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A Father’s “Love” by Mike Chapman

TRIGGER WARNING: This poem is both graphic and descriptive of the abuse I experienced, but I have avoided vulgar language.

First, let me give you some background… When I was 30 (I am in my late-50s now), I uncovered repressed memories of being sexually abused by my father at age 3. In 2019, I sought out additional therapy, including PTSD therapy. We ended up uncovering even more repressed memories, including the fact that I was trafficked by my father to other men, and that the abuse did not actually begin at age 3 but started much earlier – when I was an infant, about 7 months old. 

My therapist encouraged me to let those abused parts of me tell their story. Since the child at that age is pre-verbal, you can encourage them to tell their story in ways other than “speaking,” including just giving them a keyboard. He told me that he has had patients grab their cell phone in his office and start frantically texting, telling their story. I did that at home, I reached out to the infant me – I gave him my computer keyboard and encouraged him to share. This poem simply poured out – without any editing. (and no, I am not known for writing poetry.)

A Father’s “Love”

In my crib, soft and warm
Asleep for the night
Soft warm blanket
protects me from cold

My father enters the room
I can smell his cologne
Old Spice lingers in the room

He removes the blanket
He cradles me in his arms
like so many times before
warm, soft, safe, loving

He places me on the cold floor.
This is new
Why am I here?

What is this in my mouth?
I can’t breathe!
So scared!
What is happening?

So much weight
Unable to move

Coughing up
New smells, new tastes
So frightened
What happened?

I cry.
I am wiped down
Placed back in my bed

Covered in my blanket
protects me no more
I cry myself back to sleep
Every night

My father’s “love”

by Mike Chapman

About the Creator


Mike Chapman

Mike is a survivor of familial childhood sexual abuse from age 7 months to age 5 and familial sexual trafficking from age 5 to age 8, and a survivor of sexual assault by clergy at age 20. In his spiritual journey to recovery, Mike has had to battle, among other things, anger, PTSD, anxiety, codependency, and addictive behaviors, including porn addiction. Mike is also a Full-Time Sign Language Interpreter and a Part-Time Santa Claus Portrayal Artist. He’s been happily married to his wife Beth for over 33 years, and they have 2 adult children. He and Beth live in Hubert, NC. Mike is currently a part-time Recovery Life Coach for both Polar Life Consulting and Husband Material. To find out more or to contact Mike, contact him at PolarLifeConsulting.com

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