Just change a few of the facts, the timeline, remove the father's saintly make-over, and you have my story. Holy. Fuck.
From a Dear Prudie column courtesy of Slate:
Seattle: My father was abusive to me and my youngest brother, and in addition to the physical and verbal abuse, I was also molested by this man. I told my mother, or tried to tell my mother, a couple of times when I was younger that it was going on, once when I was 11, and again when I was 14. She ignored my attempt to ask for help, and swept it all under the rug. It was just a non-event.
Several years later, when I was about 16, my parents got divorced because my father was having an affair that he was not willing to give up—just one in a string of others. I saw this as a sign that my mother was finally seeing him for how he truly was, and took that opportunity to talk to her about the previous years of abuse. She claimed she never knew about it (a convenient go-to excuse for everything regarding her husband apparently) and swore to never try to rekindle their marriage now that she knew about this.
Fast forward ten years later, they have remarried each other. She says now that he was 'saved' and goes to church with her every Sunday, and that I must have been mistaken about some of what I 'remember'. In other words, she is happy to just have her husband back and is eager to sweep everything under the rug, once again, even if that means thinking of me as a liar.
I have since moved to the west coast—they live on the east coast, and have a family and four children. My parents have been re-married for many years now, and after several years of frankly avoiding speaking to her and her new-again husband (I refuse to call him 'dad' any longer), I finally started accepting phone calls from her a few years ago for the sake of my 3 daughters—her grandchildren, who are teenagers now. My youngest son is 5 and has never met them.
She occasionally makes remarks about why I don't visit, or suggests that I let my daughters spend the summer there with her.
She is clearly in the complete denial phase again, and I just don't know how to respond. Normally I just say we're busy or we have a trip planned or some other excuse. I have no intentions of EVER visiting these people (my parents) ever again, and I have no desire to ever have them around my own children. I barely tolerate phone calls, which is my limit, for the sake of my kids, and those are only with my mom, never my dad.
I do not want to dredge these painful memories out of the closet again, as I feel I have moved on and dealt with them. But what can I say to my mother to get her to close the 'visit' topic forever without cutting off all communication with her, which would hurt my kids?
Emily Yoffe: Your mother suggests you send your daughters to spend the summer! Is this so grandpa can find some new victims? You need to tell your mother what you've expressed so well here: you are willing to have phone contact so your children will have some relationship with her. However, there will not be any visits because your father is a pedophile who sexually assaulted you, and you will never, ever allow your children to be in the same room with him. You can tell your mother if she is unsatisfied with this arrangement, you can go back to having no contact whatsoever. And your letter leaves me worried that your father is still out there in the community, possibly hurting other children.