Thursday, April 7, 2016

My Daughter's Sexual Abuse: The Dawning of The Untrustworthy Assholes (And Emergence of True Friends), Days 2 -5

CJ's story is being told in a series and from a mother's perspective. This is the second installment in the series. If you missed the first installment of the series, please click here.

There is a moment between awake and asleep where everything was good. Everything was unbroken. That moment was cruel.

I woke up the next morning and, for a split second, my world hadn’t just been destroyed. And then it all hit me again. 

Your brain tries so hard to protect you from things that it just can’t process. When I woke up I made a phone call. I called my best friend who I'm going to call "T." We had been friends since the first day of sixth grade. I called her because I knew she’d be awake early to go to work. I told her in as few words as possible. She cried. She was horrified. She called into work and came right over. She helped me parent that day. I was in a fog and I still had shit that had to get done. Children had to eat and I had more talking to do.

Two of the hardest phone calls I made in the whole process were to my daugher’s biological father and then my other best friend who I will call "C." How do you tell a father that the man he trusted to take care of his daughter committed an act so horrible? As for C, we had just been on a “family” vacation. She has a young daughter. She was terrified and I understood that. Thankfully, the monster never hurt anyone else. C could have turned her back on me. She could have cut strings because it was all just too much. She could have blamed me. I would have understood that. I blamed me. (The self-loathing was thick in those first few weeks.) She never did. She and her whole family stood with me. Supported me. Loved us. She is one of the sisters I didn’t get to have. Hopefully, with putting this in print, she’ll know how much she means to me, and that I love her for the grace she gave me in my worst moments.

My ex was, of course, broken. He offered to cut his work trip short and come home. I decided that there wasn’t really anything he could physically do in the next few days so it was better to just stay where he was. We talked a lot for a while. The things that had stressed our parenting relationship for years just didn’t matter anymore. We were focused on what we needed to do for our daughter. We were allies again and continue to be to this day. Three days into my nightmare, my ex and I were talking when he paused and said, “I just realized that you lost a husband, and Ben lost a father in this too.” I lost it. Yes. Finally someone got it. There were so many levels to all of this. Everything that my little family knew was gone. Nothing would be the same ever again.

Those next few days were a blur of interviews and facts and talking. I had to subject my daughter to doctor’s visits and tests that no person - no child - should have to endure. The FBI took my computer and his phone for forensic testing. They told me that if they found what they were looking for that I’d never get my computer back. It would then be evidence. We only had one computer so everything we had was on that one. Every memory, every document, everything I needed was going to be destroyed. Thankfully they didn’t find anything. Which was apparently “odd.” NO shit. Like the whole situation wasn’t "odd!"

Sitting in a small room with the FBI, a Federal prosecutor, and therapists. I manage to make them laugh in spite of the situation. That’s what I do when it’s horrible or stressful. I make jokes. They’re dark yes, but also funny. I think that if you can’t laugh then you’re truly lost. We’re talking about how this happens, what happens next, and the interview my child had just given.

Representatives from more alphabet agencies than I care to remember watched my child tell her horror story though a mirror. They were struck with her vocabulary, her intelligence, and the innocence she still possessed.

She genuinely acted and seemed like she was okay. The worst part for her was hurting me and taking her brother’s father away. I tried and still try my best to assure her that she did the right thing. Of course she did the right thing!

Friday, I had started getting calls and messages from people that I’m not close with. They are offering prayers and want to know what’s going on, and yet they already have details. Details that I had only given to select people. Details that I had given to my best friend T. One call came in from someone that I had previously cut out of my life, "J." He knew both me and the perp. He wanted me to erase any affiliation between the two of them off of the internet. That was his concern. How the situation would reflect on him.

And then the story broke. Facebook, the news, the internet went crazy. And it was broken by the very same news station that J worked for. News vans. They were sitting in front of my house. Several tried to get an interview. All they wanted was a soundbite.

I confronted T and J. J assured me that what he did was for the greater good. It was a “community alert.” BULLSHIT. Fucking bullshit. Our tragedy was not a community alert, but, apparently, it can be good for the career. J got a company car and a promotion out of it. Breaking a story like this must have made his bosses salivate. Even more so when you have inside information.

In less than a week I had been betrayed and violated by the two closest people to me. The second blow hurt as much as the first.

This was a friend on whom I had relied. Things got back to me. She was telling people my story all over town. Calling people that we had in common, but many that I didn’t really know. She told anyone that he or I had ever met, “even that one time at a wedding.” I guess she liked the glory of being close to the situation. She still doesn’t believe she did anything wrong. That’s the hardest part. I just want to shake her and ask, "If it were your child, would you want someone blabbing all over town? But she doesn’t have children, so how could she know what being a mother is and feels like?

We still have many friends in common, but I have cut her out of my life completely. We’ll never be friends again. I could never trust her with anything that I wouldn’t tell a stranger. And maybe not even that. I feel like strangers would know not to blab details so very secret and horrible.

And then the letters started…

Please tune in again for the remainder of CJ's story in the coming weeks.

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