The GuiltPosted on 06/01/12, 02:33 pm
I found out March of 2011 that my 5 year old (at the time) had been sexually abused by her biological father. Me and him had split up when I was just 6 months pregnant. His parents were in our lives for about the first year of birth and then it slowly faded. After 4 more years, her "dad" decided he finally wanted to be in her life. SHE WAS SO EXCITED to have a "dad". At first, he was great. Picked her up every other weekend, bought her things, paid child support. After about a year, she had a breakdown. It was her weekend to go to her dad's house (who was remarried). I picked her up and called her dad to tell him I was on my way. When I hung up, she started crying and said she didn't want to go. When I asked why, she wouldn't tell me. I asked her if he punished her, yelled at her, spanked her....etc...it never crossed my mind what she told me after that. I tried to get it out of her and she was being so stubborn about it. I threatened to take her Nintendo DS away...nothing. I threatened to not let her watch any TV...still wouldn't talk. I threatened to ground her....no privilages...she still wouldn't talk. Finally, frustrated and worried, I PROMISED her I would not tell her dad if she told me and she finally spoke. The words that came out of her mouth shocked me to the point of an almost car accident (since I was driving). I went straight to the police station and told them what happened. They asked me to stop mid sentence and they looked at my daughter and asked HER to tell them what happened. She said those awful words again. "he treats me bad, I don't like it. He shoots white stuff on me". The police immediatley told me not to talk about it with her until after the interview. It was SO hard. I wanted her to tell me everything, I wanted to comfort her. This is so difficult to write and think about. After that, the loooong drawn out process of interviews and exams and more interviews, they told me some more of the details. She had seen other kids her age on his computer "doing things". He told her "his wife liked these things and so (my daughter) should like them too". The police were taking forever. Finally, in one of my ranting and raving to the police station, the investigator told me that he needed to know if her "dad" still had the same computer. (all this time I just kept making up excuses as to why she couldn't go to his house. he had no idea we knew what happened). So the cop asked me if there was a way to find out about the computer. I had to actually go to his house and pretend that I needed him to sign a school form and I asked him how long he had the computer. It was the same one. I don't know how I managed to keep myself together while I was looking right into his face. I pulled over after I left his house and just broke down and sobbed. All of the "how and why's" were just infuriating me. HOW could he do this to her?????? Why does my baby have to go through all of this??
The next days, they arrested him (November 10, 2011). His sentencing was May 30th 2012. He took a plea bargain and got 10 years for indecency with a child and 10 years for promotion and possesion of child pornography to be served concurrently (which I was not happy with). I went to the courthouse to see him be taken away. There was some closure, but I still have so much guilt.......There was a time she was sick at school and the school nurse called for me to pick her up. I called her dad and he was available to pick her up. I called the school back and told the nurse to let her know her dad was coming. the nurse said she was upset and didn't want her dad to pick her up. I insisted since I was at work. Little did I know that was the first "sign" that she gave me. She tried to let me know right then. In her own little way and I didn't really HEAR what she was saying. WHY didn't I see that? Why didn't I ask her why?
I am the backbone of my family. Everyone comes to me when they need support. Everyone expects me to be strong. I am strong, but I feel like even more pressure is being put on me to be strong, like I'm not supposed to let this get to me. I am so tired of hearing "be strong". I know I have to be strong for my daughter. I can handle that. I can do anything for her. But I need someone to be strong for me.
Thanks for reading...
Reply #1 06/01/12 4:50pm
No matter how much jail time your babies dad received it would not be enough. A lifetime cannot replace what is lost. If what happened doesn't get to you that doesn't mean you are strong. It is not weakness to fall apart when faced with something so terrible. It is NORMAL. It is ok to cry and grieve and be sad. It is ok to be weak. It is ok to have days when you just feel like you can't get anything together. It is ok to feel guilty. If I told you I didn't feel guilty about things I would be a liar. I feel guilty everyday. I am sad everyday because what happened is sad. We have to do whatever it takes to survive this. While all of those things are true here are some other true things for you. The minute you knew what happened, it never happened again. You stopped it. You believed your daughter. You stood behind her. You protected her. You went into that fuckers house and found out what you needed to know. You are taking care of her. You are taking care of you. You are doing the best you can do. You can't change the past but when you are ready you can get yourself up, stop asking why because there will never be a good enough answer to that. Ask yourself, instead, where do I go from here. Do not let this horrible part of your life and her life overtake the whole of it. It is just a part, a fucked up part but there is more and will be better. Peace and prayers to you.
