Written by Life As We Know It
It took me over a year to work up the courage to start my blog, Life As We Know It. Reason being, people read blogs about things they are interested in. I sure hope nobody is interested in reading about a four year old girl being sexually abused; in fact I’ve had a few people offended by my content.
However, in the months after my (now ex) partner of four years, father figure to my daughter, was arrested on these charges, I would have given a limb to come across my blog. A blog where another parent could tell me “I know it feels like the world is coming down around you, but you can do this. You can get her through.” I searched endlessly for someone who knew what I was going through, and found nothing. People don’t talk about these things, because we don’t like to accept that there are monsters like that walking among us. Here’s the sad truth, people: it happens, and it happens much more frequently than you think. Child Sexual Abuse is real.
At the time I was completely out of my depth. Even the professionals involved (including a social worker, a family support team and a child therapist) who were trained to deal with these situations didn’t know what the next step was.
Amid the shock of the revelation (a quiet confession from a sleepy four year old as I read her a bedtime story), there were a hundred and one things that needed to happen; medical evidence needed to be collected, video statements taken. Forensics took over my house and police officers confiscated things leaving me with more questions than answers. Various professionals needed to see and speak to us at all times, and somewhere in between that I still needed to make and serve three meals a day, stay in contact with worried family members and get ready for my daughter to start reception the next month! Life doesn’t stop when something like this happens, it just feels like it should. Instead, things descend into chaos.
I know a thing or two about surviving abuse; my daughter’s actual father beat me for years, hence why she had a ‘father figure’ for most of her life instead of him. This situation though, being told by my beautiful, innocent, four year old the graphic details of what had happened to her; this was different. The first time around all I had to do was drag myself out of the wreckage and seek help. This time I had to see her through, make sure that she was okay, meet her basic (and more complex) needs, all while proving to a team of professionals that I could hold it together after finding out what had happened.
You see, with children as young as my daughter, the real velocity of what has happened goes right over their heads. As an officer told me at the time, “It’s much harder for the adults involved to process and move forward than it is for young children.”
So after a year of court hearings, medical follow ups, play therapy and crying at two in the morning, I started a blog. Not because I want people to hear about our ordeal, but because if there is even one person out there who feels the way I felt at that time, I want to help.
I can answer your questions about how to hold it together when it’s all too much, how to help your child in play therapy, or how to manage conversations about your circumstances with school or other parents. I want you to read my blog, and know that it’s okay to feel like that. It’s okay to be scared and confused and angry, and to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. More importantly, I want you to read about our adventures in National Trust parks, and how my daughter has the fiery attitude of a teenager already, and how she is strong and confident and okay. She is not broken, or irreparably damaged.
I never thought we would be okay again, but we are now. You will be too, and I am here to help you get there. I’m not a professional, I have no qualifications in this area, and what worked for us might not work for you. I’m a mother, and hand on heart, I know what you’re going through.
Written by Life As We Know It
Website | Life As We Know It Blog
Twitter | @lifeawknowit