Is this a Daddy?

She was 13. She knew her daddy’s name but not his face, as he was never around. Until one day when she was shopping with her mother.”This is your father,” she told the girl, then 13.

After that her mother started allowing the father to pick her up and keep her on overnight visits. He only picked her up when his girlfriend was working. She was told not to tell and was threatened. She spent the rest of her childhood keeping secrets. She was 14 when her son was born. DNA now proves that her son was fathered by her father. That was in 1980. Her father was convicted last week of raping her. He has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

When she was 17 she shot at her father and missed. She says now she is glad she missed, because she wouldn’t want his murder on her conscience. He didn’t press charges against her, because he didn’t want anyone to find out about the abuse. He always denied he was the boy’s father. At some point, she did take him to court for child support, though he threatened her if she put his name down as the father. Eventually, he did sign the paterntity papers and began paying child support.

Her mother and her paternal aunt knew of the abuse, but warned her to keep quiet, as it would be a disgrace on the family. For a while, her aunt tried to help her, acting as her therapist, so that the secret wouldn’t get out.

She now suffers from depression and has been under treatment several times. But still she never told what had happened to her.

When the boy was 12, she told him about his paternity.

When her son was 24, he was convicted of sexual abuse of a prostitute. She thinks that may be one of the results of the family secret. Before his trial, she went to see his defense attorney, and finally she told about the rape and the incest. That is what led up to her father being charged and convicted of her rape.         

Oh, by the way. Her father pled guilty at the trial. He admitted that he had had a sexual relationship with her. But he claimed that he didn’t think he was her father. And that the sex was consensual. She was 13.

I haven’t quoted her directly here. But her words, though simple are powerful reminders of the effects of sex abuse, incest, and family secrets. They are well worth the read.                                           http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD/MGArticle/RTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1137833892088&path=!news&s=1045855934842

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