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Aug 28, 2010

Thoughts on Release...

I wrote this at the time of my father's release. For a number of reasons, I didn't publish it at the time. It was all too raw, too new.

So why am I sharing this now? Well, mostly because I only recently re-discovered it, and secondly, because there isn't a lot of stuff out there about what happens after an offender has been released. I think it is an important part of the story that must be told.

It (whatever 'it' is) doesn't get better or just end when someone gets sent to jail and serves their time (and in my father's case, he did not even serve half of his sentence). The impact continues, and my case, I definitely struggled more after his release as this old draft shows. 


Hi All,

I expected to be more prepared for when he got out. Expected that I could deal with it. That it wouldn't stress me out: that I can focus on my normal, day to day life.

I had hoped, against all evidence, that he wouldn't contact my family: that he had gotten the message to stay away.

The facts are he hasn't. He has contacted my Mum and brother, and my Grandmother (his Mum). All within the first few days of being out. And my brother had a full on conversation with him. My mum didn't talk to him, but he certainly wanted to talk to her.

The scary thing is that he is still in denial: still thinks people are lying about him. Still thinks that he has been miraculously forgiven by his God.

The facts are irrefutable. This is a man that committed terrible atrocities over 20+ years. Things that are so crazy, I try to forget about them. Things that I cannot conceive of doing. It disturbs me even more because I am related to this man, something which I cannot change, no matter how much I want to. Emotionally I am not: I divorced myself from him long ago: but physically? I see the similarities every day, and it scares me. You cannot just wipe out 17 years of history either, no matter how hard you try. You can try to come to peace with it: but ultimately, this is just a wish...it will always be there.

I get a lot of comments about moving on: particularly from family. They seem to think it is all a matter of will. If it was, don't you think I would have worked out a way to deal with it? My will power is sheerly focused on getting through each day and creating a healthy relationship with my husband and family. Shutting it out is a lovely short term option, but long term it just makes it worse. For me anyway. I don't think there is ever a single solution that suits and helps everyone in this situation. Everyone deals with it in their own way: not necessarily in a healthy way at times, but in their own way nevertheless. 


A few years on and with the benefit of hindsight, I think most of those observations still hold true. As I said, those first few months after his release were particularly stressful. I was scared: terrified really, of a huge number of possibilities. Some of those possibilities came true, some did not. I am not going to lie: a lot of those terrors remain.

I trust that one day they will fade away, but they will take their own sweet time. Right now, they still need a band aid (in medication form), to help stem the bleeding. It is my hope that one day that will be no longer the case.

For now, one day at a time. 



Whitney said...

Your blog is so moving. I am so glad you were able to get away from something so harmful!!! I wish you all the best, and I hope that all those going through what you've been through can escape as well.

shadowspring said...

((((Princess Jo))))

I totally relate to what you have written.

As a person who felt so guilty all the time, I loved hearing that God forgives. I couldn't understand why everyone was not thrilled with this doctrine that God forgives when we are sorry.

But now I get what that is so disturbing and wrong to people- Christians use that idea to get away with literally anything! No sane person would consider that "just". It is completely unjust!

So sorry you have been abused and continue to hurt. I wish I could say something to make it all better. :(

Laura said...

Hugs to you. I realize you wrote this awhile ago, but I know it's still difficult. I really admire your strength and courage, and I do hope that you are able to find a good place of long term peace and happiness.

Kat said...

Hello, Jo!

After reading this post, I went to your full story and had to read it with tearful eyes. I am blown away by your ability to speak so eloquently about something so painful. You and I have a lot in common as far as our pasts, and I am trying hard every day to be honest with myself and others about some truly horrific things that have happened. I wish you well in your life's journey, and will be reading more in the future!


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