It was posted on a blog, and subsequently taken down because of my own reaction to writing this story publicly. I am in a much better place than I was then, and also I have already written about my father in a previous post.
It is repetitious I know, but I choose to post it, because it has played an important part in my life- past-present and future.
Preface by Yerachmiel Lopin.
Over a year ago I wrote a fable about a Rabbi Menachem Besdin who delivers a drashah where he says, Rabbossai, there are certain things we avoid because of modesty. Usually that is good but not always. You don’t want a surgeon who is afraid to look. You don’t want a policeman who is too shy to shout. You cannot keep your clothing on when you go to a mikvah. In our matzav now we need to tell some people to stop, we need a surgeon to remove a cancer, and we need to purify our kehilla. So we must talk about unpleasant things. The survivor account below is graphic and may offend some readers. I am posting it because I think the community needs to better appreciate the ways in which sexual abuse tampers with children’s emotions and well-being. I have read too many insensitive comments. I see this story as a partial corrective. The author of this piece, who uses the pseudonym, Dina Levye, is an adult survivor of abuse who is also a wife and mother in the religious Jewish world. Like most other survivors, she does not publicly speak about her abuse. Her story could be the story of any of your friends, neighbors, and family members.
SINS OF THE FATHERS -- Guest Post by Dina Levye
She walks to school every day, head down, shuffling feet on the wet pavement. She walks slowly, each step carefully chosen. Her hair is smooth and shiny and her eyes, large and green are filled with deep sorrow. She is tall for her age, she just started first grade and she is one of the tallest in her class. As she walks, she feels as though a fog has descended upon her, and she has difficulty thinking, her mind feels heavy and thick.
She wants to run to school like the other girls, but her step is heavy and slow. Sometimes she feels as though she is climbing a mountain but she will never reach the top.
That night she climbs into bed with a pile of books at her side. She loves to immerse herself in the magic and fairy tales of her books. Although she is only six years old, she is a ferocious reader and visits the library often. Her books help her forget, they allow her a vision into happiness and magic. Soon she is tired and she falls asleep with the book still clasped in her hands.
Not long after she has fallen asleep, there is a sound on the staircase. Her father is walking softly in his bedroom slippers, towards his daughter’s room. He slips inside, and quietly sits on her bed. He stays still for a moment, watching her pretty face with the thick lashes resting on her cheeks. The room is dark except for a sliver of moonlight reaching through the curtains. She stirs in her sleep, her eyes are closed, but she knows that the strange dream is happening. She feels her nightgown being lifted and the hands begin to touch. Her skin is warm and the hands move gently along her chest, over her flat belly and on down into her frilly pink panties.
This is a strange dream, where is the person to whom the hands belong? Her eyes are closed, she is afraid to look, she is afraid to see who is sitting on her bed. And the hands continue their journey across her small body, making his breath quicken and his heart beat faster. All of a sudden he reaches into his pajamas and abruptly rises to stand closer to his little girls face. He whispers to her to open her mouth. She turns towards him and in her dream she opens wide her mouth.
As she sees the pink hardness come towards her, she suddenly feels herself lift out of her bed and float softly to the ceiling. She hovers gently over the bed, and watches in fascination as the girl in the bed begins to cough. White liquid is dripping from the sides of her mouth, and she wonders where it came from. The father moans quietly, and pulls up his pants. He then turns towards his little girl, and cries.
The girl sees the tears on her daddy’s face and deep down she knows she has committed a terrible sin.