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If I were all that you accuse –  heartless, evil, vile, and disgusting, I would not hesitate to throw the truths at you just like they threw lies at you to destroy me.  I could excuse this away by merely saying, “Well, as ugly as these things are, at least they’re truths”.  I could justify it so easily by saying they deserve for me to tell these things after all they’ve done to me in my life and to yours as well.  I could come up with countless justifiable excuses for smearing the truths they hide all over the world in bold red letters.

But as much as you scream at me to “STOP PLAYING GAMES AND TELL YOU THEN” and as much as I listen to your vile name calling and hateful twists on who I am, I can’t bear to think of how these truths might hurt you.  Ironically, if I really were heartless and disgusting, even half as much as those who’ve destroyed me with lies, I’d not hesitate to TELL YOU ALL OF IT.  And be totally truthful, in the ugly moments that you accuse me of being nearly every horror imaginable.  I do have moments, flashes, when I feel angry and falsely persecuted so much that I want to just holler out these truths to you.  Fortunately, my momma instinct seems to overrule those moments of righteous indignation and even the flash moment I think of blurting it out, I shake inside and feel instantly nauseated. After everything and as “awful of a momma and person” that you insist I am, I can’t bring myself to hurt you even as you insult, demean, and belittle me.

If I could though, here is one thing I would say:

Michelle left your dad the first time because he attacked her, permanently damaging her hand by violently twisting it.  He lied directly about this in court because he knew I was none the wiser about the incident.  She forgave him for that in time.  She left him the second and final time because she found very disturbing sexualized photos he had been taking of your friends and teammates and emailing them to himself to browse later in private.  She contacted me after she left him out of a deep fear and concern for your and your friends’ safety. After she left him, she discovered a plethora of other disturbing and frightening things regarding his sexual predilection for young teen girls.  I’ll never tell you all of them unless you ever happen to ask me directly, but there are mountains of proof and evidence of them.  After the domestic assault charges for attacking her, he was court ordered to attend therapy.  Michelle joined him in therapy as well, hoping to save the relationship.  After meeting with your dad  on his first alone visit with this therapist, after only one private session, this therapist classified your dad as “at the least, a level 3 sex addict” and openly discussed that she was not qualified to assist with that level of potential danger and urgently referred him to another therapist.

The leading specialist in sex addiction, Dr. Patrick Carnes, describes the levels of sex addiction like this: From Masturbation to Molestation: ‘Severity Levels’ in Sex Addiction

Level One:

  • Masturbation
  • Affairs, chronic infidelity, romance addiction
  • Sexual relationships with multiple partners
  • Pornography use and collection (with or without masturbation)
  • Phone sex, cybersex
  • Anonymous sex
  • Prostitution – strip clubs

Level Two:

  • Illegal prostitution
  • Public sex (bathrooms, parks, etc.)
  • Voyeurism – online or live
  • Exhibitionism
  • Obscene phone calls
  • Frotteurism
  • Stalking behaviors
  • Sexual harassment

Level Three:

  • Rape
  • Child molestation
  • Obtaining and viewing child pornography
  • Obtaining and viewing rape, snuff pornography
  • Sexual abuse of older or dependent persons
  • Incest
  • Professional boundary violations (clergy, police officers, teachers, physicians, attorneys, etc.)

In addition, your father lied to that therapist and to Michelle when they addressed this with him, insisting he’d “never been diagnosed as a sex addict before”.  Actually, he’d spent 30 days in sex addiction rehab back in 1995 when I was pregnant with you.  Interestingly enough, he was diagnosed as a sex addict back then in just one single private visit with the marriage counselor we had been seeing together and was immediately pushed into attending the in-patient sex addiction program. Over the years, he’s altered this truth and claims he was in rehab for “alcohol abuse”, which is entirely untrue, as alcohol was diagnosed as a secondary issue to the sex addiction only in that it lowered his inhibitions and compelled him to act out more on the sex addiction.

The day after my obstetrician informed me that you were a girl, your dad was on his final day of rehab and the task for exiting the program was for him to meet with me, in the presence of his rehab therapist and our marriage counselor, in order for him to come entirely clean with me regarding the aspects of his addiction.  His therapist was in attendance to ensure that he didn’t lie or leave out anything vital for me to know in moving forward in a relationship and having children with with a sex addict.  Thus, he had no choice to be dishonest or leave me in the dark about any of his past actions or any of the biggest dangers and concerns I should know about to watch out for and keep him accountable for maintaining sobriety from this sex addiction.

In truth, my entire pregnancy with you (my first child) was turned into the Mark DeDeaux show.  On top of the scary things he’d done to me which led us to counseling and him to rehab, after he was diagnosed, everything was about him and his demons and struggles, and how horrible his childhood had been that “led him to disrespect and hurt women all his life”.  He had alienated me from my college and work friends with irrational jealousy and violence, which I was later to discover was actually because he feared what my coworkers (his coworkers for many years)might tell me about him that would directly contradict the many lies he’d told me to convince me to even date him at all. My mother was angry that I was even pregnant and scared to death “you’d be black” once she learned your dad’s father was half creole, so my entire pregnancy with you…the excitements, your daily progress and growth, all the new experiences I was having in my body while sharing it with you… I went through completely alone and quiet because you dad’s problems were “more important” than discussing my pregnancy.  I went through that pregnancy pretty much alone with just you, my beloved cat Porsche,  and my “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book. Because your “poor dad” was “going through so very much” and my “job” was to be his support system and encourager, I shouldn’t be so “selfish” as to concern him with “my pregnancy stuff”, not while he was being a “selfless hero and facing all these shortcomings of his for me and for you”.  I had no one to share my little excitements over carrying you around, growing, inside my body.

