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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: The Other Side Of I Love You - Content Warning
By Terry Walker



I walked in after work and she was on the couch crying. My first thought was someone had died.

“Don’t leave me, please don’t leave me.”, she managed to say between sobs.

I knew I shouldn’t ask but it came out anyway, “Why would I leave you? What are you so upset about?”

“I can’t stand the guilt anymore, I can’t pray, I can’t think, and now I can’t sleep. I’ve just got to tell you.”

“Tell me what? Would you tell me what’s gotten you so upset?” I was getting impatient and the images were flying through my head.

“Ever since I was eight years old, dad has been having oral sex with me. I’ve tried and tried to stop but he always had a way to make me do what he wants. I couldn’t tell mom, where would she go, what would she do with three kids and no job? I couldn’t tell anyone, no one would believe me.”

“I don’t know what to say.”, I mumbled.

“It didn’t stop when we got married. His “little talks” that he has with me are him making me do the same things again. I wanted to tell you a million times, but I don’t want to lose you. Please don’t leave me.”

We sat on there in each others arms, by shirt soaked from her tears. I said, “What do you want to do?”

“I’ve got to tell mom, if nothing else she can come stay with us.”

Oh no she’s not, she can fend for herself, I thought, but instead I said, “It would be good, you two could start healing together.”

She stood and walked to the phone, she stood there looking at it like it was a viper ready to strike. She slowly picked it up and dialed. “Hello mom, are you going to be home tomorrow? There’s something I have to tell you. I want to talk with you alone.”


“I know why you’re here,” her mom said, “he told me last night. He figured why you were coming and what you have to say. I’ll tell you this, it is hard, but I’m forgiving him. What he did was so wrong, but I have to forgive him.”

My wife looked like someone had just ran a sword through her heart. She sat there with her mouth open, trying to form words that wouldn’t come. I could feel the heat rising in on my neck as the rage started building in me. “What do you mean he told you? He told you that and you can forgive him? Do you realize what he did to your daughter? Did you know what was going on?”

Her mom looked at me with tears running down her cheeks, “I suspected but I didn’t know for sure.”

About that time her dad walked in. He sauntered over and held out his hand for me to shake. I looked at him and said, “You’ve got to be kidding!” He backed away and sat down in his chair.

“I guess it’s all out in the open now. That’s good. We can start over now. I want to ask for your forgiveness. You both know Jesus and you know he said to forgive.”

That was all my wife could take, “YOU of all people are bringing Jesus into this? If you wanted to act like Jesus, why did you do what you did? How could you teach Sunday School and then come home and make me take my clothes off and do the things you made me do? I never had the joy of the Lord that the other kids talked about because I knew what was waiting for me when I got home. Don’t you dare bring Jesus into this!”

He started to say something else but I stood up and looked him in the eye. “As of today, you are dead to us. Do not try to contact us, if we decide to we’ll call you. Come on, we’re leaving this house of trash.”

She couldn’t forgive herself and decided that divorce was her only option. So our lives went separate ways. The information I have heard since is that she has married and divorced twice since our divorce. I pray for her every night that she will find peace through Jesus and the love of the Father.

As for her dad, last I heard he started his own church.

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This article has been read 576 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw05/15/08
Oh my goodness, this is tragic. So tragic. But I know it is happening in families all around the world. We need to bring these victims the hope and the true love the Father in Heaven has to offer. Thank you for the content warning too. It prepared me better for the graphic nature of the dialogue.

Lord, please give incest victims the help they need to receive healing. And also heal the spiritual depravity in the heart and mind of the abuser. Encourage us with Your promise that You will never leave us nor forsake us. May you give the rest of us an awareness of people hurting and healing from these abuses. Prompt us to care, and to pray, and to intervene when you ask us to. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Debbie Wistrom05/16/08
My guts are a mess right now. You created such a vivid picure of this that I kept getting madder and madder at the dad. Great job!