Reply #2 06/01/12 6:55pm
I am so sorry that you have had to go thru this. I know what you mean about being strong. It was my (step) son who abused my daughter. My husband was a mess over his son doing this but also having to be sent away to a residential treatment program. He was mourning the loss of his son and the damage to his daughter, so I had to be strong. He ended up needing surgery a couple of days after she disclosed so I had to be strong for that. Now, a year and a half later, my daughter still won't talk about it, my husband is STILL recovering from the original and 4 subsequent surgeries, and my son is out of residential treatment but in "proctor care" and attending school and counseling and I am still supposed to be strong. If I get upset now, since it's been so long, my husband just gets annoyed. I am still being strong when what I really want to do is spend about a week alone crying and screaming. I want to be the "weak" one. I want someone to comfort me. I want to be needy. But, alas, it's up to women, most of the time, to be the backbone and the strength for those around us. Take comfort in the fact that you did your best to put him in jail for his crimes, you are supporting your daughter and helping her, now be your own best friend and expect LESS of yourself once in a while. We all feel weary with all of the baggage this gives us to carry. It gets soo heavy. It's hard to do every day things sometimes still. Just tell yourself that it's OK. If you need "permission" WE GIVE IT TO YOU!!!! Give yourself a break and find someone in your circle of friends/family to lean on. Or lean on us. We are here to listen. We all understand how this just sucks the energy and life out of you for so long. Hugs to you, Jen
Reply #3 06/01/12 10:10pm
So sorry you are going thru this hell. Jennifermom is right-you must give yourself a break and some TLC! My situation is similar to Jennifermom's. My step-son raped and abused my youngest daughter 14 yrs ago when he was 12 and she was 4. There is a possibilty that my other daughter may have been abused as well ( she was 6 at the time and has no memories but there are some red flags that have come to light recently). Unfortunately my son cannot be punished because he was a minor at the time ( how screwed up is that?)
You were so brave to do what you did for your daughter, I applaud you!! I know that doesn't help when you feel like maybe you just can't take one more step or do one more thing. There is nothing as exhausting as this.
I hope that by coming here and getting some support you will find some relief. I joined a women's group for survivor's of sexual assault and found a lot of kindess and support. Other survivors and mothers of survivors really understand how difficult this can be.
Counseling for you would be a big help as well. My husband and I go to counseling because we , as parents, are secondary victims. You are a victim as well and you deserve support and understanding. People who haven't been thru this just don't understand. And many that you do tell and are well meaning but don't know what to do or say.
I hope for you and your daughter's healing. I know it is a long road, hang in there-you are your daughter's HERO!! Laura
Reply #4 06/02/12 12:32pm
Kira, so sorry you had to reach out to a group like this, but glad you found us, welcome! My heart goes out to your precious daughter for what she's had to go thru. I can't begin to express how impressed and proud I am of you and your daughter! You are AWESOME!!! The two of you are so brave to have done exactly what needed to be done. I have to say Kudos to the officer and others who guided you thru this process in exactly the right way at the right time to make sure the offender got a sentence, something that many in this situation don't get. It is uplifting to learn of a case where some sort of justice was done.
I know it's so hard to not feel guilty about what happened, but please try to not believe the lie that you had any accountability in this. The blame lies completely with the offender; absolutely NONE of it is your fault, not even a microscopic bit. Offenders are manipulative, conniving, deceitful, secretive, self absorbed, self centered, selfish, discreet posers who most think couldn't swat a fly. They are so professionally skilled at what they do that none of us have any chance of realizing anything. None of us here had any idea what was really going on. We had absolutely no reason to think it would be.
I agree you have to give yourself permission to have a melt down if you need it. I used to sob in the shower, throw rocks at trees, scream in a pillow, stack books and knock them over and repeat it if I felt like it, punch at mylar helium balloons, and somedays I didn't get out of bed til noon. I didn't let my kids see it, it's important to their healing to think you are doing ok. My kids didn't disclose til they were adults and were in college. Counseling is so important, and you and your daughter should be able to get it free or at greatly reduced rates thru the Victimes of Crime Compensation Office in your state. It's a tough long road ahead, but it does get better. You can learn to see from a different perspective so you don't let this define your daughter or you, so you can also see all the great qualities you both have, the talents, gifts, and strengths you can develop, enjoy, and share.
Come here any time you need to for support, advice, or just to vent. My thoughts and prayers are with you, big (((hugs))) to you both!
Reply #5 06/02/12 6:39pm
Wow, I am so glad that SOB got arrested. Your daughter is very brave and no longer has to face that sicko. It's so sad, I feel like crying every time I read somebody's story here.
This group is for parents whose children have been sexually abused. We welcome both Mothers and Fathers. Here, we can offer support to one another. We can vent, cry and lift each other up. No condemning or criticizing allowed. We are here for support. We LOVE (((HUGS))) !