Meditation on Father’s Day from an incest survivor

I wrote several poems today after a meditation walk I do to clear my head. Here are two of them:

 Father’s day
Sobs shake me in the silence
of the labyrinth
the creak of wood floor
He’s not dead yet.
But neither am I.


Blessed be

all of us
strong and struggling

The single lesbian who
wheels a chair

The self critical

The daughter
of a psychopath
on Father’s day

The alone.
the connected.

This is one of those father’s days when I’m feeling emotional. It isn’t always like this. I’ve been dating a new woman and am perhaps a bit more open hearted, or maybe it’s the Buddhist style meditation I’ve been doing. You connect with whatever feeling you are having, without getting too involved in what it is about, and then feel empathy and connection with all the other beings who are having that same emotion right now and try and send them (and yourself) support. An antidote to shame and isolation is connection, and knowing that we are not unique or alone. I get caught up in thinking I’m unique, but of course I’m not. There are unfortunately lots of people with a psychopath parent and a complicit other parent, and how I feel about all that, however it is, is completely normal. Even if I had a completely unique life circumstance, the feelings I have about it are not unique. Sadness, shame, anger, hopelessness, the feeling of not being understood, of being judged, or oppressed, or even isolated by having a unique tragedy, are all feelings that human beings have, and have often, around the world in this minute.

Even as survivors, we are not alone. There are a lot of us, today, grieving, raging, ignoring or being numb in response to father’s day. There are survivors who are going through the motions, and spending time with their abusers this day and pretending to honour them, because they do not yet have the strength, validation and support to do otherwise, or because their abuser still has economic or social power over them. And we are together in this too.

To my survivor sisters and brothers: We are together in this. You are  understood. You are respected. We will outlive them all, and may we dance upon their graves, for we are alive and we have survived.

Father’s Day is not a happy holiday for Incest Survivors

This is a rant about Father’s day. I know most of you reading are survivors, so you probably get where I’m coming from. I’m ranting here so I don’t do it on facebook, where many of my friends and in-laws are gushing about their good fathers living or dead.

Yes, I know a lot of people had nice fathers, intellectually. Mine was a sociopath who raped me, and it’s all I can do not to spout off when people go on about wishing everyone a happy fathers day, like they are assuming (and of course they are) that everyone had a father who had at least some good qualities and people could just suck it up and be nice on Father’s day.

My father raped me. He’s a sociopath. Rather than pretend otherwise, I’m going to politely shut up about him when the topic of father’s day comes up. If your friends do too, notice and change the topic, will you? Some fathers are like him, too many, frankly. The word ‘father’ itself doesn’t have the same associations for me that it must have for other people. In many of the incest survivor groups I was in, ‘father’ was so synonymous with ‘abuser’ so the words could be used interchangeably. This is literally our truth. Deal with it.

I’m not going to be such a killjoy as to squash all the nice incredibly privileged people who had good fathers, but hearing them gush on about it is a pain. I really wish they would have some tact and not assume that everyone celebrates Father’s day, and actually to stay the hell away from me about it.

End of rant.