Note: This is part of a four-part story about my childhood sexual abuse, please read through by starting here.
It wasn’t long before I received an update on the historical sexual assault complaints against my father. The police officer in charge of my case called me to tell me that he was in the process of contacting the foster children that were in the care of my parents in the 1980’s. While his priority was to talk to the boys who are now middle-aged men, he wanted to speak with all of them. Not wanting to leave any stone unturned, the police officer was thorough and prudent. He was able to reach out to a few of them who were unwilling to make any kind of statement, one of the young men who had been apart of the original complaint against my father had sadly passed away as a teenager. There was hope though as he was able to get some information from the two of them and they were willing to talk, this leads to two new complaints against my father. While I am in no position to discuss any details of those two brave souls, I was absolutely stunned by the information that I had learned. I wasn’t alone now, but the news hit me hard.
It took me a few days to let this new information sink in, and while I was sad that other people were now dragged into this mess, I felt a sense of unity from knowing that I wasn’t the only one and it also gave me a sense of validation. We now had more people to help back up my complaint, and perhaps soon, the crown prosecutor will pay more attention to it. While I was sensing a little bit of closure with the legal process involving my father, one burning question developed when it came to my mother.
Did she know about this old complaint involving the foster children in her care?
In the next conversation I had with the police officer in charge of the case, I asked him very seriously if my mother would have had any knowledge of the first complaint. Understandably, he would not confirm that she did know about it as there was no proof and she wasn’t named in the complaint, but common sense would tell us that if your husband has a complaint filed against him for sexual abuse of the foster children living in your home, you would have to know about it.
Up until this point in my healing journey, I had a complicated emotional attachment to my mother. I had felt guilty one moment of not having her in my life in any capacity and another moment I was fucking pissed off that she would never acknowledge my abuse in any way. All she ever did was plead that I talk with my father and as a family about this. Like a broken record, over and over, she played the victim by making me well aware that they were getting older and that time was passing. She always assured me that their door would still be open for me to go and talk to them and put this past us. I was made to feel as though this situation was my issue, I initiated it, and it was my job to come back home.
After I hung up from my phone call with the police officer, I went for a brisk walk. It was at that moment, while my mother may have never touched me in a sexual way, her inability to stop my father from abusing me made her just as guilty as he was, to me she was merely an enabler The guilt I held of breaking my relationship with her evaporated in an instant. My cloudy mind was cleared, I had my answer, and I resolved that I would never speak to her again. Like the resolve to remove my father from my life, my mother was now gone from it. My unresolved pain with my mother quickly turned into anger and it took me time to resolve it. I don’t like to be angry, but it is the default reaction to pain that I don’t understand. What kind of mother doesn’t protect her son when her husband has been accused of sexual abuse? Was she really sleeping when my father was abusing me? Was she just happy to have his drunk ass out of her bed? Why didn’t she ever ask to talk to me after I accused my father and just hold me and believe me or any of that motherly stuff? The little boy inside of me still hurts for my mother sometimes, but now I realize that she was never much of a mother at all. I have asked many mothers out there what they would do in this kind of situation, and each of them immediately said that they would listen to and believe their children. That’s just what mom’s do!
It was just around this time in the fall of 2017 that I learned that there was a new statement of sexual abuse made against my father; this time, it was from a family member. This family member claimed to have been abused by my father, and the pattern of abuse was very similar to what happened to me. I was once again saddened that there is another victim, but I wasn’t shocked. We now have three complaints and one statement. Surely there is enough evidence against my father to go court, right?
Not so fast.
Here we are in late 2018, and we have all of this evidence lined up. There are four statements and complaints all in some area of alignment and similarities so imagine my dismay when I found out that no, there is still not enough evidence! Questions still remained. My family member’s statement wasn’t a complaint so it could not be used in court. What is the point of a statement then? While I was disappointed that once again, this thing is not going to proceed, I wasn’t all that shocked. The justice system is not here for me, it has never been, so why should I tie my happiness and resolve to it?
This has been an incredibly complex and frustrating process. Five years ago I thought it would be painful but quick, but I was mistaken. I thought for sure with the additional evidence, something would move it along. Because of this inability to move the needle, why would others that I know have had inappropriate contact with my father ever come forward? I know if I were in their position, I wouldn’t speak either. What’s the point of stirring up the pain that has been put on hold? I understand that I want to have a crown prosecutor pick up the case who wholeheartedly into it. This is a sensitive and emotionally charged court case, if the facts aren’t perfect after 20-30 years, it could lead to an innocent conviction, that could be devastating to all of the victims.
When it comes to the legal side of my journey, I am done with it. I’ve done all I can. I can no longer spend any more of my limited time to this part of my life. I have detached myself from it and if we ever go to court great, if not, that’s OK. Hopefully, with the pending complaints against him, my father will not touch another boy. While he remains a “free” man, is he really free? Some may suggest with his ducking of the arms of justice as him winning, but is he winning? He has lost relationships with his son and his grandson. Regardless of any outcome of a court battle, I always held the power of enabling those relationships. Even if the judge declared him innocent, they could not force me to reconcile.
My journey is not over, but the toughest parts are well behind me. One of the most difficult things to understand during my most pain-filled days was that I always have control. In the shelter skelter of emotional turmoil, I had to stop trying to resolve things that were beyond my control, my destiny is not mine, but my reaction is all mine. When my father comments on my blog posts or when I get unfavourable news on the legal front, I have no control over any of that, so why get angry and hurt? My reaction and resolutions are mine, my life is mine, this journey is mine. What happened to me 30 years ago is not mine and I have spent the past 10 years trying to understand that.
The purpose of a writer is to create a story using the words from their experiences and then give it away. I have already lived my story, it is my past, and now through the gift of text, I can pass this on to you. You can take my final words on my abuse and ignore them, or you can choose to use them to inspire change in your life. That choice is yours. But for me, I wake up every day and feel inspired for I have already lived my story, and now I am busy creating a new one.