Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Confrontation

I think I was a sophmore in high school at the time the confrontation occurred. My older sister was away at college. The abuse was getting worse and certainly more frequent. There was one man who became a constant companion of my dad's. They would come down in the morning and I could see hickeys on their necks. This particular man's name was Mr. Schwartz. He was a well to do Jewish man who was also a homosexual and pedophile. I will be honest, I hated the man. He would try and tell me what to do. I had one boss already and he was a monster. I fought him every way I could. I had zero respect for him or my dad. Their behavior was disgusting to me.

The physical abuse and sexual abuse got worse. My little sister was in tears most of the time and I had had enough. I called my sister at college and said something has to change. It seemed once my sister was out of the house my dad felt bolder. It was decided she would come home and surprise him on the next weekend. The plan was to sit him down and call a spade a spade.

Before we met with him, my sister and I had a meeting with the minister at the church I was going to. He helped us sort out what to say to him. Looking back it is interesting to evaluate the minister. As an adult he should have contacted the authorities, but in reality the authorities had also swept under the rug dozens of abuse victims earlier. He did the best he could at the time.

We told our dad that Saturday morning we wanted to have a family meeting. We told our little sister and brother to go upstairs. At this point in our lives I did not know about the sexual abuse my brother was suffering, just the physical abuse. So the time came Saturday afternoon to have the meeting.

My sister and I were so nervous but the well being of our little sister and brother were at stake so we set aside our fears and plowed in. My dad sat on the one piece of furniture that was salvaged from the fire, our mother's rocker. It was ironic to me. He held a piece of paper in his hand and started writing as we laid out what was going on in our family. Tears started running down his face. My initial thought was he was truly sorry for the damage he caused and all this was going to be fixed. I took the tears as a sign of a new beginning.

It wasn't until we were done presenting our case that he stopped the rocking chair and handed us the piece of paper. On it he had written a poem of how much he missed his wife and how much he loved his children. He said to us, "how could you think I would do such awful things and walked out of the room. My heart sank, he would continue with the lie. He made it seem like we were crazy. Which brings me to the next piece of the portrait of an abusive family.

1. The vicim is shamed, blamed and demeaned. In our case the poem my dad had written shared it was love that prompted him to rescue us from the orphanage. He sacrificed day and night to give us what we needed. He wasn't an abuser. All of those things were lies. He blamed my sister and I. We both walked out of there thinking we were crazy. I remember thinking afterwards, my sister must think I am the wacko. In reality, we had the courage to speak the truth in love but it was twisted, distorted and we were blamed for thinking such ridiculous thoughts.

I knew the truth. I knew that my dad appeared in public as a family man, kind, funny and attentive. In truth he was a power hungry abuser who hurt children. Years later we would find out just how devastating the toil was on not just our family but countless others that trusted him.

I will not be afraid, what about you?

In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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