Waymon Hudson

Sins of the Father

Filed By Waymon Hudson | May 25, 2009 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: childhood development, Facebook, fatherhood, LGBT families

Thirteen years. Nearly half of the 30 years I have been on this earth.

That's how long it has been since I've spoken to my father. 13 years of silence, of therapy, of anger, of making peace, of hate, of moving on, of living my life, of being who I am.

But even in those 13 years, there has been no forgiveness.

That's why when I received a message from him on Facebook, my world shook.

I won't dredge up my past. I prefer to let it stay there. Let's just say my childhood was destroyed by father. My family was shattered. He left scars, both physical and emotional that remain to this day. You can read between the lines and figure out what he did.

Is he trying to contact me to ease his own guilt as he gets on in years? Is he "making amends"?

And do I even care?

Should I allow contact with him to make him feel better? Should I say everything I think about him- tell him I hate him, that he nearly destroyed me, that even after working through it in therapy for years I still have nightmares about him? Do I allow the power he wielded over me as a child, when I couldn't defend myself, to continue now and reopen old wounds? Or do I show him the confident and loving man I have become, the person he never was?

Should I allow him the privilege of knowing that I have grown into a man who loves his husband and is the father he never was or could hope to be? A man who fights for what he believes in?

Or do I let him go to his grave knowing what he has done and that it didn't break me? It made me stronger.

The years of silence had provided a distance, a buffer against my past. I had allowed myself to push him out of my mind and life, never mentioning him, rarely thinking of him, secretly hoping he had simply left the earth. Now, thanks to technology, he was back and I have to decide how to move forward, dealing with feelings I thought were long ago resolved.

His message will go unanswered. I have worked hard to move beyond the dark things that he did to me. I refuse to let him and the memories of his deeds come back into my life. His power over me is gone. The control he craved over an innocent that led him to do what he did does not apply to me anymore.

I am better. I am stronger. I am not that same defenseless child.

I am the man he never was and never can be. That is closure enough for me.


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Waymond, never allow anyone to hurt you again. You have moved on to be such a wonderful man, husband,son, son in law, brother, brother in law and nephew! Everyone that counts love you, without any hestitation. I am extremely proud to call you my nephew, even if its by marriage to Anthony. I am so very proud of you both. Lean on Anthony, he loves you. Just do not put your guard down, and allow anyone to ever hurt you again.If parents only knew the impact they have on their children's lives,they would over come their own past and make a beautiful life for their own.Then some just do not want to put the time or effort into it, his loss! To "love", you need to be loved,(thank God you had the love from your mom and sisters) that is a major link that your father is missing, but he could have made it right on his own.Move on sweetie, and keep your values, and your intense love that you show us all.
I love you,
Aunt Nancy

notice I didn't use a cuss word, but they were in my head, screaming to come out:) lol

You can scream all the cuss words you want here, Aunt Nancy. :) That's why I love blogs.

Thanks for the love and support!

Maybe he's changed. But if so, how do you apologise for something unforgivable?

You owe him nothing. Nothing other than to be the kind of man he should have been. And by all accounts, you've exceeded that.

If you didn't care, it wouldn't matter to you, would it? You wouldn't have posted. You have too much love in you, that's your problem. Heck, I can tell that from the other side of the planet! Your husband is a lucky guy.

Oh yes - listen to your Aunt Nancy.

Hugs, Zoe

Ya know, from the post I get the feeling there are still unresolved issues, and I am not sure you shouldn't contact him back.

It's probably a discussion for your therapist, but maybe, just maybe, it would do you a world of good to confront the guy. Not in a mean and hateful way, but to show him the life you have...the life he could have had. That might be the best revenge (best served cold).

Making that contact, showing him who and what you have become does not mean you forgive him. You're under no obligation to do that (or any of these suggestions for that matter).

I sense a level of hate, and this may give you the chance to empty your soul of that. It may not change how you feel about him, and that's OK, but it just might bring that final healing.

Again, I'm no therapist, but I'm suggesting I wouldn't rush to a decision, and perhaps discuss with the therapist most familiar with where you are.

This is an amazing and touching post. I really know how you feel. It was not my father in my case. It was my grandparents.

When I became a mother, I realized that I would do anything—anything—to protect my children from harm. But we don't have that kind of power. I hear from my close friends and from people like you of these monsters who hurt their own children, and I am enraged. I am thankful that these acts are being held to the light, that we can talk about them and stop them.

Waymond, do what brings you peace. Only you can decide what that is. And whatever it is, it will probably change as life changes you. Continue to be strong and face this head on, and be the last generation in your family to know violence. Thank you for your poignant honesty.

Waymon, that closure is worth far more than his words could ever give you. Sometimes, the best thing we can do really is to not look back.

Take care.

It was a hard decision to write this post. Knowing that my father uses facebook means he can figure out technology and has, I'm sure, googled me. I'm not a hard person to find (especially since I have such a unique name).

