Those words still echo in my mind today.
I may have played dumb, but I know what I heard!
This is what cost me my 14th birthday.
This is why I had to grow up so fast at 2-3 years old.
Those words will be forever etched in my brain.
“A sex addiction” she said. “He exposed himself in parking lots and…”
YUCK!!! Did guys actually do that?!
It started with porn, and then harder porn, then video’s, then going to movies…The behavior of a sick person.
Her actions, from the way she forgave him, stood by him, to the pity on her face said it all. He is the victim. It’s not his fault. “He’s been dealing with this illness your whole life” she told me. “He’s worked very hard to get better.”
She had caught him on my birthday looking at porn.
This is what ruined my birthday. His dick. Her insecurity. Their inability to put it aside for three hours for their child.
Apparently this was some symptom of a bigger problem. I would later find out what.
But at this moment, her pity for my dad bled onto me. I did as my mother did. I felt sorry for him. I was fooled. I believed he would get better. I kept his special secret.
I knew all about special secrets.
In San Antonio he was ordered to participate in a highly regarded sex offenders rehab program. Apparently a requirement of the terms of his release. No benefits, I would later find out as I filled out financial aid applications for college.
It has also crossed my mind that, due to laws in place at that time, and the way military matters are handled, he is not required to register as a sex offender, leaving me with some rather valid and troubling concerns…
Puzzle pieces fell into place. This would explain the Tuesday night sitter we had for years, after our move back to Utah.
I remember one such night being my 5th birthday. And I also have fond memories of crushing on the New Kids On The Block along with the sitter, Wendy, and competing to see who collected the most NKOTB memorabilia. (Suggesting I was old enough to be into such a group)
This tells me Tuesday night sitters went on for way longer than the 2 years my parents say they attended, leaving a few questions as to why they would not be completely honest about this, and what else they had been dishonest about.
Another puzzle piece fell into place. My moms hypersensitivity to naked Barbie dolls lying around the house. Her home-made basket of cloth fruit she kept just to throw at the TV during kissing scenes. And the “Amish-like” smothering attitude toward keeping the girls bodies covered up all the time. Forcing us to be unattractive, and plain.
Perhaps she compensated for this humiliation by being the “pregnant wife”, explaining why she was ALWAYS pregnant, yet never really interested in the baby she just had.
I see desperation and co-dependency in her actions. Always seeking the attention of her man. Seeking attention period. Being the wife of a sick man, or mother of sick children got her plenty of that.
But the night they broke this news to me, she spoke bitterly of her experience at the sex offenders treatment program. The wives of other offenders encouraged her to leave the relationship.
She got angry.
Unable to gain sympathy from them, her attention seeking, I sometimes wonder, may have turned darker…