September 5, 2018

The little girl said #metoo and then let go

The pieces of the puzzle that make up my life are floating in the water.

Every time the pieces get closer to each other, a wave comes by and pushes the pieces away.

You never get to see the big picture.

I read the below exert a year ago written by a man in his forties as a result of #metoo.  It was part of his testimony - that he has had to defend women from "predators" his whole life.
“When I was maybe 10 years old a teenage kid babysitting me and a much younger female family member got me to leave him alone with her by bribing me with a copy of the Little Red Riding Hood 7" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs. I was too young to really know what was up but suspected something was fishy and when I snuck back to spy on them he was rubbing her shoulders with a pervy look on his face while she sat there dead-eyed and frozen and scared. I went and got a hammer and told him to stop. He left, but not before quietly saying he would kill me and my family if I told anyone. I was terrified but told anyway. Nobody did anything but at least he never got hired as my babysitter again. For the next year or so I'd run into him while riding my bike around and he'd show me his knife and tell me he was going to kill me and that my mother was a whore.

My heart has ached for that little girl, and for the little boy who protected her.  I have thought about them everyday for a most of a year. 

After some time
, the waves have settled and I have allowed the pieces to come together.  

I am that little girl.  My brother wrote those words.  

I had a vague memory of that  babysitter.   The babysitter and I were alone in our enclosed carport, and he had … and I don't remember.  I remember waiting in the driveway for my mom to come home and not wanting to go back inside or have that babysitter again.   
I always knew in the back of my head something happened.  I never wanted to admit it and didn’t have any proof because God had protected my precious little heart and mind.  

And although I don't remember this part either, I had another protector that day, too. 

Looking out for bad guys at a young age

This missing piece to my puzzle helps explains things... 
I now know why at thirteen I had a crush on and wanted to date a nineteen year old.  

I now know why I flinch when I am touched casually on the shoulder by any male, even  family members or friends.    

I now know why I literally fell onto my knees and almost threw up when another child said something accidentally troubling to one of my young girls.

I now know why I have always been adamant that my daughters didn’t ever have male babysitters.  

I now know why I was extremely cautious if they ever went to a sleepover where there was a teenage male.  
My husband would like to find this guy and pummel him. I think my dad and my older brother would like to harm him as well.  Lets just throw in all my brothers for that matter. 

But something my husband said made this more acceptable, "maybe this is why you have a heart for injustices, and you so fiercely protect our girls. Those are really good things". 

Unfortunately, I think this new puzzle piece is making it harder to let my daughters go as they are entering and near exiting high school.  I have been able to protect them so far, but knowing they will be out in the big world and not protected from "predators" is a scary thought.   

They laugh at my all too familiar "mom" routine whether they are going to a football game, movie or the mall...

"use the buddy system to go to the bathroom”, 

“don’t take a drink from anyone”, 
“don’t use that word so a guy doesn’t get the wrong impression”, 
"when you get in an elevator always stand by the button pad" 

and “look around you constantly when you walk to your car”.  

I also tell them God gave them instincts, and they should always use it.  

And, as I learn to let go, I pray nothing tarnishes the many puzzle pieces of their precious lives.

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