Among many really frightening and hurtful confessions he made that day, the one that shook me to my core was when he told me he was scared that we were having a girl because he feared when you grew to be a teenager that he’d feel sexually attracted and compelled within his addiction toward your teenage girlfriends.

If you put all of that together and then remember your dad not once was interested in full custody of his two daughters until you all were 13 and 15, it’s a chilling thought for any mother.  Add to that, that not only did he only want custody then, but he also was adamant in preventing and strongly discouraging you to continue any relationship whatsoever with me, isolating you from not only your other parent, but from the only person who was privy to the depth and truth of his addiction and subsequent fears regarding his self-admitted uncontrollable sexual attraction to young teens.

In my trusting ignorance over the years prior to this, your dad had repeatedly assured me he was active in his sex addiction sobriety (I regularly asked him about this issue in concern for your and Savannah’s safety at visits) and in spite of knowing first hand the lengths he would go to to lie and deceive regarding his addiction, I naively trusted that he was maintaining the sobriety and keeping it in check, if not for his children’s safety but even for himself and the deep misery he claimed his sex addiction had caused him throughout his lifetime prior to getting diagnosed and treated.

When Michele came to me frantic and concerned for your safety, telling me the recent events and diagnosis, she knew nothing of the history; she’d believed he had never been diagnosed as having a problem with this before.  After seeing so much evidence of how deep the addiction went, she was terrified for you and your sister.  Then, after speaking with me and learning the whole truth, we were both terrified.

When you yell at me to TELL YOU, TELL YOU, TELLLLLLL YOUUUUUU, I panic, caught in the middle of a storm of fear. I’ve never in my life wanted to turn you against your father and have gone above and beyond all your life to encourage your love and relationship with him.  I gave him every trust, every opportunity, and every kindness regardless of the personal things he’d done to me in my relationship with him and overrode my hurts and fears in order that you and he would have every opportunity to create and maintain a strong, loving father daughter relationship.  And, as angry and hurt as I am at him and you for dragging me through hell when my father died, I do not have any desire to destroy or even damage your relationship with him…not even now.  But mostly, I don’t want to hurt you with the gravity and depth of this entire issue, knowing how devastated I would feel if my own father had these issues and how hurtful and difficult that knowledge would be to me.  I’ve worried deliriously for your safety, I have chronic nightmares about this since Michelle contacted me, but my first and foremost concern was not telling you what would hurt you or your dad, neither to get the truth out nor to try to hurt him with truth as I’ve been destroyed with lies, but knowing you were safe.

None of this even scratches the surface to the list of horrors your dad has inflicted on me personally early on, but those weren’t relevant to your immediate safety, and I don’t feel I need to ever list them all for you.  That would be just spiteful and serve no bigger purpose.  This secret though, this one was vital, insidious, and dangerous to you, particularly at the very ages that he and my mother plotted to completely destroy and sever your relationship with me.  Now that you and Savannah have reached 18, I worry slightly less about this because you’re adults and I trust you’re intelligent and have resources to reach out for help should you ever need it.

Another truth is that your dad started planning to destroy me years earlier when we left Vegas.  He specifically planned years earlier to make that move against me when my dad passed away, when he knew I’d be devastated, vulnerable, and without any person in this world to stand up for me and speak the truth against any lies he told you against me.  He told Michelle this directly the day we left Vegas against his will. Michelle felt horribly that he’d told her something so hideous as that years earlier and she didn’t take him seriously.  She truly believed he was only saying that out of anger and not a literal threat…until he did exactly that when my dad died.  She apologized to me for her unknowing assistance she’d provided him with in that vicious endeavor and begged my forgiveness repeatedly for not seeing that for what it really was before it was too late.  I’ve never blamed her at all though.  She was like me earlier on, willing to hide and deceive on his behalf thinking she was protecting him while being manipulated to actually believe he was the victim when in fact he had always been the perpetrator.

So, were I actually the monster you claim I am, I would easily share these things with you.  I know your dad and my mother would not have hesitated even a second to use these things to destroy me if they were my secrets and my struggles.  They would have not even thought twice about doing that to me and you just to hurt me.  I would guess most people would have relished having this knowledge and evidence against the very person who destroyed them as they did me, but I know that you hate me now and I do not want you to despise both of your parents.  All I had in the world as a child was my dad.  I’d never be spiteful enough, even righteously so, to hurt you with these truths and destroy that relationship for you.  I worked too hard all your life to encourage your relationship with this man, in spite of his sickness and attacks on me, to want to damage it…not even now when he’s encouraged my alienation and systematically destroyed your love for me.

Maybe I am a horrible, vile mother and utterly worthless human being as you accuse…  maybe I am… but I still love you so much more than I want to hurt those who have destroyed me. I could never sacrifice up your love and trust in him just to spew the frightening truths he’s spent his life hiding from the world.