me. I have scars. I have pain. I have memories that I don’t want to remember and memories that I don’t want to forget. I have “daddy pain”.
I heard a preacher talking this morning and he was talking about “daddy pain” he also talked about letting the Lord heal those scars that I/we have so that others can know that there is a Healer for them also.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 in the Living Bible: “What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.”
Using the Daddy pain: Being able to use what God has allowed in my life to bring comfort to you is using the pain. I felt today was the day to tell my story, to say that I know, to tell you that God loves you and that no matter what has happened in your past, there is hope in Jesus Christ. Being able to tell you that your scars are real but they can be beautified as you bring them to the One who bore His scars for you. He was there with you, He saw and He heard and He is with you now. Give Him your pain, give Him your scars, give Him your anger and your tears…He is waiting, He is looking for you, to bring you a future and a hope. God loves you and you are not broken – you are a vessel being made ready for use.
All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Come to the fountain
Dip your heart in the stream of life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of his mercy
As deep cries out to deep
Even though the scars seemed so real today, again I give them to the Lord to remember that He has healed me and He has a plan to use the pain in a way that will glorify Him…I can trust that. I can call him, “Abba Father” which signifies the close, intimate relationship of a father to his child, as well as the childlike trust that a young child puts in his “daddy.” He is my Father – completely, with everything I need and will never let me down or leave me.
Lord, calm this little storm that started today as I bring memories up that some may have about the past, stop the strong wind from blowing in on us and give us peace as we remember that You are Peace. Help this story to bring comfort to someone today and to reiterate that You have brought us through to this point in life for a reason. We have a purpose. We want to trust you, so give us strength Lord to hold on tight to You. Take these burdens every time we remember the past in a negative way, we give them to You. Thank you for reminding us to use our past for our glory, not for our own victimization and pity. Love, Your daughters and sons. Amen.
Thank you Father for your sweet comforting Spirit that heals so completely.
Maybe you need to write a letter today?
Talk soon, tlc