My vision is blurred. Everything surrounding us is hazy. I’m looking at you through tunnel vision, my sweet little one. My eyes zoom in on your chubby little face. Your sweet lips part and you repeat the sentence again, as I request. “He touched me there, Mommy.”
“Are you sure, baby?” I ask, fighting back tears.
“Yes, Mommy, I remember.” You say, with confidence.
“Honey, are you telling me the truth?” I ask, but I already know the answer. You spilled the words so innocently. I know you had never heard them before.
“No, Mommy, I’m not lying. Liars are bad.” You stare at me in confusion. I’m trying not to lose it in front of you.
I say, “I believe you baby. I believe you. Please go play now, everything will be OK.”
It’s so hard to keep it together. I want to scream.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
I lock myself in the bathroom for a minute. I scream into a towel. My face is crimson, I can’t let you kids see me this way. I’m shaking. How am I supposed to calm down? My world is falling apart. Aside from completely losing you, this is my worst nightmare.
I dropped my baby off in a safe place. I trusted. I’m not the mom who just drops her kids anywhere. I am so careful. I asked the questions. I made sure it was a safe place. Why did this happen to my baby?
I feel so helpless. This is the worst I’ve ever felt. I’m blaming myself. You can’t trust anyone. How could I have prevented this? Has it happened to anyone else? What more could I have done? I thought I was leaving my baby with the experts.
I believe you, baby. I believe you. I am so sorry he took your innocence. You’re too young to be going through this. You don’t even know that it’s wrong. Baby, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry you will never be the same. I’ll never feel the same, either. He took a piece of me, when he hurt you.
“He touched me there, Mommy.” The words that uttered from your sweet, innocent, mouth keep playing like a broken record in my mind. I can’t stop it.
It’s all I hear now.
I’m replaying the day in my mind. I’m analyzing the details to see where I could have prevented this from happening. I can’t find a way to manipulate this so that I can take the blame. I didn’t do anything wrong. I left you in a safe place. THEY’RE wrong. THEY let you down.
My sadness shifts to rage. I am livid. Someone needs to give me answers. Someone needs to explain how this could happen to MY BABY.
I fall to my knees. “God, why?”
I am angry with God. How could he let them put you in a place where you became a piece of prey. How could God let that boy ruin you? How could God bring this pain into your life?
How could God allow such evil to touch you? This doesn’t make sense. We are faithful. We are servants, and this is the thanks we get?
“Lord, I don’t understand. God, I am so angry. God, I am so sorry I’m mad, but you’ve let me down.”
I call my husband, because surely he will comfort me. Surely, I’m imagining all of this and he’ll wake me up from this nightmare.
He’s upset now. He’s broken, too. “This can’t be happening” he says. He’s just as lost as I am.
I fall back on my knees. “God, why?”
This time I listen.
Instead of demanding answers, I wait.
“Speak to me God. I know you have a reason for this heartache. Please, show me you aren’t using my baby’s pain in vain.”
I sit in silence. The only sound in the room is the sound of my heavy tears falling on my clothes.
I begin to think about the predator. This person, who preyed on my precious baby, is a child too. The “he” who touched my baby is probably a victim, too.
God challenges me to shift my anger and rage, and turn toward compassion and empathy for the person who just devastated our lives. I feel like I’ve been punched in the chest. I equate this pain with having my heart ripped wide open. Evil wants me to lie in despair, it wants me to be eaten alive by resentment.
I am still incredibly upset. It’s like I’m sitting in the dark, and a tiny candle suddenly ignites. The tiny flame guides me towards understanding that there is so much more to be done. There is truth to be told. There is justice to be sought. There are two victims here, my baby and the abuser.
I pray for truth to be revealed. I pray for discernment. I pray for strength because I know my baby’s honest revelation is just the beginning of a long road.
“He touched me there, Mommy.”
I will never be able to erase those words from my memory. They will forever bring the sinking feeling. They will forever cause my heart to skip, and I’ll lose my breath.
I am so sorry baby. I wish I could remove this nightmare from both of our memories, but I’m learning that’s not how life works. No matter how hard I wish, this won’t go away.
I can’t give you back your innocence, my sweet little love. What I can do, is promise not to let you battle this burden alone. I will be there for you through every step forward. I will not let this change your sweet, pure heart. This evil thing that happened to you is not going to bring us down, my sweet child. I won’t let it. I promise, with everything that I am, we’re going to get through this, together.