When I started my blog, a friend warned that I would likely abandon it before long, noting that the skeletons of several blogs he created were floating out in the Internet. Not me, I vowed. I love my blog. I need to write and I’ve got so much I want to say. Give it up as if blogging were a mere hobby? Never.
A brief glance at recent posts proves my confidence was overstated. Decomposition has set in. I have barely posted in nine months, leaving only bones. But the lack of activity is not for the usual reasons… I have time, I have plenty to write about, and I am sketching pieces in my head all the time.
I let my blog go for the opposite reason. I have something to write about, but I couldn’t put it out in public because it was too raw and unfinished. I haven’t been ready to write about what has been both private and painful, bu until I did, I couldn’t write about anything else. Until I say it, posting anything else seemed hollow or false. Thus the silence of months, and finally the need to get it over with.
So here goes.
I found out at the beginning of the summer that my five-year-old daughter had been molested by an adult we knew and trusted. We were driving along the Susquehanna River on a beautiful morning, when I overheard from the back seat her telling her sister what this family friend had done. My heart stopped. “What did you say?” I demanded, a bit too sharply. I hoped that I had heard it wrong. She then refused to tell me what she was talking about. By this time I had pulled over so I could look her in the face. After repeated requests, she finally said, “Will _______ get in trouble if I tell you?” It’s the easiest lie I ever told.
Since then, I’ve been assured I did all the right things. I reported the incident to the child abuse hotline, where I was assured follow up would be within 24 hours. It took more like six weeks, after my persistent calling. School started before the police finally interviewed her and found her account credible. The perpetrator lawyered up and, after a delay of several months, took a lie detector test, which turned out to be faulty, and then several more months passed before a second one was scheduled in March. This one did “not detect deception”. Case closed.
But not for me. I’ve accompanied my child to therapy and PTSD treatment. I’ve raged and I’ve cried alone and with friends. I have blamed myself, yelled at God and astonished myself by thinking this sort of think didn’t happen in my family. I have also felt relieved that it was caught when it was and not after a second, third or thirtieth incident. I’m relieved my child didn’t have to go to court and be questioned by a hostile defense lawyer and that I have been rudely but blessedly woken up from the magical thinking that my kids are immune from abuse. There’s a reason they are both taking Kung Fu now. There’s a lot to be thankful for.
For me, it was never about settling the legal part, which was out of my hands anyway. I know what happened. But the end of the official investigation has freed me from waiting for others to act. After nine really long months, I can move on now. Once the deception was detected, my job has been taking care of my kids and myself. I’ll keep doing that. And with this composition, I can start reanimating the bones of my blog.