Fifteen years ago, you came into my life, and I had no idea I would one day look back on you as the biggest mistake I’d ever made. You see, I believe that everything in our lives strengthens us and prepares us for where we are now, and if we like where we are, we shouldn’t change anything.
And yet, I still would go back and wish I had never met you. That has to show you the distaste I have for you.
Worse than that, I still shudder and feel unclean, dirty, filthy when I think that I ever let you touch my body, and I feel guilty that I ever enjoyed it, relished in that touch. Worse yet, I feel ashamed that I ever thought I might have loved you.
The things you have done to me don’t even matter, though the lies, the using me to get what you wanted… they don’t matter. That doesn’t matter.
When our son… correction, MY son, told me what you had done to him, I felt as though a shard of ice and pierced through the center of my chest and the coldness began to spread through my body. I comforted my son, questioned him, carefully–after all, I’d been trained in victim advocacy. I knew what to do, right? Do you know what it’s like to have to do that with your own child?
The ice stayed in me, freezing my emotions enough to do what needed to be done. I called Child Protective Services, asked them what to do. They told me to call the police. I called the police. The officers who came to the house were nice, but they were obviously as uncomfortable as I was with the situation.
My son waited in his room while I talked to the officers on my front porch, so he could not hear, would not have to relive it. They arrange for him to meet a counselor at Harmony Home, an agency that helps children who have been sexually molested or abused. The appointment was set for 10am on Monday.
It was one of the longest weekends of my life.
Monday morning, we sat in the waiting room, my son, barely seven years old, was playing with a teddy bear they had given him to make him feel more comfortable, and was drinking a juice box. He was nervous and asked me what they were going to do to him.
I said, “Baby, they’re not going to do anything. They just want to ask you some tough questions about your… daddy.” I nearly choked on the word. Any man can be a father. A real daddy would never do what you did to a child, especially his own child.
How could you?
Then, they took me to that little room with the video monitors, where they were recording my son. I watched while they pulled out the dolls and questioned him. I watched him squirm in his seat, so uncomfortable. Then I watched him point to the penis on the male doll and heard his little voice say, “Daddy asked me to touch him there.”
But just when I’d heard what I thought was the worst of it, I watched him twist his little hands and say, “Then some white-ish gray stuff came out of it, and daddy told me to get some toilet paper. When I didn’t move, he yelled at me to hurry and made me cry.”
He was too young to know how a man’s penis works during ejaculation, David. He shouldn’t have known that for many years to come. But to yell at him for not moving fast enough to clean your cum off? How could you?
Then, the reason it had taken him four weeks after it happened to tell me came out. He said, “Daddy told me that if I told mama, he would get in trouble and wouldn’t get to see me anymore. He said if I told anyone at school that I would get in trouble and go to the principal’s office for swats. Am I gonna get spanked?”
Tears streamed down as I quietly sobbed in the dark observation room. When my son came back out, I was in the waiting room, drying my tears. He said to me, “Why you sad, mama?”
How could you?
The cops believed him. I believed him. My entire family believed him. But you, you said he lied. You denied every bit of it. You told your family I had made it up because I was jealous and angry that you had recently remarried. You told your church that I was using it to deny you the right to see your son, but still get your measly 200 bucks per month in child support.
You can keep your goddamned money, and I’d gladly pay that and a million times over if I could go back and erase what you did from my child’s heart and mind.
That was in November. By next June, the case had been filed with the DA, and we were waiting to go to court. I was driving back from an off-site job in a nearby city when my cell-phone rang.
It was you, David, calling me. I nearly drove the car right off the road in shock. I pulled over and sat and talked to you. You admitted everything. You said you’d signed a confession. You explained how you had lied to your congregation and how it was false prayers they were praying. You said you’d told your wife everything.
Then you asked me how my son was.
Then… you asked me to please have mercy on you, that you had talked to the DA and he was willing to drop the case, and all I had to do was sign an affidavit of non-prosecution.
My hands were shaking. My heart was racing. If you’d been standing in front of me, I might have punched you.
I might have killed you where you stood.
