Woman Who Had Father's Baby Should Have Told Daughter Who Dad Was

A woman who became pregnant with her father's baby at 14 years old says she never regretted having the child. The unnamed woman appeared on ITV This Morning in the UK and described the horrific sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father and the fallout that continues to this day.


The woman, going only by Helen, says her father, who sounds like he had a severe mental illness, would hear voices talking to him through the radio, would feed her and her siblings nothing but bread and potatoes, and would often beat them with belts or branches. She also says he encouraged her brother to strangle or beat her and her sister.

Her mother had left the family and failed to protect the children from her father's rampages.

Helen says at 5 years old, her sexual abuse began. At 14 years old, she became pregnant and didn't know what was happening -- just that she felt sick. When it finally became apparent what her condition was, her father blamed her and told her a father can't get a daughter pregnant.

Meanwhile, she says social services made many trips to the house, but since the father wouldn't let them in, they did nothing. Insane!!

Eventually, however, one social worker, accompanied by the police and a doctor, forced her way into the home and found Helen in her unspeakable condition. At the time, she was six or seven months pregnant.

Despite all of this, Helen says she was "thrilled" to have her daughter, whom she named Sarah.

Just to show you how traumatized this poor woman was, she continued to allow her father around the baby (and why wasn't he in prison by this time??). But she says one day she walked into a room to find her father rubbing his hands and looking very guilty -- and her baby's diaper was open. She knew then she had to leave. Her father was eventually committed to a mental institution, where he died.

Helen faced the unenviable predicament as to whether she should tell Sarah about how she was conceived. She chose not to tell her.

But secrets have a way of coming to light, and Sarah found papers hidden under a mattress that informed her of what had happened. I can only imagine that poor child's shock and horror. Helen told the morning show hosts:

I wanted her to have her innocence, which was taken away from me.

Helen had the right intention, but children rely on their parents to tell them the truth about the world. I can't imagine being faced with that decision and won't pretend to know what exactly I would do, but the truth always tends to be the best policy. Otherwise, you have a situation like this, where the daughter feels betrayed more by the mom's lies than by the grandfather's actions.

Helen says the two are on the road to repairing their relationship, but it's been a long, hard journey.

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It's astonishing to think of everything this poor woman has been through. Hopefully, her daughter can find a way to forgive her -- she did what she did out of love. But it's a good lesson that children usually prefer the truth, no matter how harsh it might be.

What would you have done?


Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

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