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Shadowland

Posted on 10/08/2010 by admin
My four daughters have all grown up, three with children of their own. Their abusive father long gone. It was his shadow that remained. A shadow that was still able to divide and rule, still able to manipulate our lives, still able to cause such anguish and anger. Years before during sessions in Family Therapy his abuse had surfaced, finally smashing to smithereens my memories of their childhood. 

When he left there was some contact but he was busy with a whole new life so left us alone. Seven years later he wanted my daughters to stay. Only the two youngest would go. By then they were teenagers. One at college and one at school. Social Services said that they must be allowed to go. Why did I listen? Because I thought that they knew best.

All through that long weekend one daughter remained by my side. We were united in our torment. Only we didn’t talk about it. We held our breath, we filled our time and we waited.

The homecoming was muted. They were very quiet. No jokes. No laughter. No noise at all. I should have known. All I did was note it in my diary. Why didn’t I do anything else? Instead I allowed another visit.

And then the terrible truth surfaced. During that first visit, he had abused my youngest daughter. Her sister was a witness. He gave her money to keep her quiet.

It was a harrowing time. Two sisters confessing to sharing a similar life wrecking experience. One sister alienated by the ‘pay off.’ My eldest daughter very distant and living away. Trying to forget? I wanted to go to the police but my children didn’t want that. I couldn’t make them speak. They refused point blank to betray their father. Our family was truly decimated. His power was supreme.

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