In the Christian parenting books my dad wrote, we were always the most perfect devout family.
When I found out he was secretly trolling for gay sex online, I became obsessed with unmasking the truth.
Dad was equally passionate about promoting family values and lobbied against gay marriage at the state capitol.
He also served as an elder at our Southern Baptist church while running the PR department of a Fortune 500 company.
It was the mid-‘90s and the Internet was still something you had to access with dial-up and a shrink-wrapped CD from AOL.
After years of trying, we had finally caught my father soliciting sex from strangers.Most days he would be gone before we woke up and arrive home shortly before dinner.Mom would rush to greet him, tearing off her oven mitts so she could take his briefcase. “Dad’s had a long day and he’s very tired.” If we were too loud or demanding, he’d be quick to let us know. “They know to respect me there.” I’ve read the books he wrote about my early childhood and wondered who this man was that claimed to have held me on his lap.I was no longer living in a world where some of us were entitled to wag a finger of judgment. When I was done I logged out of the account, deleted the hacker program and decided to pretend like it had never happened.I needed to believe the lie and continue being the smiling daughter of a godly man.