Getting my father to admit to molesting me as a child, as well as other children, was not an easy thing to do, but when he decided to open up, I was caught off guard.  I’m not sure if I wore him down over the years in search of an admission of what he did, but it seemed like he woke up one day and started to tell the truth.

Over breakfast one morning I asked him, like I had many times in the past, “Why dad, why did you do the things you did? I really need to know!” I honestly didn’t expect a response other than what he always gave me, but that morning quickly proved to be different. I had been asking this same question for years, and his usual response was always “How could you ask such a thing?” I was taken off guard when instead of his normal reply, he began to compare me to a duck in water. Continuing with that metaphor, he explained that no matter what the weather brought, I kept on swimming and moving forward. He said that no matter what he did, it was like water running down my back.

Appalled, yet still curious, I asked more questions just to be clear about what I was hearing. After more answers, it was clear that he needed to have control and power over me. He told me that he resented me as a child and found me to be obstinate and resilient. He said he didn’t have those qualities and he needed to “break me” of them.

Right in the middle of the conversation, the waitress came over to take our order and as if we had been talking about weather, he said to me, “You have to have the eggs benedict.” I almost lost it! He had never admitted one thing to me, despite years of questioning him and all of a sudden, I had some answers and they came paired with breakfast table conversation!

He told me that he resented me as a child. He found me to be obstinate and resilient. …he didn’t have those qualities and he needed to “break me” of these.

I felt like I didn’t have time to get lost in the strangeness of the moment, so after we were done eating, I quickly gathered my thoughts and asked him if I could write some notes down about him on my next visit. Without hesitation, he agreed, and this began the start of my journey of writing my book. I felt that if I could share my story with others, it could serve as hope for those who have walked through sexual assault. After my father began opening more, I realized that he opened up the mind of a pedophile and that he held a unique key to share with others to help understand the mindset behind the abuse.

There are notes, recorded audio, and videos of him. This is only a portion of my story, as my greatest story is not what he did to me, but how I have overcome it and found healing.

4 Comments

  1. The idea that your dad felt he needed to “break you”… break your spirit and your will. Ugh. Chilling and frightening. And then for him to nonchalantly say you had to order eggs benedict! He was so far removed from the impact of his actions and comments! Wow. Thank you for your guts and tenacity in sharing all of this. And he certainly did not “break you”!!!

    1. Cindy Benezra Cindy Benezra says:

      Thank you Mohoff for your feedback and your bravery to engage with me on this topic! This type of dialogue is what we need to bring awareness to the issue! Cindy xx

  2. Lisa Kartiganer Lisa Kartiganer says:

    Hi Cindy, You never know in life when you meet someone what pain they carry that you cannot see. I applaud your bravery in tackling something that I’m sure had a huge impact on your life. I’ve worked on my own trauma for many years and I understand what it takes to stay engaged with your family of origin while you wait for some moment of truth to surface. I appreciate your willingness to be open and share. It is an honorable act.

    With love, Lisa

  3. Cindy Benezra Cindy Benezra says:

    Thank you Lisa for opening up your heart and sharing with me. I’m sure you can relate to the complexities and challenges it takes to heal and move forward in an abusive situation. Wake. Voice. Shine my friend. Xo

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