A Sandy Foundation
Daddy, do you think I am pretty? Daddy, watch me dance! Daddy, I love you. Daddy, why did you touch me there? Daddy, why did you kick Mommy down the steps? Daddy, what are you doing to my brother?
Sadly, not every little girl has fond memories of her daddy. Although I love my daddy very much now as an adult, I don’t have very many fond memories of him when I was growing up. I don’t blame my dad as he didn’t have a great childhood either. Who knows where it all started, perhaps my granddad had a horrible childhood too? My dad was the sort of dad that grew violently angry from time to time and on occasion took it out on his children. He also did many inappropriate things as a married man, but that’s his and my mom’s story to tell if they choose to.
From a little girl to a young woman
One afternoon I was in my bedroom having a cleanup and thorough sort out. I was a neat freak so took pleasure in having regular cleaning sessions in my bedroom. My dad came into my bedroom and sat next to me. I can’t really remember exactly how things transpired but I specifically remember his hand slipping under my nightgown and onto my breast.
Shock, horror, confusion and disgust filled me as he held a cheerful smile on his face. I cried and screamed internally as he continued to fondle me but didn’t have the guts to stop him. I could see that he was going to go as far as he could and I got really frightened. Although I wanted to scream ‘Stop!’ at the top of my voice, I couldn’t. A very quiet ‘Stop’ escaped my mouth. He continued a little longer but after I began to cry bitterly and mustered up the courage to tell him to stop again, he stopped. What hurt more than the physical violation was what he said afterwards. As I sat there sobbing uncontrollably, he looked at me with a grin on his face and said;
“Angela, I only did this for two reasons. One was to teach you about boys and girls and the other one was because I like it!”
He left my room and I can’t remember a thing after that, or ever mentioning it to my dad. I can’t tell you how that incident left me feeling and I can’t tell you the immediate impact it had on my life. I was fourteen years old. A young and tender age where my body was only beginning to develop physically and take shape and my mind was only starting to come to terms with the transition I was making from a little girl into a young woman. As you can imagine, this shattered the foundation of my life and my views on what a daddy is and does.
I never mentioned it to my mother, mostly because I didn’t want to hurt her, but also because I was confused and didn’t know how to name it. If it had been full penetration I could have said; “Mom, Dad had sex with me”. There was no sex though, just a mere fondling of my breast while I was in my nightgown, so I thought I was overreacting and chose to forget about it.
If you have experienced anything similar, you will understand how this messes with your mind. Perhaps if you’ve never experienced anything like this, you might find it really difficult to understand why it is such a big deal and why I even bother writing about it. I believe this was a significant turning point in my life, a point where I lost respect for myself and started hating myself for allowing my dad to treat me that way.
Sunday Night Fears
Sadly it didn’t end here; I continued to allow my dad to treat me in an inappropriate way. Sunday nights became a time of fear and anxiety, as he would drive me back to the boarding school where I boarded every week. The journey took about forty-five minutes and after travelling for about ten minutes my dad would put his hand on my knee as he drove, by the time we arrived at my hostel he would have worked his hand all the way up to the top of my leg. On occasion his hand got uncomfortably high up. I hated it but never did anything about it at all!
Why didn’t I just say no or simply remove his hand from my leg? Questions plagued my mind. Why was he doing this to me? What were his intentions, did he intend to pull over one Sunday and go ‘all the way’? What was wrong with me, why couldn’t I just say no and make him stop? Worst of all, because nothing terrible was happening I thought it was all in my mind, making things worse than they seemed, so I didn’t tell my mom about it.
One particular Sunday night I couldn’t face the journey. Fear gripped me. I pleaded with my mom to drive me to the hostel but she said no. I continued to plead with her, and even started crying but she just said, “Don’t be silly Angela!” So off we went once again, he did the hand thing and then we both got on with our week as usual until the next Sunday evening arrived. To be honest I don’t know if he meant anything sexual by it at all. If it weren’t for our previous encounter in my bedroom I may not have thought anything of it, but that scene was still fresh in my mind. I didn’t know what to think or who to trust any more. Worse of all, I didn’t know my dad’s intentions any more. Did he love me or did he lust after me?
Needless to say, my view of the male gender grew increasingly negative. I struggled through my teenage years facing constant confusion and torment. My value was clear to me, I was dirty and worthless. Princesses only existed in fairly tales and men definitely didn’t help damsels in distress.
This is a snippet of the first chapter from my new book ‘Secure on the Rock’ which will be released in paperback on 1 March 2011. Chapter 2 of Secure on the Rock will follow soon, more info available here
and King’s Daughters can preorder here