I Am Lonely
When I was about eight years old, I asked my mother why daddy put his tongue in my mouth when he kissed me. She looked at me with a strange expression and said, “Don’t let him do that anymore.” I left home at 19 once I could afford to be on my own.
When I started dating in high school, I realized my father was manipulative and did some really strange things relative to my dating. My mother appeared to be jealous of my father attention toward me. At 22, I moved from the east coast to the west coast and my boyfriend followed. We lived together for ten years and during that time I felt a lot of anger and anxiety. I sought counseling and with the help of self-hypnosis, remembered incidents with my father and began to understand that the feelings I had with my father as a child were not normal. Even though our cuddles felt good to me, they were inappropriate and wrong.
I married the boyfriend and had a child. The only time I felt loved by him was when I was pregnant with my daughter. He was controlling and I realized that he was very much like my father. I could not understand how he, or even other friends, could love me. I felt so alone, even though I was with people and had friends. We divorced when my daughter was 10 and I have not had a relationship since. She is now 32.
My husband and I visited my parents for the holidays when my daughter was one year old. One afternoon while my daughter was napping, I found my father standing over her with is pants open. I scooped her up and left. I spoke to my two brothers and asked if they had experienced or witnessed my father’s behavior. One brother was totally unaware of any unusual conduct, but my younger brother had.
When he was a child, my father had removed my brother’s clothing and tickled and fondled him. My younger brother also revealed that he too was a pedophile. The next day I confronted my father and let him know that what he did to me as a child was wrong and has had a terrible impact on my life. He cursed at me and said I was crazy, stupid and a lot of other nasty things. I said I could not see him again unless he got help. I did not see my parents again for over 10 years. They called every Sunday but I never answered the phone. I hated that phone ringing.
After my father died, and my mother could not live on her own, I let her live with me. I was not happy about it, but it seemed the right thing to do. At one point, I asked her why she didn’t protect me when I was a child and why she told me to not let him to that any more. She said she was afraid of him, that he would hit her. She said he only hit her once or twice and that she learned to keep her mouth shut and do as he said. Then she said, “What’s the big deal. My father did it to me.”
My younger brother married the younger sister of his high school girlfriend. As she and their relationship matured they became really good friends, but he was no longer sexually attracted to her. They had a loving, supportive relationship, working and living together. They had no children, however when they were both in their 40s they adopted two children from Russia, a boy and a girl. We had conversations about his urges. He understood his illness he had been in counseling most of his life and has a master’s degree in family counseling. He said he didn’t drink alcohol because it let down his inhibitions. His wife knew about his illness and was supportive. Then one day he was arrested for having child pornography on his computer and pictures in his house. The children were removed from the home and he and his wife could not see them or each other. He was put in jail awaiting arraignment. He committed suicide in his cell. He said it was the only way he could save his family. His wife was exonerated and the children were returned to her.
I struggle with trusting people. I have anxiety and paranoia about everyday situations. On the surface I appear happy, friendly and even somewhat successful. Inside, I am lonely. I am close to retirement now and feel I could have been or done so much more had I had more self-confidence and self-esteem. I have lived my life with an emphasis on doing what makes me happy and using my parents as examples of how not to be. I feel I have survived and am not affected as seriously as others and that the abuse I experienced was not as serious as what others experienced. I am happy to have this opportunity to find my voice and express myself.
San Francisco, CA