Uncovering the Truth

July 31, 2008
I love you forever and always. Those are the words you used to tell me, the words you wrote on my birthday cards. Those were the words I took for granted, assuming, in my ignorance, that you would always be there for me. After all, isn’t that what a father is for?

I cried the day you never answered my calls, fearing, as usual, the very worst. Images of your death had always haunted me as a child. I didn’t want to lose you. When this anxiety began eating me alive, I broke down, picturing the most common of my frequent visions. In my mind, you were laying on the floor, unconscious and slowly dying.

I called your brother, convincing myself that, like always, nobody would know about my secret tears. And yet, as I explained that you were missing, my sobbing became too difficult to hide. I will always hate myself for that.

They looked for you, Dad. Did you know that? They took the time out of their hectic lives to take the forty-five minute journey to your apartment, just to reassure me. But you weren’t there. My fears subsided, knowing that you hadn’t collapsed as my nightmares so often implied. The real nightmare known as reality, however, would unleash itself only a few hours later.

I learned the truth about you. Your secret life. A high school English teacher taking advantage of children not unlike me. I was devastated. And then the bomb struck.

You tried to kill yourself, Dad. Attempted suicide they said. I don’t know how-they wouldn’t tell me. How could you do that to me? You knew that my family has a history of suicide. You know how hurt and confused it left them. You weren’t depressed or psychologically unbalanced. You were simply a coward, afraid to face your own mistakes.

Fast forward five months. You are living in the basement of your parent’s house, waiting for a trial, or jail, or whatever it is that’s going to happen to you. I didn’t ask, and I doubt anybody would tell me even if I did. It kills me knowing that you are only a few towns away. Not that I want to see you, or that I even can, considering the court order ruling against contact. I felt bad for your mom and dad, having to deal with you every day. I figured, as anybody would, that they would be disgusted by you, that they would shun you, just as I have. Well, I was wrong.

Our family has somehow sided with you, thinking that your crime was an honest mistake. Yeah, I can see why they would think that. After all, it is so easy to download child pornography accidentally, right? So while the whole world is in denial, I have somehow seen the truth. It hurt being rejected by you, but I never thought my family would reject me too. I guess it’s because I am not willing to forgive and forget, nor will I pretend everything is fine and dandy, or that nothing ever happened. Because something did happen, and if the price to pay for refusing to ignore the situation costs me my family, than it is worth it. The truth is always worth it.

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