by Christina Enevoldsen In the first few years of healing from childhood sexual abuse and separating from my abusive parents, I approached each holiday feeling a little anxious. Holidays used to be times for gathering with family but they became
by Christina Enevoldsen “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfill it.” George Santayana Recently, I warned a close family friend that his children weren’t safe around my dad, who molested me for most of my childhood. The
by Christina Enevoldsen When my two-year-old grandson accomplishes anything—big or small—he celebrates. Benjamin gets a huge grin on his face and claps his hands vigorously when he goes potty on the toilet. When he puts all his toys away, he
by Christina Enevoldsen Blame has a bad reputation. People say it’s useless and unproductive. It’s been accused of preventing people from moving forward. It’s been blamed for keeping people in victim mentality. I was one of those people who blamed
by Christina Enevoldsen I saw myself standing next to a long line of people waiting to have their requests fulfilled. I wasn’t in the line; I was standing to the side, waiting for permission to get in the line. I
by Christina Enevoldsen I hate blood and gore, but I love watching medical shows. When they show mangled flesh, I have to cover my eyes. It’s hard to imagine all the pain the person is suffering and even if they can be saved,
by Christina Enevoldsen I come from a long line of parents who didn’t protect their children from sexual abuse. My maternal and paternal grandparents failed to guard my parents; my parents didn’t protect me (my father was my primary sexual
by Christina Enevoldsen I wrote a fictional story about a little girl being sexually abused by her father. It was for a project I was working on and I didn’t intend for it to be autobiographical, but when I came
Bethany: Father’s Day feels so empty to me–like one of those holidays like Flag Day or Secretary’s Day. Why should I pay attention to those? I don’t have a flag, a secretary or a father. My dad is in prison for sexually abusing me for most of my childhood.
Father’s Day for me has always been about going through the motions. Why should I honor a man who doesn’t deserve honor? He contributed a seed, but after that everything he for me was destructive.
Christina: I remember writing Father’s Day cards that really gushed about what a great dad I had, but it was always what I thought I should have felt about him. I felt guilty for not being more sincere. I thought something was wrong with me for not feeling closer or more loving. I tried to work myself up to appreciation and admiration but writing those cards always felt hollow and like a lie.
by Christina Enevoldsen As the co-founder of a site that deals with healing from abuse, I’m supposed to be very enthusiastic about healing. I’m the one who yells “Hooray!” for those small victories and I spur on the weary survivor.