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. TheRead more
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,Read more
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 and burning. I was irate that the girl’s mother allowed Bethany to be exposed to the sun for so long, especially without sunscreen. Arizona, where we lived at the time, had the second highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Bethany blistered and peeled for a week. That mother failed to provide her with basic protection and I was so angry that she was so careless with my daughter.
When I look back on that incident, I still feel awful for how much Bethany suffered that week. I eventually discovered far worse things touching my daughter than the sun’s rays and this time, I was the one who left her exposed.
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 ofRead more
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:Read more