A girl’s father is the yardstick by which she’ll measure all the other men in her life. Without my father’s love and patience, I would never have made the more healthy decisions that led me to my husband, who is an amazing father to our daughter. I certainly kissed a lot of frogs first, but my father, supported by the instincts and advice of my stepmother, helped me weather that parade of frogs before I met the man who would measure up.
My father has suffered through the years from unwarranted guilt over what happened to me at the hands of my stepfather. Hearing his daughter was molested is probably on most fathers’ lists of worst fears. The day my father learned of my stepfather’s transgressions was one of the worst days of my life. No daughter wants to see her father break that way. But once the grief had run its course, my father was my champion. He was there for me when my mother tragically dropped the ball and sided with my stepfather. He hauled me into therapy even though I was scared to go. In short, he did the right thing. There was no sweeping it under the carpet. We had the difficult conversations even when they were uncomfortable because he must have known it would save me. And it did.