Chapter Eleven: The Battle Begins
The same day I told Chelsea about the abuse and the horrors, I also met with my father. Outside a Whole Foods grocery store, I sat with my dad telling him I needed to talk to him about some things. The last time I’d seen my mother, I’d told her about one of the molestations, and he said to me that she’d told him. I began to weep as I told him there was more than just that incident, so much more involving Family members and people outside The Family. Before I could say who my abusers were, my father named my grandfathers – both of them. He choked up and said he was sorry that it had happened but he “would make it right.” He then made me promise him that under no circumstances would I talk to my sisters about this. “I’m the dad, and it’s my job to take care of this.” I kowtowed to his authority like I always had, as I still trusted him to do the right thing.
That night when I was sitting on the couch with Chelsea, I had told her of one the “sessions” with my grandpa. He was in the bathroom with me on our side of the house, and my sister walked in. He stopped her at the door, so she wasn’t able to see down into the tub where I was, but she’d asked him what he was doing in our bathroom. He dismissed her back to bed, and she complied. That next night and every night for the remainder of our stay down there that trip, my sister stayed in my bedroom, and he didn’t come for me again. I so badly wanted to thank her for what she’d done, and after telling Chelsea this; she disagreed with my dad and said I needed to tell her.
I drove to my sister’s house, and on the way, I called my dad. I told him I was going to talk to her. He said to me that he was handling everything and now I needed to swear to him that I would not tell her who my abusers were. I was forbidden from telling her my primary abusers’ names. Initially agreeing to his terms, I drove to see her.
Meeting with her was a surreal experience. I sat down on with her and told her what I’d needed to say. I began to talk on a very superficial level about the abuse and the freedom I had found in forgiving my abusers. I told her about the freedom from the addictions and the restoration of my marriage that had come since I started talking about these things and getting counseling. She began to press me and demanded I tell her who the perpetrators were. I told her that dad told me I couldn’t, and then she guessed their names.
Once those names came out and the memory of the bathroom incident surfaced, my sister began to do the oddest thing. While I told her about what was going on, she curled into the fetal position and began to rock back and forth saying over and over again,
“I’m so sorry I don’t remember, I’m so sorry I don’t remember.”
Over and over again, it was like my sister checked out and in her place was a deeply wounded child. When I wrapped up our conversation, she belted out that she needed to see a counselor. I promised her I would bring back a referral for her the next day. Hugging her, I headed home.
I didn’t get ten minutes out the door before my dad called me. Fuming, he began demanding why I’d told her my grandpas’ names. I told him my sister had guessed it, but I’d kept my word. He was furious in a way I’d never heard him be. My dad takes particular care to keep a lid on his emotions and to keep his mask firmly in place. He began threatening me and warning me that if I was not very, very careful, this would blow up in my face. He warned me again and again that I was absolutely forbidden from speaking these things to people, and especially to my sisters. He ended the phone call by saying again, “I’m the dad, and I will handle this.”
My father’s loving Christian mask was beginning to slip. The more Chelsea and I talked about his reactions, a creeping suspicion began to solidify that my Family was in no way wanting to bring their past to the light. They were not interested in restoration, reconciliation, or truth. No, their motives were firmly in line with The Kingdom of Darkness. Their interest was in keeping their kingdom no matter how many bodies or how much blood was spilled to erect its powerful pillars. The gloves would come off and soon a Family brawl would ensue, the details of which we’ll later get to.
Once those battles with my father and Family members ended, it granted me time to heal. I dove headfirst into the restoration I’d been deprived of my entire life. In doing so, I finally began to face the depths of the darkness and hunt for hope amidst the abyss of my soul. Even in those inky waters, I found The Great Physician willing to bear with me and comfort me, giving me a new call and purpose.