I’m in a kickass kind of mood. Bring. It. On.
Do not mess with a child.
I can talk about life after child abuse, tell my story, empower adults to courage as they put their life back together following an adverse childhood, be a catalyst for open forum discussions on this national problem – but when I hear another child has been abused, it’s visceral.
After hearing a new story, I hurt in empathy for this child, experience concern for the family and their “new normal,” and then? I feel downright hostile toward the abuser. I allow myself the freedom to do mental mayhem. Trust me, I have a very active imagination. And although I’m quite capable of rational discussion about “abusers have issues too,” I’ll leave predators to those better suited than I, to work with them.
Today I’m ready to kick a little fanny. Another child got hurt. He is the age of one of my grandsons. His life is irrevocably altered. His mother’s heart ravaged. The ripple effect splashes painfully across extended family and friends, who try to wrap their heads and hearts around their new reality. It’s incomprehensible. Emotions run high. It divides and separates good people. Most are unequipped to deal appropriately, and scramble for understanding.
And then the questions. How could it happen? How could it happen to us? Could we have prevented it? What do we do now with this shattered child, and family system? How do we protect them in the future? How do we help them heal? How do we adequately surround them with love? With support?
And while the questions swirl, the system goes to work. Child Protective Services, Police Departments, Psychologists, Attorneys, Court appearances – and in the vortex of this storm there is a little boy – an innocent betrayed, fear his new companion. I hate that.
I’ll go split wood, or take to my paddleboard so as to not actually kick this dad’s ever-so-deserving posterior. But, oh, how I’d like to.
Will you help me shine a light on child sexual abuse? I’ll carry the torch. Will you help spread the word?