July 2nd, 1994
My father – he is dead. Before, this would not have bothered me. I haven’t seen my father or talked with him for six years. Didn’t want to have anything to do with him anymore. But now, now I would have liked to talk to him. Five days ago I called him. It was a short phone call. We arranged an appointment for next week. Now I’m here, sitting next to his coffin. He isn’t going to answer my questions anymore.
The reverend speaks. “There was a secret in his life and he asked for forgiveness.” Afterward I ask the reverend: did my father tell him that he sexually abused me? “No, he didn’t. He was very much afraid, and said very little. He only told me there was a secret in his life, that he had done terrible things, that he was very guilty and that he needed forgiveness.”
Why didn’t my father leave a message for me? He could have helped me this way, if he had wanted to. If he had told his secret, if he had told anyone what he did to me, that would have helped me. If he had apologized. Or least mentioned my name. But even with these vague ”terrible things”, he didn’t have the guts to acknowledge that he did those terrible things to ME. He didn’t do that for me. Not even that.
I am left empty-handed. Scared, desperate and exhausted. I don’t know how to deal with my fragmented memories. Someone needs to tell me what happened, someone who was there — but apart from me, my father was the only one. He died and took the secret with him into his grave. How can I find the missing pieces of my life? How can I solve the puzzle, with the few pieces I have? I don’t know.
But I know I have to. I’ve got to know what the puzzle looks like. I must know the truth. I want to live, and I need to know the truth, so I can live.
Why didn’t I talk with my father earlier? Why did I wait until I was thirty one? Why did I wait until it was too late?