Dear Daddy. Soldier Protector of Whom?

I am the product of your first marriage. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. Occasionally I feel like I ought to know you. Even cold fish such as ourselves have feelings rise up from time to time. 

They come to light at certain times of the year. Those seasonable times when families get together, share meals and moments of happiness, even joy. It has recently been Easter. It’s been an awakening for me. Now I know where to sow my seeds for my growth.

Some parts of me want to know you. They are the hopeful, optimistic parts which reside in the lighter shades of my heart. Memories seen on television of families sat around the table laughing. The gold glinting on the table decorations reflecting in the eyes of the smiling, loving faces.

I wonder what plans you have made for this year’s festivities. I can’t help it. I know I shouldn’t. It almost seems that at some level in my consciousness I actually believe that you and I are in contact. That I didn’t pick up the phone from my father telling me not to contact my family again.

And yet, as heartless as that call was, I am still astounded that my father had called me that day. He had never called me before. The call had given me a little burst of joy. I hadn’t heard his voice for decades. I’d forgotten it. I don’t have a bank of conversations stored in my memory from my upbringing. I have three and they are all disturbing.

I would like to say a few things to you now. I’m ready. I understand what happened and have found peace with it all. Now you need to deal with it.

It wasn’t my fault that your first wife, my real mother, left me with you. She couldn’t cope with me. You had left her, moved on with your new wife and your new, lovely little ready made daughter.

You must have known almost immediately that she didn’t like me. You spent the next eleven years dealing with the fallout. I can not remember you trying to help me.  

It wasn’t my fault that I got sexually assaulted in the woods by a stranger. I was eight. It was not my fault I was sexually abused whilst we were living in Germany. I was eleven.

It was also not my fault that I grew to look just like your first wife. I could see how hard it was for you to look at me. You have never told me that you love me. You have never told me that I was pretty. I watched you tell those things to my sister who wasn’t even yours. You broke my heart every day that I lived under your roof.

My new sister was told that you were her father and that you had different names because it was before you were married to her mum. A great little story for her. There was no sugar coating for me. I was told my mother didn’t want me. I was told to be grateful. Other children were told my mother didn’t want me.

Do you realise that your strategy to ignore me throughout my childhood is the reason I was vulnerable to being abused? Father’s should be supported of their daughter now I know that you are getting elderly. You may have heard that I have made a statement to the police regarding the sexual assaults on me as a child.

It is hard to carry on caring or protecting a family that gave up on me over thirty years ago. The army has some explaining to do regarding it’s safeguarding of children it transports around the world and within families of serving members. It is not enough to just look after the officer’s children. All children deserve to feel safe.

It’s been nearly a month since I reported what happened to me. Devon and Cornwall police and Hertfordshire police are moving slowly – but it is happening. I don’t apologise Daddy as I don’t think you care so I suspect it won’t touch you. Shame you couldn’t protect your daughter the way you helped protect your country.

Daddy, you told me at a young age, that there are nasty people and nice people. You told me I was a nasty person. So now, forty years later I prove you wrong. I was never a a nasty girl Dad. I was eight years old. How can an eight year old know???

It was you, Daddy. You were the one who had the responsibility of my care, of my well being. It was you that let me down. I am not nasty. I am a good, decent human, one who has been through one hell of a lot. More than you could have coped with.

I am a star and I am proud of where I am today. I got where I am today in spite of you not because of you. I’m only just starting my journey with truth on my side. I ride alone as usual with no support on my road but truth is a powerful partner and I don’t feel lonely anymore.