I remember I think it was around the age of 6 when I first noticed it.
My father's frightened face when I came into his "office" in the house without knocking.
Yelling quickly ensued.
I thought all father's hated being disturbed by their children.
After all, he was always busy with work.
My mother often cried, little did I know that it was from loneliness.
I thought it was from the babies and the depression that often came along with them.
It was when I was 14 in Florida on vacation to Disneyworld with my father and two younger siblings.
My father had a room to himself.
He was often grouchy.
My sister had finally told my mother what she had found on that office computer
And with her courage, so did I.
I told her of the videos I'd seen but quickly shut the door in denial.
The father who taught be to be righteous was watching and looking at that?
My mother confronted finally, after years, of what she already knew all along.
I couldn't look at him for days.
I didn't want to bring friends over.
I was disgusted, my father had turned the human body--
something beautiful and sacred--
into the grime you find in the gutter.
I was in a city of angels. Utah children rarely spoke of such things, and if we did it was in the sacredness of our 16 year old cars.
My father and mother did attend therapy.
And for two years everything seemed great and fine.
My father's personality had changed, no longer feeling the intense weight of secrets.
It was a day I came back from school, senior year my father yelled at me in that same tone for leaving my shoes on the stairs.
I knew it was back, he left to his high paying job, I again checked the computer, and in fact found what I was looking for.
My heart sank deep.
I kept it to myself.
I had seen my mother's eyes when I had told her the first time.
It was not a look I envied to see again.
My brother came home that same night, my older sisters long moved out.
He told me he had stopped by my father's work, my father was not there, and he had found the same.
He cried. He had no knowledge of this happening before.
I did not.
It was up to me now to tell my mother.
And I did.
My mother was hurt.
And I hated that I felt like it was my fault for making her so.
I told her that this time, she needed to tell him the truth.
It was the children who had found it.
My father cried to my brother and I begging for forgiveness.
My brother, disappointed and angry said nothing and left.
My feminist side wanted to yell in disgust, leave and never speak to him again.
He turned to me trying to make excuses for why he did it.
I'd heard it all before.
I hated him for hurting my mother.
For hurting my sisters.
For hurting my brother.
For hurting me.
He sat there expecting the sentence for forgiveness.
But forgiveness does not come that easy.
I told him the truth.
I was tired of being the parent and mediator in his home.
It just wasn't fair to be put here. This subject shouldn't be my business. And instead, I'm always finding myself here anyway.
And it was at that moment something more than what I thought I had in me settled.
My father needed help.
He was a proud man.
He only attended therapy a couple of times and then quit.
My father is a man.
Not a God or something more.
And this is what women and men do.
They mess up.
And yes, sometimes the situations are messy and confusing and you hate the people involved so much it hurts.
It hurts to love.
But as everyone was giving up on my father, I couldn't.
Redemption is one of the few precious gifts we are given here on earth.
I got my mother back on board to help him again.
I left and traveled the world.
I saw the love of Paris.
The brutally honest Italy.
The whimsical London.
More countries in between.
And last, but not least, India.
A place where I found my soul again by helping souls of others.
I found my faith again.
Faith in the imperfections of people and earth and how we as humans are always and constantly evolving.
We must always be forgiving.
I arrived home.
And my father had changed once again.
This time for the better.
Will he ever go back?
Maybe, but that will come and eventually go.
It always does.
Since then I have moved far away from Utah.
A place I felt had too many secrets, I wanted to live life out in the open.
Open about sin, and righteousness.
This story is for all the daughters.
Let us forgive our fathers.
(and mothers, women have pornography addictions as well.)