Loved the showing you did with this line "she stood there looking at it like it was a viper ready to strike."

Keep writing!
Glad you added the content warning.
Joanne Sher 05/17/08
Oh my. Thanks for the content warning - but this is VERY well written, though incredibly troubling. Thank you for sharing.
Mariane Holbrook 05/19/08
Words simply fail me. Utterly fail me. I pray this is not true. Even with the content warning, I was unprepared for this. Incest victims are scarred for life, forever ruined. Only eternity will reveal what their lives could have been. Oh God, how very tragic!
Betty Castleberry05/19/08
You handled a taboo subject with directness. I, too, hope this isn't true. If it is, I hope the daughter can finally forgive. In all honestly, I'm just not sure how I feel about the mom, though, if she suspected.
This is well-written.
Joanney Uthe05/19/08
WOW! This has so many levels of reality and a really good message about what unforgiveness can do in a person's life.

The instant forgiveness of the mother seems unrealistic at first, but the fact that she suspected and choose not to cause waves by questioning it makes it the most realistic response.

If this is based on a true story, I hope she truly does find Jesus and learn to forgive -- for her own sake.

Very powerful writing.
Chely Roach05/21/08
Very powerful story..well done exposing such a horrendous sin, and its victims.
Benjamin Graber05/21/08
Ouch! It is so sad that there are fathers who have hurt their daughters so much...
I pray that God would bring comfort to the many who are hurting because of the sins of their parents...
Marlene Austin05/21/08
Very well-written and thought provoking. All the characters' actions are very realistic. I know God is willing to forgive all sins, except rejection of him, but until I see repentance I don't feel forgiveness has been asked. I noticed in this story the father only said he was sorry. That could easily mean, "I'm sorry everyone found out." I'm afraid that if I were the wife, I would have to run to my daughter and see what assistance in healing I could help her find - along with healing for myself as well! Thought provoking indeed.
Jan Ackerson 05/21/08
It's a story that needs to be told, to be sure.

I found some of the dialogue unnatural, and a some "telling instead of showing". Perhaps you were holdinb back because of the content, but I think this could have had more emotional impact.

Thanks for sharing this important message--maybe it will give someone the courage to speak out.
David Ian05/21/08
Very brave. Thank you for writing this. It's not pretty. We want it all to go away. Thank you again.

I would suggest giving us a window into your feelings upon first hearing the news, there HAD to be any number of conflicting things. Run us through that wringer; immerse us in the different thoughts and feelings and impulses. It helps us with rage and decisions at the end.

And it's not a happy ending. We all want it to be, dont' we? Thank you again for this piece. Its imagery and story can in no way be soon forgotten by me, and on that level it definitely is successful. Thank you again.
Joshua Janoski05/21/08
I commend you for your bravery in sharing a story like this. No one wants to think about these kinds of things happening, but they do every day.

You did a good job of gripping the reader.

David Story05/21/08
Wow. Words can't begin to convey how I feel after reading this. You have touched my heart strings in such a way I will not soon forget. True or not, God bless you for having the courage to speak out.
Joanne Sher 05/23/08
Congratulations, Terry, on placing fifteenth in your level with this piece. Great job!
Betsy Markman05/24/08
A very tough subject. And it rings true about the victim's mother. As horrible as it is, many women do know that their husbands are molesting their kids, and they choose "not to know."
If that father doesn't repent in truth and make Christ his Lord, he will have a horrible judgment day. And one of the worst sins he'll have to account for is his abuse of God's grace and of the beautiful reality of Christian forgiveness. It's no wonder his daughter hasn't been able to forgive, when the whole idea of forgiveness was so twisted and misused by her father into an excuse to shrug off the grossest of sins. Agh! I would go on, but I suspect the maximum length for comments is probably less than the maximum length for article submissions!
I guess you could say that your work generated a strong emotional response. And so it should have. Thanks for your courage in writing this.