As it is now, I don’t remember what I said to you. I don’t remember anything else about that trip back to the office either. I don’t remember calling the DA to confirm, but they said I did. You did tell the truth, finally.
But I was still furious. The ice I had felt to get me through it all had started to crack and white hot flames filled me with a rage unlike any I’d ever felt.
I thought the worst was over, though.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Just when things were calming down in our life and getting back to normal, I made a flippant comment to someone in my household that my daughter overheard. The comment was, “Sometimes, when we can’t control someone else’s actions, we can change how they react to us by changing our actions.”
Simple statement, but it somehow triggered something in my daughter.
When I questioned her, she began to cry. She told me, through a tear stained face, that when she was 9 years old, you had done the same thing to her.
She felt it was her fault that you had done it to her brother, because if she had told, you would never have been around her brother, and I could have stopped you.
I had failed to protect both of my children from a predator… why didn’t I see it? Why didn’t I know? I WORKED in this field. I’m not stupid. I’m not one of those woman who stay with a man and pretend not to see.
I truly did not see.
How did I miss it?
How could you?
But the truth is, we’re not the guilty ones, David. You are. You are the guilty one. You’re the one who signed the confession and admitted to me what you did to my daughter.
She’s over 18 now. She can chose to prosecute you now. She has until her 23rd birthday to fry your ass. I don’t know if she will, but know this, beyond any doubt: I will support her 200% plus if she chooses to prosecute against you.
My son… he’s not okay. I make it as okay as I can, but there are issues now, because of what you’ve done. He doesn’t call you dad or daddy anymore, hasn’t in a long time. Been years since he’s seen you, but I can still feel the pent up anger in him when he snarls your name, “David.”
He thinks it was his fault. He was 7 years old, and he thinks it was his fault because he didn’t say no. He thinks it was his fault because, “… but mama, I kinda wanted to touch it.” He thinks it’s his fault because he wanted to make you happy.
How sick do you have to be to twist the mind of a child like that, David?
Do you really think the two weeks you spent in the mental hospital and the pills you now take make up for anything you ever did to my son? To my daughter?
You can repent. Maybe your God will forgive you your sins, but I’m not divine and I do not forgive you.
And you want to know what makes me the angriest, David? Do you want to know what gets me, deep down in my very soul?
You asked me to show you mercy. You asked me not to prosecute. You asked me how my son was and expressed relief when I said he was fine. You admitted the truth. You signed a confession.
But the one thing you didn’t do…. The one that pisses me off the most… the one thing that still burns deep down in my gut, deep into my soul…
You never once said you were sorry for what you’d done.
I can only conclude, David, that you truly have no remorse. Your only guilt is that you got caught.
When I think of you working on an abused children’s ranch, my blood runs cold and wonders what you did to those kids. When I think that you worked as a youth counselor and coach at the Y, I shudder. When I think about your niece and nephew you used to babysit, I want to cry.
Predator. Pervert. Asshole.
You make me sick. The thought of you makes me physically ill as I sit here and write this to you, knowing I’ll never send it. No good would ever come out of it. I don’t want to open up a dialogue with you. I am happy you are out of our lives.
But part of me wants to know… why did you never say you were sorry for the pain you caused?
I heard a quote awhile back that said, “Hate is a poison that does more damage to the vessel in which it is stored than does to the object on which it is poured….” After reading that, I let go of my hatred, I let go of the hate.
But I keep the anger tucked safely away inside of me. It is my strength when I need it. When things get tough, when my son has a bad day, I pull that anger out and let it fuel me to be patient and understanding of him, for him.
To be both the mother and the father he doesn’t have.
The father, the daddy, you will never be again.
To him, you are David, his sperm donor. This is what he calls you.
To me, you are evil personified.
One day, when my son is grown and successful and happy again, in spite of what you did to him, when he has a healthy sexual relationship with someone he loves and I can see you did not destroy that for him… maybe, just maybe, I will forgive you. But if I do, it will be forgiveness for myself, not a gift I extend to you.
A Real Parent
PS: And no, David, I did not change your name to protect your privacy. You don’t deserve it after what you did.
The writer of this letter has chosen not to include her name and bio. We respect privacy on Unsent Letters.