Imagine this...12/28/2018, inside a small conference room, in a lawyers office. The walls were eggshell white and there was a small round wood conference room table in the center. There was just enough room between the table and the walls for the chairs and a little maneuvering.
I went in and sat down. I scanned the small space, reminded me of a closet, although none of my closets were that size. I took a deep breath and sat back in the chair. I wanted to have the best posture and I wanted to make sure that I took up as much space as I could in that space. I wanted to make sure that I seemed larger than life. I wanted my presence to be felt hours, days and weeks later.
I had no idea how I would emotionally react. I decided that I was prepared for anything. Ground rules laid out:
1. No hugging or touching
2. No talking unless I asked for them to
3. No asking about my brother or my kids
4. I want to be by the door in case I needed to walk out.
The time had come. In walked the retired police chief that was to be in the room as a gentle reminder for peace. Behind him came the devil. The devil was disguised. He was wearing a flannel shirt, suspenders, jeans, and was crouched over a cane. Every second or third small step the devil would try and take a deep labored breath. It was raspy and seemed very labored.
He sat down and looked me in the eyes. I will never forget that look. That look of blame. That look that is burned in my brain from 25 years ago. The look I will never ever forget. A look that at age, 20, my heart raced like no other time. The person sitting across from me is the person that I help put in prison 25 years ago.
For the first time in 25 years I sat across from my biological pedophile father. Biologically, he is my father, or at least that is what the law says. To me, he is Don. Sperm donor works too. He lost the title of father, the first time he touched me with intentions that no father should have with their INFANT daughter. The title was striped when he chose do do that and to continue to do that. I was sitting across from him for the first time, and I felt more powerful than any other time in my life. My heart didn't race, like I thought it would...I was calm and stared at him - never taking my eyes off him.
I was very calmed and even-voiced. I wanted to remain calm to assure that he would hear every single word that came out of my mouth.
There was so much that I wanted to say. Where would I ever begin? I thought long and hard, processed with multiple people and decided to jump right in. Key things - defend my mother and address all the horrible things he did to her. Speak of the abuse with all the correct anatomical terms and assure that every act that her performed, every innocence that he stripped from me was said out loud in this space - to assure that he knew and heard that I am very aware of what he had done.
I was very direct and very clear. When I said that he could now talk...he wanted to know if we could have a relationship...Seriously? No apology - no acknowledgement really of true shape or form. No acknowledgement of the cousins that he molested. All of this gave me confirmation he was no different than 25 years ago, that day in the court room - when he stared me down as though I was the guilty one.
That is when I realized that the child in me longed for a true apology - that one day that he would acknowledge and feel so much guilt and remorse that it would eat him up day after day. The myth that our abusers care somewhere deep down inside. The reality is that isn't true. This devil that I sat across from, may be my biological father, but I am not at all like him.
This meeting - was powerful for me, to prove to him that he didn't break me, that my mom was strong and then we broke the cycle. He was an adult and he had a choice.That we did what he couldn't do. We STOPPED the cycle.
Something to be said for facing your abuser - that moment you realized you survived, you made it out alive and you are thriving!
"the time has come to no longer be hidden and silent," - pennie