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The biggest shock in my life.....

Posted by maryhelen on May 2, 2003, at 17:04:38

In reply to Re: I wonder.... Dinah, posted by leeran on May 2, 2003, at 14:30:05

I know that we do everything we can to protect our children. I certainly thought that was the case with my daughter. In fact I know I was overprotective.

When my daughter was 11 and we had moved into a new neighbourhood, we came to know a grandfatherly gentleman, who lived alone just up the street. All the neighbourhood children spent time at this house. I checked him out the best I could with the neighbours, some who had lived their all their lives and they said he was wonderful with children. So I did allow my daughter to also spend time there with the other children. On one particular day, he was taking the children to the store for popsciles, when I got a call from a friend of mine who lived across the street and had seen him with the children and my daughter. She worked at the local community centre and told me that he was a known pedophile. I thought I would die. I work in a school and called the social worker in a panic for the best way to deal with this. Please, bear with me. I began to ask my daughter if he had ever touched her inappropriately. She kept maintaining that he hadn't but I just couldn't leave it alone.

She finally said to me, "Mom, John has never touched me or hurt me, but Grandad has". In that moment I thought I would die. My parents only lived 4 blocks away at the time and I was at the front door ready to leave and I swear to God I would have stuck a knife and twisted it right into my father. However, one look into my daughter's panicked face told me to get a grip and deal with this in a better way. I subsequently learned that I probably handled the situation as well as I could have, most importantly, never having doubted what she told me for a moment.

I won't go on with the follow-up because it is too long but I can tell you, that, although I learned through my own therapy years later he had also sexually abused me, there is nothing worse for me to bear than what he did to my daughter, who is now 29. The feelings of guilt that I didn't protect her and should have known will probably stay with me forever.

Thank you so much for listening.





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