Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day - Another Part of Me

The approaching days to this holiday are always the hardest of any for me. Each year I have to emotionally prepare for the events Father's Day brings. This year doesn't feel much different except that it is even harder because I can't make "other" plans for my hubby. So, here goes the other part of me....
This is how my mom says it,"We have a his, mine and ours family." My mom and dad divorced before I was a year old. My mom re-married when I was 6 and with a new step-dad came my first little brother from his previous marriage, then my mom had my sister with the step-dad when I was seven. We all grew up together, love each other very much and none of us refer to each other as step or half siblings unless we're describing our family such as I am now. I also have adopted twin brothers who are 17 years younger. We are a family of Christians who each have their own relationships with God. To the outside world we probably appear to be one big happy family. For the most part this is true however; very few people know what it was like for me as a child or the "family secret."

From ages 6-11 my step-dad was mean and abusive. He was an active alcoholic and drug addict and I was his victim. He was a monster in all forms, he was emotionally, physically and sexually abusive toward me. I was afraid and alone as a child, left to fend for myself. Where was my mom? Working. In denial. Nursing her own wounds from the past. Distracted.

When I was ten I went to church camp with a cousin, and there is where I met my Saviour. I cried out to Jesus to please make all the madness at home stop. Within a year my step-dad met my Saviour and he introduced Him to my mom. My eleventh birthday was the last time I saw my step-dad drunk.

One day when I was just about to turn 18 I decided not to return home. The demons I pushed down for so long needed to be dealt with. I tried to deal with them in all the wrong ways in all the wrong places with all the wrong people.

It wasn't until I was 19 that I told someone about the abuse. I told a doctor who referred me to a counselor and from there I told my mom. I was relieved when she believed me. We went to a wise Christian couple who we both trusted to help us sort out - or mostly my mom-where we would go from here, how to begin healing and how to confront her husband.

To sum up this journey of a few years my step-dad admitted what he had done when my mom confronted him, he then repented to me and I was able to forgive him. Please understand when I say forgive I don't mean forget. I am not God. I cannot just forget what happened and unfortunately there are many things that trigger memories that I have to live with for the rest of my life. When things come up and I get triggered I have to choose forgiveness all over again. Sometimes this takes a few minutes by the grace of God and others it takes a few days to shake it and leave it at the cross. It was especially easy when I lived out of state. Years went by that I didn't have to face old memories or do the work of forgiveness. That changed when I moved home and have to see my abuser on a regular basis.

What about my biological father? I was afraid of him when I was young because he wasn't around much and when I went to his house (and he was home) I associated him with the kind of man I lived with every day. My step-mom would pick me up on his weekends, but he was a truck driver and a lot of times he wasn't there, or only for a few hours. It wasn't until I became an adult that a miraculous healing took place between us and a bond was finally formed.

Here's what is so hard for me. My mom always has us kids over to celebrate Father's Day. There is no part of me that recognizes my step-dad as my "father." He lost that title the day he robbed me of my innocence. Most times I'd even like to refer to him as my mom's husband. This is what I have to work through EVERY year. Forgive him again and appreciate that he gave this world my brother and sister who I love and look forward to seeing at every family gathering. I can forgive but I have such a hard time doing anything more than that. I don't want to celebrate "him" in any way. (His birthday is another difficult gathering.)

I absolutely LOVE my dad. He shows me more and more all the time how much he loves me and is proud of who I am. He and my step-mom weren't able to have any children together, which makes for a pretty uneventful get together. I am it. I always split Father's Day to spend time with everyone. Since Jamie and I have been together we've made our rounds to all dads.
This year is just crappy for Jamie and I both. It is the second year without Jamie's dad and the first without his baby girl.

Audrey being here would have changed Father's Day in so many ways. I wish we were going to my dad's so he could spend the day with his only daughter and granddaughter. I wish I could have had a conversation with my mom that went a little something like....."Well, we won't be there this year since it's my dad's first year as a grandpa and Jamie's as dad. I planned a day for them at ????? (far far away) so you guys have fun without us!" My sister has blessed them with three beautiful grand babies so the pressure is off there. I still could have planned something but my dad is working and it just isn't the same not having her physically here to spend time with.


Then there's picking out cards. ugh. Better go do it now.


  1. hugs xxx you are a very stong woman

  2. Huge hugs Audrey! I wish everything was different and it would have been a happy day. XO

  3. Wow. What a lot to go through every holiday. Wow. Many many praises to God for the work already done. My mother was abused by her father and it was swept under the rug. I can only imagine how hard it still, but I thank God that his hand is so apparent here.

  4. Thank you for sharing your personal and very painful journey.

  5. I do not even know what to takes a lot to write this out...i heart is with you...(((hugs))) I know im on the outside looking in, but maybe you CAN skip tomorrow and just make it about you, Jaime, Audrey and Rainbow...and that is all...*sigh* here if you ever want to talk privately. xoxoxo

  6. Wow, what a strong woman you are and what a testimony! I would like to think that I hold that capacity for forgiveness but I'm not sure I'm strong enough...

    ((hugs)) I hope yesterday wasn't too rough on you!