I have been battling the greatest depression of my life since the passing of my biological father. He suffered from multiple personalities as a result of being sexually violated. My father was portrayed as a monster, but that couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Yes, his illness did cause him to commit horrific acts, but he was much more than his illness. He was a loving Pop pop. He was a brilliant chemist, pianist, and singer. More than that, I had finally found my father. The revelation was extremely painful as he raped me at 12 years old. I am the product of my mother raping my father, a gay man. He spent 20 years in prison for the actions of one of his personalities and he had no memories of the events. My father did not go to trial or even fight the charges in order to spare us the pain of a trial. He had told me after our reunification that if we said it was him then he knew it was true. My father belonged in a hospital, but he was not properly diagnosed until he was imprisoned and wouldn’t allow his lawyer to fight for him to be placed into the proper facility. My father was not a monster, but he was a very sick man. His crimes occurred in one night that were triggered by the sight of my mother. I do not blame or hate my father for what was done to me. I blame my mother who was a vile a sadistic woman.
“Meeting” my dad was a God sent miracle after growing up in a living hell with a crazy mother and father who had checked out decades ago from military PTSD. A house full of every abuse imaginable. I did not seek my “uncle” out after his release from prison. We had been brainwashed into believing he was nothing but a monster. After the death of my beloved grandmother and learning that he was my biological father I had to face him. I needed to confront this monster who had haunted my dreams. Upon arriving to his house I was greeted by two huge psychiatric nurses who took me to see him. He sat at his grand piano playing music as I had remembered him as a small child, my favorite uncle, and his eyes were filled with fear. We talked about many things that visit, most importantly, forgiveness.
Our relationship was not an easy one. He kept his nurses with him constantly and he was never left alone with my children. He moved to support me through my battle with lymphoma. He spoiled my children with lavish gifts. He feared I would hate him, not only for his past, but also his sexuality. My father lived a lifetime of guilt from being abused to becoming the abuser. While our relationship was not easy it saved my life. I found in my dad what I had lacked my entire life, a parent’s unconditional love.
Mental illnesses are highly misunderstood by society. Many friends had asked me how I could possibly forgive him and allow him near my children. I suppose part of the reason was my education in mental illnesses. I understood that it was not he who consciously committed those acts. My other reason was my faith. A sin is a sin in the eyes of the Lord and all who seek forgiveness shall be washed away of their misdeeds. My father took every possible precaution to protect others by keeping nurses with him at all times. My father was a man with an illness, but that did not make him less human. We were all victims in the situation and understood that fact.
My dad never asked to be a father, but he made a choice to be a dad. He made a choice to fight all of his fears and to be there for me. He moved thousands of miles to be with me. We talked about what our life in France would have been like if he had known I was his child. The things we’d have done. He was there to see his littlest princess turn 1. His house was filled with family pictures. Artwork from the kids filled his refrigerator. I had my real father for the first time. I did until his memories returned because he was getting better. He could not handle the reality of what happened or the fear that it would again.
It’s been several months since his passing. I’ve been back to the home where I first met my father, his beautiful prison, and felt completely at home for the first time. As I sat at his piano in the study I went through what every normal child does at 12-14 years old. I was scared to be home alone for the first time, but I’m 37 and was watching my children run through the house. I’ve been to our house in France and was able to see every story he told me play out.
People will never understand his illness and he will always be a monster to the outsiders looking into my very small world. To me he was the strongest man I’ve ever known. Thank you for bringing me home Daddy. Until we meet again….