Lizzie's Top Hard to Forgive Story
by Elizabeth Adele Krause
Once Upon a time in my real life -my Dad was accused of assaulting a little girl sexually-I was 18 years old at the time and he never did anything perverted with me-I never talked to him about it-and then 20 years later I decided to finally ask him about it -I was tired of feeling icky about visiting with him and generally accepting gifts from him because I never denounced the fact that he did this thing years ago-but it was an assumption-I had never asked him personally about it nor did I ever read the criminal charges against him. I did hear bits and pieces of hear say and rumors about what he did or did not do. The one thing I did know was that he spent a very short time ( a month) in a supervision ,work release type setting because he plead guilty to some lesser charge than what was originally brought against him.
But now -just before Christmas 2008 -I wrote him some letters to ask him about the past and we decided to go to a Christian Counselor to talk about it. He was very eager to talk to me. And the most surprising thing happened- something I hadn't even considered. He told me that he never did anything to the girl and that he only plead guilty to the lesser charge because his lawyer told him that he could be put away for 20 years if a judge or jury believed the girls accusations instead of his denial.
I was shaking like crazy when I heard that news and I believe Dad.
It is kind of a crazy and sad situation. Before we spoke to the counselor-she asked us how we thought our relationship was-and my Dad said he thought it was pretty good. Of coarse I knew that on my end things were terrible. I believed my Dad was a child molester for 20 years- and when I asked him WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME!! All he said was a bitter and wounded YOU DIDN'T ASK.
Things are not much better between us but it does take a weight off my shoulders and it is good to understand where he is coming from now. It is sad to know that he was incapable of communicating the fact of his innocence to me or my mother and siblings etc.. He and my mother divorced within a year of the charges.
I know that some people will be very skeptical of believing that he did nothing - but I know my Father and I believed it was necessary to either believe him and keep him in my life or believe that he is a liar and exclude him from my life-the fact that I can never know for certain what happened I leave in the hands of the one who sees everything and I have prayed that if my Dad is lying to me I hope he gets sick and if he does I 'll go to him again and ask him the same questions about what he did-so far he's as healthy as a horse-and I'm glad of it.
I can go on with life-he is still someone to be watched and puzzled over because he does odd things-so I am not compelled to be his best buddy or anything- but I think with God's help I'll be able to watch over him in his old age. Forgiveness is a decision I make every time I visit him and talk on the phone with him- but there may never be much trust between us.Response from Dr. DeFoore
This is a very powerful story, Lizzie. Thank you for sharing so deeply from your heart. I think it will help a lot of people to read this. Your effort to forgive, and your lingering questions all make perfect sense. You are handling this in the best way I can think of. I wish you all the best in your future relationship with your father.