My closure on this came a long time ago and with lots of work. Hearing from him again out of the blue stirred up some old feelings, but I have no desire to hear, as someone wise put it, "excuses for the inexcusable". It's not anger or hate, just doing what is best for me and my family.

I'm sure he will see this and my voice will be heard. That is all I needed.

Thanks for all of the amazing comments and support. It's good to have a blog family (and real family like Aunt Nancy) that is there for you.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 26, 2009 12:33 AM

You are absolutely right to turn your back on him.

I think you have found your solutions regarding this matter and it is in the words you wrote.

Rick Elliott | May 26, 2009 2:03 AM

I remembered the physical abuse. The Sam Brown belt and the anger that went along with it. But I was in my late thirties when the sexual abuse popped up out of some hidden crevice in my brain. My abusers were themselves abused: two women in my family. Then some man whose face I have yet to see. I was screaming as he tried to enter me. And the only one who heard my cries was our faithful dog who, in spite of his diminutive frame, tore through a screen to attack the man. That dog hd lain under my crib from the time I came home from the hospital He would attack anyone he didn't know who came near me.
It has taken decades of therapy, but I've come to a place of forgiveness and understanding. I have trouble with boundaries. Yet this vulnerability was a boon to my profession.
The vestiges of the events still come back to re-inflict the pain. Somehow manipulative "power women" quickly get me in their cross hairs and unjustly cause me great pain. I am a minister. Once one of the "power women" was disturbed by the peace I was bringing to a congregation and began the pathetic rumor--he even counsels women behind closed doors. And, of course, my defense of being gay had to remain hidden. There is one more vestige that frequently reminds me--a torn sphincter.
One of the "power women" recently hurt me badly. You'd think I would have learned by now.

beachcomberT | May 26, 2009 6:57 AM

I agree with some parts of this post, primarily the part that holding silent hate in your heart corrodes you much more than it hurts your father.
I would urge you to talk this over with your partner, your therapist and/or a clergy person. I realize some things are too horrible to be forgiven or forgotten, but I think you need to find a way to let go of the past, despite the indelible scars. I wish you well in crossing that final bridge, whatever it entails.

Isa Kocher | May 26, 2009 8:20 AM

i really understand what you are saying. i didn't talk to my own father for the last 20 years of his life. except for once, which ended in his attacking me and my losing control, leaving him bloody. not my best hour.

if he means it, he can earn it, but a note on FB doesn't make up for what was done, doesn't erase the past. nothing can erase that kind of past. if he ever really changes, really goes through the suffering of knowing and changing, then forgiveness is the best weapon, but forgive and forget can't happen. in the end we have to forgive ourselves. what they did to us is not our fault. it isn't up to us to make others feel good. there is no easy way out, and forgiving oneself first is a first step, and a last one too.

As a fellow abuse survivor, I can feel your pain, Waymon. My dad also sends messages on Facebook and wants to be friends. He sends cards now for Christmas and birthdays - although he didn't remember half of the time when I was a kid. The Christmas card this year had $20 in it. I gave it to charity. It's about time something he's given me was used for a good purpose, eh?

I don't write back most of the time. Occasionally I'll break down and send something and I'm disappointed by the response 99% of the time.

Jerame and I often talk about my relationship with him. I've been through the same stages as you, but it's never over, is it?

I love you. Call anytime and we'll cry on each others' shoulders some more. *hugs*

Way,

You have drawn the boundary in the correct place.

It may sound harsh, but "forgiveness" is not just over-rated, it can be destructive to the victim. Read Alice Miller's The Body Never Lies.

His contrition won't heal your wounds. You will not heal by looking at the past in a different way. Simply being loved in the present, and learning to accept it as a natural human right, is what works.

That takes time. And a lot of love. Lucký you found it.

HB8

P.S. Aunt Nancy rocks. Cuss-word version next time, OK?

I think the key for you, Waymond, is to do those things that will bring you peace and allow you to live an even more rewarding life.

His feelings and desires are not relevant. Do what you wish to do to make yourself even more whole.

Waymon,
I was abused by both parents. There are times when we must be the adult we were never taught to be and take care of ourselves and our families. A post is just that: bits and bytes that mean nothing. You have finally moved onto the life you were always meant to have, and looking back is just to remind yourself of all you have achieved and have to look forward to.

Listen to your aunt Nancy and move into your better, loving future.

Karina

trust your gut.

through the internet, he's shaken you. he still has power.

stay away from him, waymon. stay far away.

That's the part that made me angry- by shaking me I let him have some of that power back. That's why I needed to purge those feelings in this post and reclaim my strength.

Thanks for the love, Sara

Yes, Aunt Nancy rocks. As does all of my husband's family, who have been amazing and so supportive to me. :)

I have to say, I wrote this just because I wanted to get it out of my head and with hopes that my father would see it and know where I stand without having to have direct contact with him.

