My father molested me. He wasn’t the worst molester in the world, or even a particularly dedicated one (his other interests – choir, hiking, his compost heap – got in the way), but he did it and two years ago I told the police.
I learned a lot that year. For example, did you know that a sex offender isn’t necessarily charged according to the most current Sexual Offences Act? They’re charged according to the act that was around when they doing that particular molesting, “Otherwise,” the lady police officer explained to me, “It would be unfair on the molester.”
I learned that public sector staff tilt their heads to one side when you tell them about child sex abuse and I learned that police officers are easily charmed by paedophiles despite the stereotype of the paedophiles that easily charm police officers that haunts late night paedophilia specials.
Other Things I Learned
Your mother will try to turn the conversation from Dad’s A Paedophile to You’re A Bisexual. You will tell her that he used to sniff the insides of your underwear, she will say, “You’d know all about women’s underwear, wouldn’t you?” and there will be this deep pause before the insults start.
Communication with your mother will become extremely sparse, and will soon be relegated to birthdays and religious holidays. You will offer the briefest of written words and she will respond with oblique jokes about Kim Jong-un. She doesn’t have an email account of her own, so she will use your father’s email address to communicate with you. Every time his email address comes up in your inbox you almost shit your pants.
Communication with your mother will start taking place via your sister. Your mother will tell your sister that you are a sociopath, that this is all the fault of your lesbian godmothers who have implanted these memories into your fragile brain, and that you are doing this in order to get money out of your father. You have such a strong compulsion to ring her up and explain to her that you don’t go to the police about someone’s paedophilia and then ask for money; you threaten to go to the police unless you are given money, but you are gradually losing your ears to Meniere’s disease and you know that if you ring the house there is a chance that he will pick up the phone.
Your sister will confirm your mother’s suspicions that you live with a lady in a romantic way even though you specifically asked her not to do this. You will freak out for about three hours and then realize that it doesn’t matter if your mother thinks you’re a lesbian because she doesn’t know where you live anymore.
You will realize your mother doesn’t know where you live anymore.
You will have fantasies about the day when your right kidney, your worse functioning kidney, stops functioning altogether and you need a new one and your mother will offer you hers and you will decline and make a joke about how you don’t accept kidneys from child sex abuse apologists. You will say it in a tone of voice that implies that this is a common political belief – that lots of people boycott kidneys from child sex abuse apologists, that this is a noted ideological stance, like boycotting Nestle. It will make you laugh and then you will cry because you need a kidney.
You will remember that your mother almost certainly has a policy of not donating kidneys to people who have accused her husband of molesting them.
You will have fantasies about the day when your right kidney, your worse functioning kidney, stops functioning at all and you need a new one and your father offers you his and this leads to a dramatic DNA test ordered by the hospital which concludes once and for all that he is not your biological father. Your kidney will be so gratified by this news that it will start functioning again.
You will realize through watching a single episode of House that nobody does DNA tests on prospective kidney donors.
Your sister’s fiancé will ring you up and tell you that it is time that you rang your parents up to have it out with them. You will ask him what out means, and he will explain that he thinks you should talk all ‘this’ through before it is too late. You will ask what ‘this’ means and he will say that ‘this’ refers to the accusations you have been making about your father’s inappropriate sexual behaviour, as if he really thinks that you will ring up your father and say, “Hey Dad. Doesn’t time fly? It seems like only yesterday when you were sexually abusing me. Any plans for your birthday?”. You will ask what too late means, and he will explain that it means after your father sues you for libel or after your father dies.
You will have fantasies about your father suing you for libel. You will wear a suit like the female characters in all your favourite courtroom dramas and you will pace up and down the courtroom in such a dignified manner that your father will lose all sense of control and he will suddenly confess to his crimes and be imprisoned forever.
You will remember that paedophiles serve shorter prison sentences than burglars.
You will remember that you don’t believe in the prison industrial complex anyway.
You will have fantasies about your father dying. You will remember the day when your mother rang you up to tell you that your father had expired, and only explained somewhat into the conversation that he was in fact still living but was extremely ill in the hospital, having breakfasted on gone off chicken liver pate. You will remember how you told her, at the time, that it is unethical to tell your child that their father has died when their father has not died, and you will remember how she told you to stop being so dramatic.
Read more “His Career Will Be Absolutely Fine”: On Telling People About Being Molested at The Toast.