Today I thought about some things that used to be special to me between my dad and I. On multiple different occasions he would take both my brother and I or sometimes just myself out to get ice cream. For whatever reason, he’d stop at Dairy Queen right before dinner and then make us promise to not tell our mom. I also remember that after he was diagnosed with cancer, he took me out of school early one day. We went fishing. I remember that day very clearly. I thought it was special that he was taking extra time to spend with me, knowing that his time was limited. There was a time before he got cancer that he took me to a local art shop- we looked at paintings and he showed me one that he had already picked out. It was a painting of a clown. He made a big deal out of the painting and of us going there. Because of that, I thought the painting must have been really expensive. He also made a big deal out of keeping it all secret- a special secret. I still have that painting. But I hate it now. Even though I hate it, I can’t let go of it because it’s the only thing I have that my dad gave me.
Over a decade ago, I went to a counselor and received therapy. I told my therapist about the special, secret things my dad did for me. She shook her head and informed me that it’s part of “grooming.”
I was devastated.
I remember thinking that maybe she wasn’t entirely correct. That maybe just because my dad did something for me in secret, doesn’t necessarily mean it was grooming. But this revelation is what led me to despise that painting. I will never truly know my dad’s intentions.
So today I was thinking about all of this. And with the new fact that my uncle was also a victim of my dad’s, I wondered if there was ever any grooming done by my dad toward my uncle. I don’t think I’ll ever know.
The other thing I also thought about- was if I don’t make it through this…how many lives would be taken as a result of the actions of one person.
It’s mind blowing.