I recently had the opportunity to be present and observe a difficult morning for two teenage girls. They were sitting in a lawyer’s office while he prepped them for testifying in court against their father.
Divorce is brutal. It’s that much more devastating when children experience varying forms of abuse and the lack of parental love. Tears began to form quickly for me, as hearing young girls and their interpretation of past events, their feelings on it, and how they wanted to proceed.
At a certain point in the very long morning, I wanted to run out, I wanted to be numb to these kinds of things happening in the world. And at the precise moment I was feeling weak, this young eleven year old girl stated something that I have sat and contemplated now for several days.
The lawyer asked her why, in this moment, she was crying. “What are you thinking of that is upsetting you, right now?”
She looked up at him, and with such clarity and anger, she stated, “He lied to me.”
The lawyer, digging deeper, asked her how she felt about that.
She answered with more firmness, anger combined with sadness and desperation at the same time, “He lied to me. Right to my face.” It was obvious she was shocked at her father’s lack of respect for the truth, or as her face showed it, respect for her.
That moment, of her acknowledging this lie – it was a betrayal, it broke the trust between them, and thus shattered whatever image of her father she previously held dear. This, to her, was more devastating than anything else. As I listened to her, I really broke down then, that her anger and frustration, was really an understanding that she knew life would never be the same.
I know, her life will never be the same, as I too remember the moment and the feelings that accompanied this realization, the fact that as a child, I cannot cover for him anymore.
She sees her father different now, and it will harden her heart. The look on her face, as she told her story, her history of her family life, is now forever burned on my soul. Is this what I looked like when I realized someone so important, so vital to my existence had proven himself unworthy of my trust?
I walked out of the session, leaned up against the hallway walls for a brief moment in order to collect myself and truly try and separate myself from the happenings around me. How can I be what I need to be, if I am constantly putting myself in her shoes.
This young girl’s biggest struggle at this time of her life, is the lies he told, rather than the abuse he inflicted. She will need to deal with the abuse one day, when her mind and body are ready for it. I, too, remember the lies being a more significant betrayal. Why is that. Perhaps as children we trust so willingly and unconditionally, and the broken trust makes us look all around us, and shut down. There is no one to trust now, if my own father is unworthy, who can be?
It took years and years for me to mourn the loss of my father in my life. I grieved for the man he should have been. I made peace with the term ‘orphan’. And then….I found God. I found a Father whom I could trust completely, and I begged for adoption.
I have hope for these girls, I really do. If they can mourn the loss of who he should have been, if they can look for a father who will never let them down, nor betray their trust….. If they can find faith, then nothing is impossible for God to handle. These girls will continue to be in my prayers for as long as I can manage it, that they might embrace their one and true Father.
Protect them Lord, guide them, and help them forgive the sins of the past.
Copyright 2013 Sahmatwork