A friend sent me this photo of my father (left) at the recent annual banquet of Torah Institute, where he is the principal, and it triggered me.
Especially when I showed it to my daughter and told her it was her grandfather.
She said, "He looks like a really nice guy....He looks so loving..."
Yes, he does look like a nice guy, and in some ways he really is a nice guy.
But he isn't what he looks like.
A part of him is broken and empty.
Just like me.
This man who looks so loving, has a daughter who he treats as if she is dead.
That daughter is me.
I remember him raping me when I was two, three, and four-years-old. He needs me to keep it a secret so he can keep impressing and fooling the people around him.
This is a man who is not capable of real love and intimacy, because he has never experienced it.
This man in the photo,
he is my father.
He caused me so much pain I almost died.
This man gave me life and almost destroyed me.
This man who I love, and miss and hate, all with equal depth.
I want to pound him with desperate two-year-old fists, shriek at him, and beg him to please, please, please, Tatty,
Please be the safe father I needed you to be.
Please, Tatty, don't be the man who hurt me so badly that I was bleeding. Please, Tatty, don't be the man who lay on me and cut off my breath and was so heavy I thought I would die.
Tatty, please don't be my father.
Be anyone else.
Not my father.