My youngest and I went to coffee last night. We chit chatted about light stuff....this and that....nothing too important. And then I did it, FINALLY. I have been meaning to talk to her for a good long time but didn't have the opportunity or, perhaps, the courage.
Before my life started over, while we were still deep within the craziness, I got a call from Jen. Jen was the assistant youth pastor at the church my little one attended. My girl was probably about 13, Jen was maybe 19. The two of them had built a friendship and Jen seemed to be a positive influence in my girl's life. She called me very upset, needed to come and speak to me and the Secret Keeper. I tried to talk to her on the phone but she was insistent. We made arrangements and Jen showed up at the appointed hour. We all sat in the living room in the house that held my heart, my girl looking incredibly uncomfortable, and got to the issue at hand.
Jen informed us that my girl had confided in her that years before there had been an incident. That, in the beautiful little playhouse cottage that sat in her backyard, our neighbor’s daughter and her slightly older boy cousin had been inappropriate. Jen talked of the churches responsibility of calling the police and was pretty intense and emotional.
I cannot say what came over me. I know I emotionally detached from Jen's frenzy. We all talked and I tried to calm things down. Eventually, I thanked Jen for letting us know and I have very little memory after that. I did end up speaking to the youth pastor about the situation. We both agreed that it may have been blown out of proportion. The kids had been so young. My girl was at most 5, the others would have been 6 and 8ish. Perhaps I just didn't want to deal....I cannot say but we did not pursue it further. The neighbor lady had moved away to Oregon very soon after this incident would have happened. I had no contact with her or anyone who might have known where she was. And what happens with something like this anyways? They were kids.
Lately I have felt strongly that I was not my daughters advocate, that I had failed her in some way. I just know at the time I couldn't see taking my girl down to the police station to file a report and have to have her tell a stranger what had happened.
And, perhaps, I was just so overwhelmed with what was going on in our home with the insanity of mental illness and addiction that I set aside something that I was unable to deal with myself..... hence the guilt. As if it was about me.
As we talked, my sweet girl told me she knew that I did the best I could. She comforted me??? Again not my intention. I wanted to let her know I was there for her and how very sorry I was that I did not handle the situation the way I would today. I guess the best way I can show that is to be with her and love her through any situation she decides to share with me. To love unconditionally and allow her to be who she is without judgment.