Today one of the chapters closed on our child’s sexual assault case.
I have longed to write more frankly, and more frequently, on the events we’ve been privy to since the abuse first came to light. Interviews, medical exams, evaluations, appointments, reading materials, and helpful and less-helpful professional experiences, opinions, and evaluations.
But I don’t write more, because I have been learning to more deeply respect my child(ren)’s privacy. In the early days post-abuse disclosure, when I was treading water and flailing, I shared a few details with adults in my life. Not every one of those people held my disclosures in confidence. I’m not sure how much it hurts to be gossiped about, for me personally. But it really hurt that I trusted a few people with my child, and they were clumsy with the child’s safety, and the child’s story. So, I’m not willing to throw my child’s life on that particular bonfire again.
Damn their eyes!
I have a few friends that I’d trust with my absolute life, and those are the friends who hear more on the subject. They have been a lifeline.
But oh, how I’ve suffered. I’ve suffered horribly. I’ve suffered in ways that don’t make sense. The depth and breadth of my suffering has been unreal. Sleep has been snatched from me; at times my appetite slapped from my mouth. As a spiritual mentor of mine told me last fall – “Remember – this didn’t happen to you. It happened to your kid.” Her helpful sentence has sometimes been the slim thread that has kept me in sane behavior – if not in a sane thought-life.
I’ve suffered while trying to do my best with institutions and entities that have been occasionally helpful, but often bureaucratic, dishonest, and frustrating. Entities who had more information on the assaults than I, yet were not willing to share it. I’ve had to make decisions and find counseling and advocacy and that has felt like a crap shoot at times. The financial expenses are nothing when compared to the anguish of worrying for my child’s wellbeing.
I am not trying to complain for pity, or for – well, anything. I am trying to be honest. This has been difficult. And since my habit of writing – and writing frankly, warts and all – is one of the most helpful exercises I’ve ever had at my behest, to err on the side of non-disclosure these past months has been stifling.
I only write now, not for my own therapeutic efforts but in case someone who reads here may one day need comfort. I can say this has been the hardest thing I’ve gone through as a parent – so far. Sometimes the pain is so great I don’t know what to do with it. It has been a dark experience. I can feel okay for a while but then something bumps up against me and suddenly I am angry. I can’t sleep. I am full of anxiety. My trust is etched away in an acidic bath of hate.
So today – another report. Another series of findings. A case closed. Another difficult talk within the family.
I light a candle and take Refuge. I swim for an hour and meditate. I do housework; I help others. I feed my body and care for my loved ones (and a few friends, and a few strangers).
Friends give me tender loving care. They send me kind messages, texts, and sometimes emails. Sometimes they send funds, which are very helpful. Sometimes they more or less just tell me they read here – that is very helpful too.
I’m trying to be patient with myself. Because lately life has been dark, and ugly, and baffling.