The day I testified against my father in court and how I was taught to stand in the gap.

“Mrs.Curry, isn’t it true that…”

I almost couldn’t believe that I was where I was. Sitting in the witness stand ,while my whole body shook violently, I calmly and honestly answered the question that my very own father presented to me in the middle of his custody hearing for my minor siblings. He represented himself in his custody case. Bad move.

The result of me being on the stand left my father with very little time with my siblings and every second of it supervised. I’m not happy about that but it had to be done. It was my responsiblity to protect them and they needed to be protected from our fathers mental and emotional abuse. It was one of the worst and best things I’ve ever done. After so many years of torture from my father, I was happy to take the chance away from him to do it to my siblings but he was still my dad and watching him struggle broke my heart.

The hardest part was the gap it left for the kids.

Growing up, I had the same gap.

My father was an abuser on many levels. Even though he never laid a hand on us, the mind games were just as painful. Those mind games and his in and out presence in my life left a gap. A gap where a father was supposed to be. A huge gap that presented pain and heartache that I would have otherwise never known.

But my life has been full of strong people and unbelievable blessings. I’ve always had people who have stepped in and stood in the gap.

My mom worked tirelessly to provide financially. She showed up at every school event. She made sure I was always smiling and did her best to keep me on the right track.She made sure I was a responsible person, had a good work ethic and was kind and compassionate.

She stood in the gap.

My brother made sure to do the things a father should have done.. He changed the oil in my truck, rebuilt the engine, changed the brake pads and more. He threw the hammer down on me when I was out of line and reminded me to stand up for myself in all circumstances. He comforted me through my pain on more than one occasion and stood up for me daily. He taught me how to be tough, helpful and funny

He stood in the gap.

I’ve been blessed with people who stand in the gap for me. People who stand in the gap of my father’s absence. People who show up and do whatever it takes to make sure I’m not only okay but that I thrive in life. People who pray for me when I’m too hurt to whisper my own prayers.

Now it’s my turn to stand in the gap where my father should be.

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My husband and I will stand in the gap for my 16-year-old sister and welcome her into our home as one of our own. We’ve made a promise to God that we will do our best to be an example of compassion and grace. We will do our best to provide tough love and discipline. We will insist that she just be kid and only have the responsibilities a child should have and nothing more.

We will have the discipline to stand in the gap.

We will provide dinner every night at 6 and breakfast every morning at 6:30.
We will provide a quiet place to do her homework and a safe place to sleep.
We will provide a guaranteed ride to school and promise to be waiting outside when the last bell rings.
We will provide smiles and hugs on a daily basis and firm words when needed.

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We will have the courage to stand in the gap.

We are family. This is what we are called to do. If only for the blink of an eye, a moment in time, we will be a solid rock for her to lean on.

We will have the strength to stand in the gap.

When she crumbles in sadness over our dad’s suicide, we will pull everything from us to remind her of the love he had for her and the love she has now through our family. When she cries for what has been stolen from her childhood, we will find a way to ease the pain. When she stumbles on the stones thrown in front of her, we will reach out our hands to catch her fall.

We will have the dedication to stand in the gap.

I had brave people in my life that, in all circumstance, stood bravely in the gap for me. Today I pray that we have what they had and can be brave enough to stand in the gap for my little sister.

We will stand in the gap.

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19 thoughts on “The day I testified against my father in court and how I was taught to stand in the gap.

  1. Thank you for being so vulnerable. There’s a lot of similarties on our stories, I think–though I’m the youngest sibling and wonder why no one stood in the gap for me. It’s hard when the “public face” doesn’t match up to the private reality. Your sister is lucky to have you!

  2. This article is beautiful and made me cry. Not because of the abuse these women endured and survived, but because of their choice to stand in the gap and not consider themselves VICTIMS, but rather, VICTORS! Others have stood in the gap for me. I have and do stand in the gap for others. Can I get an AMEN!!

  3. Sometimes we just randomly know when we are needed to stand in the gap. No one stood in my gap…..I will always be there for you.

  4. The pain I still feel, at 42, feels unreasonable. I needed someone to stand in the gap for me. No one knew there was a gap- it was denied, gas lighted and fiercely hidden from public view. I am so glad you had people and you are standing in the gap for your sisters. Somehow knowing you do this for them helps me. So thank you.

