"You find nothing wrong about what we are doing?" I asked, not wanting to look at him in the face. I was glad that the room was not very well lit.
"No sweetheart and neither should you, this has been done throughout history, I know many people who do it," he said, his fingers insistently rubbing between my legs.
"I'm sexually attracted to you," I said, tears welling up in my eyes because I knew that meant there was something really wrong with me.
"I'm sexually attracted to you too," he whispered as he opened his mouth wide.
"Do you have a boyfriend," he asked kneeing my thighs apart. I reacted instinctively.
"And what will happen when you get one?" he asked placing a hand on my neck and putting enough pressure for it to be threatening.
"Daddy will be mad," I said a sob choking me.
"And...?" he coaxed easing the pressure of the hand and fingering me where his knee had been.
"And he won't love me anymore."
"Yes my darling, he won't love you anymore," he whispered as poised to enter me. It was soon over and he was shuddering on top of me and telling me I was "Daddy's little girl". I turned on my side and we spooned and he ran his hands on my stomach.
My name is Bridget* and I have had sex with my father on 12 different occasions. The first sexual encounter did not culminate in actual intercourse. I was 16 and I had known my father for less than a month when he first touched me inappropriately. I cried and threatened to call my mother and he let me go. He was not trying to rape me; he wanted to have sex with me. I avoided him for four years after that because I was afraid, but having spent my childhood craving a father like friends had, I agreed to meet him again when I was 20. He was bringing my sister with him and I felt I would be safe. I was wrong.
The first time we had sex was outside his car, on the beach. I was drunk, having developed a binge-drinking habit soon after I met my father. Allowing myself to sleep with my father filled me with self-loathing. But he had withdrawn himself from me in the four years I had avoided him and I was desperate for him to love me. I believed sleeping with him would make him love me. And later, he told me it did.
It became a pattern, my father would disappear from my life, being perfunctory when I called him, not answering my emails and basically giving me the impression I had done something to displease him. By the time he called again I was so starved for some fatherly affection I would always allow him to come and visit, even when I knew all he wanted was to have sex with me.
While I was unemployed my father found me at my most vulnerable state. It was the year of my 26th birthday and we engaged in what can only be described as a romantic relationship. He took me to places nobody would know us and we acted as boyfriend and girlfriend. He also would take me to his home, a place which although he claimed I was welcome; he never encouraged me to frequent. Twice my father had sex with me in his private bathroom while his wife was in the kitchen. Another time, while returning from a night out with his friends, he parked a block from his house and we had sex in his sister's car.
Not once have I felt that my father was raping me, but I knew what was happening was wrong and I wished it to stop, but I chose to endure it because I wanted a father in my life. An important man in his career industry my father has promised to help me find work every time I told him I wished we would stop having sex. No job has ever materialised.
It was earlier this year,when I got a chance to chat with my half-sister again; she is also my father's illegitimate child from an extramarital affair. I was on my way to meet my father for yet another of our sexual encounters. She and my father had been estranged for a couple of years and I wanted to understand this from her perspective. She told me that since she began to live with my father (an arrangement her mother had allowed because my father could send her to a good school) he had systematically sexually abused her. She said she was afraid to tell anyone because he always made it feel like it was something she wanted too. She said the reason she was telling me was because my father had boasted that I was a much better lover than she was. He had used me to taunt her when she begged him to stop, so she made the decision to never see him or, when unavoidable, not to be alone with him.
My sister's story saved me. I confronted my father and realised he felt no remorse, nor did he think he had done anything wrong. That he believed he had the right to have sex with his children gave me the push I needed to say no, for the first time when he wanted to take me to yet another exotic location. It has been only a few months and I know he will be trying again; I just hope and pray that this resolve holds. I feel much better not anticipating the mixed gratefulness and self-loathing I feel whenever I am with him.
Every little girl deserves a father, but sometimes she can't have one. I am one of the unlucky, and that is ok.