Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dear Tatty,

I don't know why you molested me.

 I don't know if you're a pedophile, or if you lack an ability to empathize, or you're a guy who gets off on a power trip over a weaker person.
 Or, maybe all of the above.
I just don't know.
  I do know that because of your terrible choices you lost a daughter, and  I don't envy you.
I feel sorry for you, Tatty.
I don't judge you as a person, although I abhor what you did to me.  We all have to live with our choices, and you are living with yours.
 I love and care about you.
I do not want to hurt you.
You are my father.
You are a complex person,who has made good and bad choices in your life.
 You loved me, and almost destroyed me... Nothing can change the confusion and devastation that you caused.

It would be easier if I hated you, and you had never loved me.
It would be easier if I knew you were a horrible person.
I know you are not.
You had a traumatic and abusive childhood, just like me.
Your mother beat you with a broomstick.
She would hold your nose and force food down your throat.
She also tirelessly collected tzedakah for hachnasas kallah.
As we both know, people are complex.

I would like to think that if you would have had any idea of the damage you were causing you would not have done what you did to me.
 I would like to think that at this point, because of the damage and pain that you are suffering, you would never do it again.

 But I don't know.
I may never know.
 I do not know what went on in your head when I was so little and vulnerable, and I do not know what goes on in your head now.

 You won't speak to me, or my therapist about this, or invite anyone else to, either.
You refuse to go with me to a rav or a gadol, or even a trauma therapist who does not have a vested interest in your innocence.
You are very comfortable allowing people to think I'm crazy.

We both know I am not.

Tatty, you continue working with vulnerable children. You repeatedly lie, and deny what you did to me.  You avoid me, and hope everyone else in our family and your community will do the same.
You hide behind the ignorance and naivity of the Rabbonim in Baltimore, and their blind trust in you and your psychologist friend Aviva  Weisbord.

Tatty, I think you are afraid of me, and for good reason.
You are afraid of the truth.
You know I am not crazy.
You know I speak the truth.
Truth is stronger than lies.
The truth always comes out in the end.

Your daughter,

1 comment:

  1. Clear, honest, expression. So powerful. You are amazingly skillful at expressing hard things. I don't think this came easily but is a skill you have developed. So much hard work. I think about your dream of ending and returning to help 3 others. love you Valerie