  5. I was destined to come across this post today. While it is not my personal story, and a little skewed from your story, my sister is trying to deal with these mental abuses directed at her and her 2 children. I have always looked for a phrase- a simple word- that would capture what I’m trying to be for them, and bingo I’ve found it… what I’m trying to do is fill their gaps. I often feel it’s not enough, and wish there was more I could do. I also feel frustration that my words do not sink in, that she’ll fall back into the situation we’ve worked so hard to get her out of. I feel guilty for putting those pressures on her & being frustrated with her sometimes. Reading your story has given me a chance to see our journey together in a new light. A new perspective. So thank you, for nudging me toward a more graceful path. I wish your family all the best.

  6. Reblogged this on Candice Curry – Women With Worth and commented:

    Happy Father’s Day to all the dads! Praying that your day is filled with kisses and hugs, giggles and sweet voices, BBQ and cold beverages.
    A special Happy Father’s Day and thank you to all the gap standers. Thank you, bless you, and happy day to all the stepdads, mom, grandfathers, uncles and brothers who stand in the gap. Praying your day is spilling over with blessings.
    To the dads who don’t get to see their children today, my heart aches for you.
    To the child who doesn’t get to be with their dad today, my prayers are for you.
    To the mom who’s pulling double duty today, God bless you.
    To the stepdads who are sometimes over looked today, I see you.
    To all the gap standers, your value is beyond measure.
    To my dad in heaven, thank you for what you left behind. What you failed at has turned into my biggest success. Because people stood in the gap for me, I will stand in the gap for whoever needs me. The ability to forgive everything allows me to love you today. I’ll see you in heaven.
    To my stepdad in heaven, you’re the unsung hero. I pray that you can see how grateful I am for what you did in my life. Thank you for loving me when you didn’t have to. I love you.
    To my heavenly Father, I owe it all to you. You are the ultimate gap stander. Today and everyday I am overwhelmed by your love.

  7. This one. I remember reading this one a year ago and being absolutely astounded by your strength and selflessness. My life, too, has been filled with the gift of amazing people standing in gaps for the sake of my happiness and well-being. Your inspiring post (both today and a year ago) matched with their constant love and kindness, has inspired me to continue to stand in the gaps where I am needed, even when I want to scream obscenities or hide.

    I hadn’t met you yet and didn’t want to/ wasn’t brave enough to comment then. Today, I’m thinking of how many other people out there have read this and were rocked to their core and inspired by your courage to stand in that gap.

    God is undoubtedly using you to reach the rest of us. Thank you for allowing Him to do it.

  8. Thank you for speaking out. I have not yet found that courage. Making a comment deep within someone’s blog post is all I can muster just yet.
    Your dad and my dad may have been cut from the same mold. My dad killed himself 5 months ago. He was mentally and emotionally abusive. My mother is worse. I am 36. She still abuses us. They’re 11 of us. I am 2nd oldest. My sweet and compassionate husband and I have finished raising 5 of my siblings. They’ve lived in our home for a total of 11 years. My husband and I have 4 little ones. They recognize the abuse from my mother and on occasion ask me questions like, ‘why does grandma do…?’.
    My little family and I are active in our faith and rely on the grace of Jesus Christ. I know He is there for me and He can make all things right someday.
    My parents are of the same faith. My dad was and my mom is a powerful manipulator. Both wear masks of perfection. Mom is ‘perfect’ outside the circle of her own children. Dad was too. Both treated us with serious CPS worthy neglect, mental abuse, emotional torture and abuse and some physical abuse.
    I am seeing a counselor now since my dad took his life. My mom laughed when I told her. They had been divorced for 13 years. She now benefits financially from his suicide and passive aggressively throws in our faces her new found financial success in the midst of some of her struggling children. My counselor is helping to uncover these secrets I have never dared to share. Too much shame and fear, I am learning, has forced me silent for most of my life. I am also learning the powerful grip of grief that being a survivor of suicide brings. As a reader you can see I am still weighed down with much sorrow in this process. I’ll close with some hope, hope that I haven’t lost in he midst of these awful trials…
    One day joy will feel okay again
    One day I won’t think about my dads suicide in every conversation.
    One day I hope I can move away from the shame and abuse my mother delivers.
    One day I hope to fully forgive.
    One day I hope to see the good traits they do have and that their good traits speak louder than their weaknesses.
    One day…

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