It’s happened and my father has passed away. I chose not to go to the funeral. The father I knew and loved as a child died years ago. However, I was unprepared for the enormous sense of grief and loss I would experience as a result of his death. No more possibility of acknowledgement of what he’d done, being charged and sentenced for what he’d done, or saying sorry. From all accounts he’d become a bitter man as my brother did have occasion to speak to him now and then. I can only say that dad only had himself to blame. He made those choices and, as a result, lost the opportunity to see his granddaughters (and other grandchildren) grow up, or be a part of his life. He never even got to see his great grandson.
A lot of memories have come rushing to the front and even our daughters are coming out with stuff they hadn’t told us before. Likewise my brother has told me of other events I didn’t know of, including trying to get mum to leave dad about three years ago. She refused. They’d been married almost 56 years. A long time to be with someone. Mum wouldn’t have known where to go, what to do, or how to start a new life, but now she will need to. I believe she’s planning to shift interstate to live near both my sisters. Both of which seemed to be unaffected by my father’s actions and, I feel, probably don’t believe our accusations.
In talking to my brother once again, and learning more about his childhood (he was 12 when I left home) I find that dad was responsible for a lot of grief in his life too. I do remember that dad left a lot of porn magazines lying around when I was just 15 or 16. I used to hide them under other things on the table where he left them in the kitchen. I didn’t want my younger siblings seeing them. The images in the mags were quite explicit. It’s where I learnt a lot about sexual activity rather than through my own exploration with a loving partner when I was older. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have done to an 8 or 9 year old boy in seeing those images.
What I can’t understand is why mum let dad do that. Why did she not hide the magazines or make him keep them in their bedroom? What was she thinking? I didn’t know that what they’d done was wrong and it’s really only just hitting me now, some 40 years later. Even now, if our grown daughters are in our home with their husbands or partners, we are careful what we might be watching on TV. There’s something embarrassing and intimate about watching a couple in the act of lovemaking or sexual play that shouldn’t be a shared experience with others in viewing, especially your own children, irrespective of their age.
I look back now and am starting to remember other things, things that might have forewarned me about dad’s direction of thinking and possible actions… but I just didn’t know. I didn’t realise, I didn’t understand. It was beyond my comprehension to realise that my dad was a pedophile. I didn’t even know what one was till just over ten years ago. It never occurred to me that men would prefer to be sexually active with children.
If you are living with a man, married to him, or regularly in his company, and particularly if you have young children, be always on your guard. It doesn’t matter how much you love that man and trust him, be on your guard. Protect the children. Protect your man. Never leave him in a situation where he may do something that can be misconstrued or might lead to other activities that should not occur. Do not let him leave pornographic or other material around that children might view. Do not let the children use his computer if there’s any chance that material of that nature is saved on the computer. And encourage your children as they grow older, to always dress appropriately when moving around the house, as well as when they leave home. It’s one thing for a father to admire how his daughter is growing into a beautiful young woman, it’s another if he makes inappropriate comments about how their bodies are developing, as my father did when we were in our teens.
If you protect your man then he won’t be accused later in life and you won’t be left in a position of having to defend him or yourself, or in a quandary about where your loyalties lie. The children should always be protected and this will often mean we need to protect our men too. I really wish my mum had. Today’s story might have been very different otherwise.
Note: It was suggested to me I might be tarring all men with the same brush. That is not my intent. But I do want you, the reader, to be vigilant. If you see any of the above signs I’ve mentioned in your home then please let these be warning signs that you might need to be protective of your children and your husband or partner. Even in a friend’s home when it comes to allowing your children to stay there. I’m not saying all men are pedophiles. But I am saying that men can succumb to sexual temptations easily, as a result of things they’ve been exposed to in their growing up or through other activities. And with all that we see on TV and in the movies these days, it’s easy to become numb to the effects of things we once considered shouldn’t be for public viewing.