If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How Are We Doing? (Me - part 1)

I have already talked a lot about my emotional state in other posts. I remember being shocked and confused. I constantly thought to myself, "This can't be happening." I would tell myself this, but in my gut I knew it was bad. I remember feeling physically nauseous and weak in my stomach. Whenever I would be driving alone, I would sob. On occassion, it would be so bad I would need to pull over. I sobbed a few times late at night when I was by myself at home. Otherwise, I felt like a robot going through the motions of life. If you would ask me how I was, I usually would just look at you or say, "Medium." Medium was a good day. That usually meant I hadn't cried and I had been able to do something beyond just surviving, such as show up at our homeschool co-op, do school with my middle children, make necessary phone calls, or make it to an appointment. Anyone that was in my life at the time that required me to carry the relationship just fell away. I even lost contact with some family members. There were a few people that regularly contacted me. I was not actively reaching out to anyone at the time.

It was really hard for me to make all the calls in regards to our case. Eric handled the calls at first, but then it required me to get involved. When we finally entered counseling, this took up chunks of time and this was very emotional. At first, it was just two of us in counseling and then it was clear we needed to add another child. Soon after we found someone that Eric was able to counsel with.

I remember saying, "I hate!" I used to look at people and smile when I was in public. Now every male person was a potential abuser. I did not want to smile at a pedophile. So, I would give blank looks or avoid eye contact.

Of course my past abuse was brought to the forefront of my mind. There were some eerie similarities. I was about the same age. It was my caregiver's husband (someone that was trusted by our family). It happened at night and my memory of it has always been very dreamlike. I remembered running into him over the years and the fear that I felt when I saw him.

When I was somewhat older and not in his wife's care anymore, he had driven by me when I was walking home one afternoon and stopped and offered me a ride home. I didn't know how to say no. I got into his truck. He took me home and saw that my mom wasn't home, he asked to see the inside of our house and to wait for my mom. I can still see him today, sitting in the chair in the corner. I was on the couch, just wishing he would leave. After some time, he finally left. It was dark now and I pretended to go to bed. I turned off the lights. I turned the TV down to a whisper and lied right in front of it. I remember feeling scared.

We had a wood door that wasn't very secure. All of a sudden there was a huge shove on the door. I ran to the door and shoved back and pulled the curtains aside and saw my babysitter's husband. He ran off. I called my mom where she was and she came home as soon as she could. I'm not sure why, but my mom didn't call the police then. The next day, my mom did call the police, but it was too late. They said they couldn't do anything. I believe my mom called the abuser and told him to stay away. But I never told my mom what he had done to me when I occasionally stayed the night at their home,during the time period his wife was my babysitter. This was something I lived with.

My counselor used to explain what living with this kind of knowledge is like: "It's like someone secretly holding an inflated balloon under water. They spend so much energy trying to hold it under, while pretending they aren't. That's what it's like trying to live life as if the sexual abuse didn't happen or didn't matter."

1 comment:

sherie said...

HI Danielle,
I can relate to this post and the one about your other children's behavior. When my family experienced something similar, life became very dreamlike. It was like having an out of body experience. I remember thinking it felt like I was on a reality show - it was so unreal. I realize now that I was in shock. For weeks. Holding myself together in public and sobbing in private became unavoidable - I often couldn't stop crying in front of others. A name or place would be mentioned and I would lose it. My other children's behavior were allowed and embraced because it was NORMAL. Even when my son moved in with his girlfriend - I had little reaction. At least she wasn't married, with children and he was not at risk for sexual abuse. Not the reaction I may have had prior to this experience. But, possibly one of the blessings? I now have a wonderful daughter in law - and she has always been completely accepted by our family.....her heart is open to discussing Christianity and she has no doubt that we love her. But at the time it felt like we were wildly out of control and careening haphazardly - I doubted that even God was in control. Enough time has passed now to gingerly believe that God is in control once again, but I will never believe that what happened to our daughter was part of his plan for her life. Never. It was sin pure and simple - thrust upon her by another's actions. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Our family too, has lost trust in organized religion of any kind. It is unlikely we will ever commit formally to another church. We are committed to Christ and HIm alone. He is our Rock and our Shield. Our trust is in Him. You and your family are in my prayers. Much Love, Sherie

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