I moved beyond a lot of this a long time ago, but hearing from him out of the blue did shake me up. I know, however, that what he did to me was about his sickness and issues, not me. I used the dark things that happened it to make me better and stronger, not destroy me. Having an amazing support system has helped me keep him and the pain in the past.

diddlygrl | May 26, 2009 12:19 PM

As funny and smart and cool as you are, it is easy to forget the tragedy that your past is when thinking of you. But no matter what I still love you, in a lesbian way of course.

My observation is like Sara's, it seems he still has power over you, or you are at least giving him the power, by the reaction he has gotten from you.

A lot of times, even when wethink we have dealt with something, we really haven't; we have dealt with as much of it as we can at the time but thereis still a pain there that needs to be dealt with when you may finaly be able to.

Hey you know a lesbian trannypsycho bitch would know something about this sort of thing if anyone would. ;-)

Hiding pain and hiding mental problems seems to be one of my fortes in life, drove my poor therapist absolutely insane at times. What can I say, crazy is what I do best.

Personnally,I am in a forgiving place in my life, even after having a visit from the steoke fairy last week. But forgiving is not forgetting, and many times it is something that is soley done for you and your own well being so that you can move on. Nothing istruly unforgivable, just never forgettable.

( Forgive the typing, all inall strokes suck.)

argh. Not sure what you should do.
Except maybe this.
There is a reason that wall is there.
Hatred is a double edge sword.
And forgiving and forgeting
seems the way to go.
By that, I mean forgiving is healing to ones self.
And by forgeting, I mean keep your distance.
If he wants to make amends, maybe staying away is the way to do that.

banshiii wrote:
"... forgiving and forgeting seems the way to go."

and Waymon wrote:
"I have to say, I wrote this just because I wanted to get it out of my head .... I moved beyond a lot of this a long time ago, but hearing from him out of the blue did shake me up..."

You do what you need to do. And don't let anyone else dictate that. Sometimes, you can't forgive and forget, or go through all the expected proper things to do.

I was molested when I was young. The family never knew, but they found out this person was a pedophile and he served time for molesting his own kids. After a few years, he was released and he started going around trying to make peace with the family.

I never told. I know there are a lot of people out there who would say that I should be held criminally responsible for every kid he molested afterward, for not having reported him (I've heard that, multiple times, before). But it was the decision I needed to make. You see, when he went around trying to make amends, we came face to face, and at that moment, there was this abject fear and terror that crossed his face. He knew I could have him put away again. Had I reported him and he served his (typically, by our court system) 6 months for it, he'd be able to say he'd "paid his debt to society." I was only 17 at that time, but knew enough to know that the legal system fails children in that situation. But as long as he knew and I knew and he hadn't yet paid his pittance in time, I still held the power in that exchange.

And THAT is how I healed. Until then, it had all tortured me and there were dreams, etc. Once I saw that fear in his eyes, it was all gone.

(BTW, he died of cancer a couple years later. I feel some relief in knowing he'd never be able to be fully at peace)

You do what you need to do. Sometimes, the "right" way isn't the way to heal.

Take a look at Dr. Susan Forward's book, "Toxic Parents". It is a quick read for another perspective. All people are entitled to survive childhood with self-esteem and untraumatized. In some people, a festering hurt or anger is a continuation of the trauma. I have heard some persons who were abused say that they never wanted to hear from the abusive parent again, and then experience some personal self-improvement from a contact or confrontation. I know a guy who met the abusive parent with his therapist present. I do not hear personal peace in your post, Waymon, and this is why I think that you need to examine the issue with some professional help, maybe a short period of group therapy with other survivors who have dealt with this same issue of determining the place of the abuser in their lives. You are now an adult, you know how to protect yourself, and you know how to keep him away if necessary. I believe that no answer is comfortable, no matter what you decide. This is definitely a situation in which there is no one answer that everyone should follow. You need to explore with your therapist, spirittual advisor, and lover what will lead you to more personal peace, and what may bring you to the next level of your own growth and improved self-esteem.
I think that family members are normally bad sources of advice on these matters, they all have their own axes to grind, especially why they could not or did not rescue the victim or stop it. You should take your time to come to a decision, and leave the rest out of it. You should not feel that you need to explain or justify your life to anyone, even Aunt Nancy, although she is good and loving.

You are quite right in disregarding the facebook message. By doing so, you reaffirm that you have moved beyond this negative. Your focus is on the future, not the past. I’m sure the “delete” click will be easier should you need it in the future.

It sounds like you have done the right thing for you. I am more vengeful myself and would have sent him the link to this article. But As I said i am more vengeful and more adapted to my own hate.

I have had a similar experience on facebook. Family that I haven't spoken to in over a decade caem on to facebook and taunted me with a communication, which I did not connect. our stories are very similar so i understand.

Sometimes the past needs to stay in the past. I agree that some sins of the parents are unforgiveable. but in my years of recovery, I have moved towards it for my own well being. We have to be able to come to a point where we can forgive ourselves. I'm 42 now and I've had to learn how to forgive. Even if I can't speak the words to them, I can do it for myself. We must always move forward.

Jeremy in Montreal