I am in a towering rage today. I have been since last Thursday morning. A dear friend of mine called and told me that his daughter had been molested by her stepfather. I know this child. I love this child. She is a sweet, sensitive, beautiful soul. She doesn’t deserve this. No child does.
My friend, in the midst of everything he was going through–his own rage, caring for his daughter, getting a restraining order in place, trying to get the asshole who raped his daughter arrested–had the grace to apologize to me in advance for any triggering his call might cause me. This is why I love this man. This is why I do not hate all men. This is a good, and kind, and loving, man. A good, and kind, and loving dad. A good, and kind, and loving, friend.
I talked to my friend’s daughter the next day. I told her how incredibly brave she was. That telling dad what happened to her took incredible courage. That she was much more brave than I had been as a child. That she had parents who loved her, and would take care of her, and keep her safe, all because she took the amazing step of reaching out. I told her she could call me any time she wanted to talk–no matter what time it was. I told her that she was my hero. And she is.
She asked me how long it took me to get through all my feelings. She told me she couldn’t sleep, and had trouble eating, and had to remind herself to drink water. I reassured her that she would get through, and that the hardest part had been keeping silent. That silence is the enemy.
I want to cause serious pain to this asshole who hurt this child, this magnificently courageous child. I want him to suffer. I want him to feel fear, and betrayal, and terror, in multitudes of thousands over what this child is feeling. I want him to feel physical pain, and emotional pain, and psychic pain. I want him in jail. I want him castrated. No–truly, I want him dead.
Strong reaction? You bet. I was molested. I know what this innocent child is going through right now. I know the pain she will continue to have for years to come. I know that in fundamental ways, her childhood has been ripped away from her. I know that it will take years, and countless therapy sessions, and much reassurance from parents and others, before she will feel safe again. I know how hard it will be for her ever to trust again.
My friend was so right. I am triggered beyond words right now. I am in a towering rage at the men (and they are so overwhelmingly men) who perpetrate this outrage on innocent children–and ALL children are innocent. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since last Thursday. This asshole has perpetrated a crime against this child. And through her, against every victim and survivor of child sexual abuse whose life this child touches.
This child touches my life. I will move heaven and earth to help her heal. In whatever ways I can. For as long as she needs help. And beyond.
I look at my own daughter, and hold her tight, protecting her as much as I can from the evils of this world. We must hold all children close to us, not just our own. It is the duty of all of us to help these children. It is a moral imperative. We must reach out wherever we can to help them. They are so brave, and so in need of us all. Believe me, you know someone who has been abused, who is now being abused. There are so many of us out there–female AND male. Please help. Make silence go away, because only then we they–we–heal.