[The following is written by an anonymous contributor]
Easter Sunday, April 22nd, 1973.
I saw my father for the very last time, when I was aged three.
He travelled down to South Jersey to see me. I heard him knock on the door. My mother shushed me to my bedroom.
I peeped through my Mickey Mouse curtains; saw my beautiful Aunt Debbie’s red ’67 Mustang parked in front of our apartment.
My daddy’s knocks grew louder… I heard him say my mother’s name… Begging her to please let him in to see me. He began to sob… The knocking stopped and standing on my tiptoes, I watched him get in the car and drive away. I never saw him as a child again.
My little heart shattered and my childhood ended on that day. I never had the chance to call him ‘Daddy’ again… Never held his hand, visited the zoo or rode in a canoe with him again. No walks on the beach… No kisses goodnight.
I found him 34 years later.
408 months; 12,410 days; 297,840 hours; 17,870,400 minutes.
He is too wounded I believe, to have a relationship with me in the present. He is too broken and bitter from the lies of the past.
My wise attorney once said, “nine months is an eternity in the life of a child.”
I spent my childhood in a form of emotional and physical purgatory.
And yet still, I love them both.
I haven’t seen either my mom or dad in over a decade now.
The alienated child, if she survives, lives in exile from the parents she loves.
Why? How could this be?
Because it is what they both taught me to do.
But don’t feel sad for me; I have built a beautiful life filled with music, laughter, teaching, children and a nuclear family unit that is living and loyal.
My purpose and mission in life, I believe, is to break the cycle of abuse… To bear witness to its existence.
And to be the voice of every child who has none.