The Night I Discovered My Father Was Molesting My Kids

The Night I Discovered My Father Was Molesting My Kids

By Ingela Adams

Families are complicated things in the best of times. And in the worst of times? Absolutely horrible.


Because if you do nothing else, protect those who need protecting from threats both near and far.

By Ingela Adams

My eldest daughter Sarah spoke in her sleep on June 6, 2012, and things haven’t been the same since. 

It was a hot summer night. She had just gotten back from spending a month at my parents’ cabin. She loves her grandma so much, and that’s why I let her be there alone with them. 

It was very hot that night and she was asleep in my bed in her blue jeans. This 6-year-old, beautiful little girl had sweat on her brow, and I realized she needed to get some cooler clothes on. Like a good mother, I decided to pull her pants off and let her sleep in her underwear.

“No, don’t!” she said, and pulled up her panties very firmly. All while fully asleep. She started to cry. Despondently. “I wanna go home.”

When Dad and I hung up, I picked up the phone and called the police. 
“I want to report my dad for raping my daughter,” I said.

“You ARE home, Sweetie, it’s Mom.”

She cried for several minutes. I didn’t know what was going on.

Was it a nightmare? Was she having a nightmare?

She kept saying, “I want to go home,” and I kept saying, “You ARE home. It’s me, your mother.” The crying kept going on for several minutes. It was the kind of crying you hear from a person who is having a nightmare (not that I ever heard that type of crying, but that’s what I associated it with).

I lifted her to move her into her own room, and she kept saying she wanted to go home to her mother. She kept crying, and then she stopped.

In her bed, my little Sarah stopped crying, turned to the wall and said, in the most bitter tone of voice I have ever heard from a six-year-old: “I have not said a word.”

I froze. And then I texted my friend, Esther, telling her what had just happened and asking if it was a nightmare or maybe something … else. Something from a past life, or something … anything … else. 

Her reply: “Give me some time to think about this.” She later told me it was like an electric shock going through her when she read my message. 

Twelve hours later, she texted back: “I don’t think it was just a dream. THIS IS HAPPENING NOW.”

So I called Mom … told her about the dream … and then Dad, who was on the phone too, acted very suspiciously.

“Sarah can’t come back to the cabin next week like we had agreed,” I said to my mom. “I think someone molested her. She needs to see a psychologist and talk about it. We need to find out whether she was molested — and if so, who did it.”

My mom gave off a sigh, and then my dad took over the conversation.

“Ingela,” he said, “do NOT take her to a psychologist. With a feminist persuasion, they will try to frame an innocent person. You can destroy a person’s life!”

(“What about Sarah’s life?” I wanted to ask but didn’t.) 

I kept quiet and let him talk. 

“What about Tommy?” he said, fishing. Tommy was my ex-husband who was the father of my youngest but had also taken Sarah under his wing. Was he really trying to implicate Tommy? 

“You are working with explosive stuff,” he said. “It could become a huge catastrophe.”

I didn’t know what to believe. 

“Now that you expressed your suspicion,” Dad continued, “Tommy will get scared off and not try to do it again.”

So I said goodbye and called Tommy. I told him what had happened. Tommy was worried.

He said, “Ingela. You know I love Sarah as if she were my own, and I have been wanting to ask you but have not found the right time. If something happens to you, would you let me be the father of Sarah?”

His voice was sincere, like a big bear hug.  

“Of course I would,” I replied. It became clear to me that he was not the culprit.

Like the indoctrinated, brainwashed child I was, I called my parents back. Dad picked up.

“You know you are playing with fire, don’t you?” he said.  

I didn’t know what to say by then. Instead, I picked up a pen and started to jot down everything he said, like a stenographer. 

“You are working with explosive stuff,” he said. “It could become a huge catastrophe.” I remembered that my mother said that my father wanted Sarah to have clean panties on before she went to bed.

“Uh-huh,” I said as I kept jotting down his every word.

And a question lingered: how come he didn’t want to join me in finding out who had raped my daughter? 

While we were talking, Esther texted me: “DO NOT TELL ANYONE ABOUT THIS!!!”

Too late.

When Dad and I hung up, I picked up the phone and called the police. 

“I want to report my dad for raping my daughter,” I said.

The police took every piece of information and said that they would get back to me soon, and they did.

The next day, I drove around in the car with Sarah with no particular destination. The lack of eye contact made it easier for her to talk.

“You don’t ever have to go back … ” I said.

“Can I get my Littlest Pet Shop back from the summer house?” she asked.

A few days later, while I was explaining that she had to see a psychologist, she broke down in tears in the car.

“It won’t matter how many psychologists I talk to. They still can’t get the germs out from between where I go poo and pee,” she cried. “I thought he would put it in where I pooped, but then I realized there was a hole between where I pooped and peed. That’s where he put it in.”

My blood froze.

But by the time Sarah got her hearing at the police station, she was too scared to say a word because Dad had threatened her with the possibility that her beloved grandmother would die if she talked.

They also interviewed her little sister, who was too scared to say anything because Dad had threatened to throw her in the ocean if she did. 

“I think that the kids ought to appreciate the frailty of life and appreciate their loved ones while they’re still around. We don’t really have time for silly games, do we?”

That’s what my father wrote to me when I started making noise about the fact that he had molested (read: raped) my daughters who were then, at the time of disclosure, 3 and 6 years old. 

Years later my father is still a free man. And my mother and the rest of my family of origin, as well as all of their friends, think I am crazy.

I am, while not crazy, picking up the pieces. And keeping my girls safe. 

Even if Sarah eventually decided she missed them both. Which meant that we went back to visit. Four times since the first time four years ago. For a few hours each time. With no one leaving the room, or my line of sight.

And, yes, I hated every second of it.

Ingela Adams is a pseudonym.