Several months ago, I settled a sixteen month long lawsuit with my parents (actually, my dad died before the case ended so only my mother was left). They sued me for defamation of character and intentional infliction of emotional distress. I’d publically exposed my childhood sexual abuse by my dad and they didn’t like that very much.
I like to think of myself as a crusader. The internal image of myself is a fierce-looking woman, charging on horseback toward oppressors, declaring the truth to those they hold bound and inspiring them to overthrow the tyrants’ rule. I don’t back down from standing for and with the oppressed.
I’ve eliminated abusers from my own life, but after the relief of not having a relationship with my mother for nearly six years, she was back in it. With the lawsuit, I didn’t have the choice of walking away. I not only had to read the painful lies my mother used as “discovery”, I had to respond with a defense. I felt controlled and victimized again.
by Christina Enevoldsen After I watched the movie, “The Joy Luck Club”, I felt hollow and sad. The feelings haunted me for days. In the story, four daughters struggle against their emotionally abusive mothers until they discover their mothers’ difficult
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 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
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 Bethany I was ten years old when I blurted out my dark secret to my mom: I fantasized about dying tragically. Before I could finish detailing exactly how I wanted my body to be found, she interrupted me with,
by Christina Enevoldsen When my daughter was eight years old, she spent the night at a friend’s house. She and her friend spent hours swimming in their community pool and Bethany came home with her face, arms and legs red
by Bethany I had to cover my eyes during kissing scenes in movies until my teens. I couldn’t ride my bike more than two blocks away. All of my friends had to be approved. My mom would check all of
by Christina Enevoldsen It would be easier to tell people my parents are dead. Orphans get sympathy; I get judgment. When I tell people that I don’t have any contact with my mother or father, it’s usually the same response: