If you follow the link to the New York Post, prepare to have your heart broken. There are no winners in this story. None.

At nine, Chaneya Kelly accused her dad of raping her. He was sentenced to forty years in jail. Now an adult, married, and a mother, she says her mother threatened her into making that accusation, her dad is innocent, and she’d like to see him set free.

In her 2002 letter, Chaneya said she should be the one behind bars.

“I feel guilty when I talk about it. I feel that I should be in prison instead of you,” she wrote.

In another letter, dated Oct. 2, 2006, Chaneya said she wished she “could change the past,” and noted the irony “that mommy would have been locked up for perjury charges” if Chaneya had only told the truth. That letter is signed “Daddy’s Big Girl, Neya.”

The insanity of assuming that any child making that accusation is telling the truth; the insanity of the idea that any accusation of abuse must have truth at its core is a sort of madness many — aware of the creation of false memories — are willing to shake off.  But there is something else at work here: that it doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone that a mother (or any other adult with control of the child) could use the child as a weapon in a marital dispute or a divorce.

That is a form of blindness that must be unique to our times.  You could call it “mothers are always saintly.”  Future generations might laugh at us for this, but for this woman there is nothing funny.

At least, to quote from the Post, one of the actors in this tragedy is acting in a sane and responsible way:

But Chaneya yesterday told The Post that her dad doesn’t blame her, saying that when she first visited him in jail, “the first thing he did was hug me and tell me that he loved me and that none of this is my fault.”

Photo illustration courtesy ©Naypong