My Daughter Was RapedHello Everyone,
I am a father to three beautiful children - a biological infant son and two adoptive teenage daughters. I love them all very much, but have an especially close relationship to one of my teenage daughters, let us call her Ashley ( not her real name ). Ashley has been a bit of a 'wild child' since she turned into a teenager, frequently getting into trouble both at home and in school, and generally being a difficult child to deal with, quite unlike my other daughter who has never been in any trouble at all.
A few weeks ago Ashley came home in a very distressed state, and, upon pressing her what had happened, she broke down completely and confided to me that she had been attacked and raped in broad daylight by a stranger while walking to a friend's house when she was in First Year in Secondary School. She would have been only 12 years old when it happened. She didn't disclose to me until three years later.
This news has completely devastated me. I cannot believe that this happened to my daughter, whom I love more than anything else in this world. I understand now why she has been acting up so bad the last few years, it was a cry for help, and I didn't hear it.
I just do not know how to deal with this, I am blaming myself for not having been able to protect her, for not having been there for her that one moment when she really needed me. And above all I cannot believe that she carried this pain inside of her for THREE YEARS, and I never suspected a thing. I do not deserve to be called her father. I failed her in the worst way possible.
The guilt I am feeling now is destroying me inside, is eating me up, is poisoning me. I asked for help and went for counselling, but it does not seem to get better. I just cannot forgive myself.
Ashley herself says she is alright, but is it obvious to me that there is huge pain inside of her. She does not wish to see a counsellor, nor does she want to go and report it to the police. I think she blames herself too.
I want to be there for her now and help her as much as I can, but I am finding it very hard. The stress is really getting to me now, and is making me physically sick.
I think all I can do right now is be there for her, and show her how much I love her, again and again, every day.