– Jasmine Mans
Is there a bigger betrayal than a parent raping a child? We talk about Caesar and Brutus quite a bit, but a parent raping their child? You might want to invent an entirely new circle of hell for that one, Dante. Just saying…
I remember a time I was terrified of my father. It wasn’t because he was doing anything wrong , it was because I had been abused, at that point, for about a year now by another relative, and began associating all men with what happened to me. My father would go to kiss me on the cheek after a day at work, and I would feel as if I was about to puke up my own stomach then run away screaming.
It’s bad enough when some asshole creeps into your bed at night, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to have your own father do it. That’s a new dimension of stark raving horror.
I once corresponded with a woman who found out that her husband was raping their daughters. When confronted with the fact, he offered up this priceless reply: “Well, if you had spent more time pleasing me sexually, I would have never had to turn to them.”
The girls were about 9, 12 and 14 years old, respectively.
What struck me about the response, aside from the aforementioned stark raving horror of it, is how the wife was to blame, of course. “Bitch, you didn’t like it rough, so I got our fourth-grader to take it like I want it instead.” I mean, seriously. Of course, this Beezlebub in human form just had to be a freaking boy-scout in real life. His entire office, like, cried, when he got his prison sentence. I don’t necessarily really blame them for crying, though. If anything, that entire fiasco proved that it could be anyone who can do something like this.
I have a lot of friends who have children. Sometimes, we end up having conversations that basically amount to – “Natalia, how can I make sure that what happened to you doesn’t happen to my own kid?”
And the first thing I say it, “you can’t.” Seriously, you can’t. Because it happen to anyone. It can happen to the most beloved, the most intelligent, the most pampered and protected child.
When something like this happens, people want to assign blame. When I tell someone – “OK, I knew a woman whose husband raped her three daughters,” there is usually a pretty strong reaction, followed by incredulity and anger:
“But how COULD she? How could a mother LET that happen to her children?”
The truth is, no sane mother LETS anything happen to her children, this has nothing to do with “letting,” this has everything to do with being betrayed, both by a specific person and a set of life circumstances. The woman who had written me was working two job and considering a trial separation from her increasingly withdrawn and moody husband when she found out what was really going on. Was she really at fault? Should her mothering instinct have prevented it all?
I doubt it. We never know what terrors people are actually capable of, even the people that we know and love.
Mothers in particular are singled out, of course. Mothers are expected to be everything to their children, after all. Fathers are mostly expected to be wallets.
And people wonder why I, or anyone else like me, may fing the prospect of parenthood potentially unappealing, eh?
I think that one of the reasons why fathers are so often implicated in rape and horrific abuse of their children has to do with the fact that men are just not encouraged to process their emotions, anger especially, like women are. Men with serious psychological problems are shamed and whispered about if they attempt to seek help or connect in any sort of way above the rudimentary. And if you’re having these problems at 18, imagine what you will be like at 35, with a family now on top of everything else.
This isn’t to say that I have any sympathy for men who do such things to their own children. I just don’t have any capacity for it. But I do think that some cases are preventable. Note that I say some, not all. Human nature is infinitely capable of twisting itself into horrific, venomous coils, after all. You just can’t contain that kind of power completely. It always breaks out.
I don’t believe in utopia. I always say this on here. I don’t believe in utopia.
I think that we should all carry on in one way or another, though. And if you’re reading this and feel that you can’t, like I often do, like I have been doing for the whole of this deep and dark December, well, just know that you are not alone out there, in the cold, or in the heat, in the rain, or in the glare of the all-seeing sun. Sometimes, we call out to each other, even though we can’t see each other’s faces, like people walking through the woods. Sometimes, we trip over each other, and, with a smirk of recognition, we go on. And on.
All the way until the bitter end. 🙂