Here is story number two for my #MeToo series, this submission is from a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous and when you read the story you will soon find out why. Now I will turn things over to my friend…
My MeToo story might be little different that most as it wasn’t forced sex and it didn’t just come from a random stranger. But in the moment, I truly felt violated. I don’t remember the exact time, but about 10 years ago my dad was in a very dark place. Just a few years earlier he had divorced my mom after 32 years of marriage. When my mom decided to leave, he didn’t take it very well. He saw it as a betrayal on her part because according to him, he gave her everything. He felt lost, lonely and depressed. He pretty much relied on alcohol to distract his mind of his loneliness. I was living on his property for a while. I had a separate house, but he had access to it at any time because that was the type of relationship we had. I kept all my doors and windows open during the day and even at night sometimes. Because I felt comfortable and secure. That all changed the day he asked me to take off my clothes in front of him.
It was a normal Saturday morning for me. My dad was outside doing yard work as normal. I was about to jump in the shower when my dad walked in the house. I didn’t think anything of it as this was completely normal, until that day. He came into my room as I was getting my underwear out of the drawers. I just thought he came in to ask me something. Not sure if this his was intention all along, or if the idea came from seeing me in my short shorts pajamas while grabbing my underwear to get ready to shower. He did ask me something, but I honestly don’t remember what it was. After I answered, I walked by him to go take my shower as planned. He looked at me in a way he never had before. I could sense a weird vibe as I walked by him. Then he asked me, “Can you get naked in front of me?” What? I yelled. “I just want to look at you as you take off your clothes.” NO! I yelled as I shut and locked the door of the bathroom in his face. He kept yelling and banging on the door “Only once, Please!” I was terrified to do anything, I didn’t want to come out of the bathroom, I didn’t know if I should go ahead and shower or even move. I was shocked, panicked and terrified. I yelled something at him that finally made him go away. I honestly don’t even remember what it was, but I was relieved that it worked.
I showered and got dressed as quickly as possible, grabbed my purse and walked out the door. As I was getting in the car to leave, he approached me. I was shaking, terrified, upset and honestly didn’t even know what to think. This is my dad we’re talking about. My hero, my life mentor, the guy I looked up to because I thought he was the smartest person in the world, the one that would take me running and hiking, the person that had seen me in pajamas a million times, why would he ever ask me that? As I sat in the car and rolled down the window, he apologized as he cried. “I’m so sorry” is all I can remember. It’s ok dad, I said, as I backed my car out of the driveway. As soon as I was on the street, I started crying. I must have drove and cried for like an hour going nowhere. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around what had just happened. I just couldn’t believe it. I needed to talk to someone, vent and get it out of my system. I needed someone that could help me make sense of things. Of course, I couldn’t talk to my mom, or my sister. I honestly did not want to ruin the image they had of my dad. So, I visited my local pastor, at a church I had been visiting for a while. After a long crying session, I felt better. I don’t even remember the conversation, but I remember feeling good afterwards.
I finally went back home that night and gave my dad a chance to explain himself. I could tell he felt terrible. He admitted he had a drinking problem and that he had also mixed the alcohol with pills and he wasn’t feeling like himself. I admire his honesty and truly forgave him.
After that, I had a hard time trusting him. I’d lock my doors and tried not to be alone with him. He had promised he was going to change, and he did. It took a while, but he gained my trust again. He even started dating someone and they’ve been together ever since. Many people don’t believe in second chances, many will hold a grudge for the rest of their lives. But I truly believe in forgiveness, because even if my dad wouldn’t have turned his life around, it would do me no good to be carrying around all that hate and guilt. Yes, there was a chance of ruining our relationship forever, but in my heart, all I could do was what was best for me, and he did what was best for him.
Thankfully he valued our relationship enough to make a change. But it may not have been that way if I hadn’t given him a second chance. If I had decided to hate him forever; not listen to his explanation that night or given him a chance to prove to me that I could trust him again, who knows how our lives would have been. He may have been consumed with guilt and continue to drink, never meet his new lady, and we probably wouldn’t even be speaking. I would’ve lived with guilt of letting him go down that path, while still living with hate in my heart. Heck, I could’ve even ruined his image! Which would not been good for either of us. That would’ve pushed my dad into more loneliness and depression, and that would have really pushed him over the hedge.
This story was the most traumatizing event I’ve ever lived. I know it probably doesn’t compare to what others have lived, but it’s my story. And I survived. All I wish is for every woman in the World that has a MeToo story, to be able to live at peace with what they went through. I know some events are more traumatizing that others, but there is never any good in holding guilt, shame and hate. I know some will never be able to forgive and forget in the way I did, but choosing to release the emotions we feel, is the only way to find peace. Please seek counseling, guidance and support. Don’t allow your story to define you and your life. You are worthy and deserving of the best!
Sending you much love,