Can I trust him with my child?

For over twenty years,
without making a fuss,small_8899636192
I have never left any of my children alone,
with a man other than their father.

Until three weeks ago.

My youngest daughter,
a very precious little lady to me,
takes guitar lessons.
Every week she goes to the house,
of a most wonderful gentleman.
I go too.
She thinks it’s because I am so interested in her lesson.
He thinks I live too far away to make it worth my while to leave.
The real reason is, I cannot leave her alone with a man.
She is almost the age I was when life changed forever.

The lesson was booked as usual and then I remembered.
My other daughter had a dental appointment.
I told my youngest we would have to cancel guitar.

“Why?”, she asked. “Why can’t I go by myself?”.

Off she went to school, but her words stayed with me.
Why? Why could I not let her go alone?

I have over the years developed a very good nose,
for people I trust and ones I don’t.
This gentleman is definitely in the “I trust” bracket.
So that led me to the question “Why not?”.

After a lot of soul searching,
I realized it was wrong not to allow her to go.
By saying to myself I was protecting her,
I was lying.
The reality was I was afraid.

So when she returned from school, I told her she could go.
She gave me the biggest smile and ran for her guitar.small__8685210852

As we got into the car I felt physically sick.
My heart was racing.
I clutched the steering wheel,
and drove out of our driveway.
Inside my heart was screaming,
“Don’t do this”. “It’s in his house!”.
“She is only a child”.

However my head was also speaking.
In a steady measured tone.
“Stop being so dramatic”, “Trust your instincts”.
“This is one more hurdle”.
“Do not allow all that has happened to change your children’s lives”.

We arrived at the house and in she went.
I explained to her teacher that I couldn’t stay,
but I would be back to collect her.
And then I left her.

I cannot describe walking away.
I was hot and cold.
My heart beating out of control.
Just catching my breath was difficult.
I was experiencing a million flashbacks per second,
of a time I too was as innocent as her.

My other daughter was waiting,
unaware of my anxiety.
This forced me back to reality,
and we drove away.

Thirty minutes later I was back,
and out came a delighted young girl.
She had totally enjoyed her lesson,
and was all chat about what she had achieved.

I listened and although still traumatised,small_2042157003
I knew I too had achieved a great deal.
Abuse has long lasting side effects,
but that day I had come one step further,
to putting my past behind me.

I smiled to myself. One step further on my journey.
I nearly have him beaten!

This was written in response to the daily prompt.

Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure  – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.

photo credit: Leah Borchert via photopin cc
photo credit: Pixelglo Photography via photopin cc
photo credit: shankar, shiv via photopin cc

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42 thoughts on “Can I trust him with my child?

  1. I was abused in many ways by my older brother, an uncle and my father’s friends… no way did I ever leave my girls alone. I got chills reading this.

    1. Yes it was a very difficult decision. However I have a wonderful husband and a son who is so good with children. It is not right for me to cut all men by the same cloth of the one bad one I met.
      If I am being honest though I have not left her since!

  2. πŸ™‚
    I trust my insticts with my daughter..there are a few men I trust to leave her with..otherwise I watch herlike a mama tiger. And I have taught her from when she was tiny about her body and others..
    She has some wonderful relationships with men. It really is important. I didn’t have that.
    She has been asking about sleepovers. I am gonna pass on that for a while.
    Much love –
    Laurie

  3. I was abused as a child. I watched over my children like a hawk. When they were old enough to start doing things “on their own” (23?) I was very honest with them. I did NOT tell them what happened to me, though they know “something” did. What I told them was that my job is to make sure they are as okay and safe as possible. That I don’t ever want anyone to touch them or hurt them, so I watch. And if anyone ever, EVER, touches them or talks to them about touching them…etc….they are to come to me. I don’t think I instilled my panic in them. But I did instill my protective mothering rights in them. πŸ™‚ There is nothing wrong with being cautious, concerned and safe. I always told them it wasn’t them I didn’t trust, it was the world that I didn’t trust. I have done safety seminars for age ranges from toddler to seniors. Being honest about what they need to protect themselves from is not going to damage them. I broke out in to a “mom sweat” reading this.

    1. Three of my children know about me as it was and continues to be something high profile here in Ireland. However as I am reasonably well adjusted they all forget and moments like these I do alone! It was the most difficult in a while.

      1. I am “reasonably” well adjusted as well. πŸ˜‰

        I am sorry for the moments it catches you like that. You have reason to feel the way you feel and protect the way you protect. Thank you for sharing. If there is any lingering affect on me from what happened…I’m glad it was to protect my children from it.

    1. Thank you! That lovely man did nothing to deserve my fear so it was a tribute to him really. Although it sent the heart crossways in me! ( terrified the living daylights out of me, in case the expression is new to you!)

  4. My gosh, this was so powerful. Sometimes the Internet feels like a special place when it can suddenly bring this piece up on my reader, and with those opening lines I had to read because I sensed a profound journey. This was huge, and brave, and you must have something strong in you to be so self aware, and afraid and still do what you believe is right.

    1. Thank you so much. I know what you mean.To me wordpress is sometimes like walking into a sweetshop there is so much there to choose. I am glad you chose my blog and appreciate your comment. It was a difficult day. But the right thing to do.

  5. I got a chill reading this, tric – I have a friend who shared a bedroom at home with one of her big sisters and had to pretend to be asleep to shut out the sound of her father nightly raping her sister. She (and her abused sister) both now guard their daughters fiercely and take every precaution to prevent them ever being left alone with their granddad so I read this post with a feeling of deja vu !

    This must have been a difficult post for you to write, tric. I hope it helped to share your fears with us. We may never meet personally but you should consider us all as part of your extended family ready to support you in any way we can – [unless it’s money you need, in which case, speak to your other followers ! πŸ˜‰ ]

    1. Ha ha. It was not too difficult once I decided to share. I read so many blogs of people who are just beginning this journey or are not coping very well,so I thought it might help to know it is still difficult but it is important to fight fear with logic.
      I do feel your support every day!

    1. Thank you. It was not easy but I felt it was necessary. Sometimes we can become prisoners of fear, I have worked hard not to, so it was something I felt I had to do. Thanks for the hugs. πŸ™‚

  6. Wow, Tric! I’m proud of you for facing that fear and taking what surely had to feel like an immense risk. It’s hard enough to let go of our kids, but so much harder when we’ve got old wounds that scream, “Don’t Do This!” If our kids only knew the “why” of some of our decisions to deny them certain things they might lighten up on us a little. πŸ™‚

    You did good! Thanks for your honest response to the prompt. It helps me to know I’m not the only one who is tempted to overlay past abuse over our kids’ lives!
    \o/

    1. Thank you. Yes we cannot erase the past but we do not have to let it overly affect our future. Sounds good but can be difficult to put into practice! I think as she is getting close to the age where things went wrong I tense up a bit, but with my older children that eventually passed. Thanks as always for your kind words. You too are doing a great job overcoming past difficulties.

  7. Thank you for sharing this event so thoughtfully and with your great insight. It is important to follow your true instincts and that can be one of the hardest parts of being a mother (and a human!) – to distinguish fear from intuition.

    I’m so glad you were able to trust this man, and that you’ve followed your instincts to both protect your children, and do it in such a calm and loving way. You provide a beautiful example for them, and now for many others!

    1. Thank you so much. I want my children to grow up aware but not paranoid. Example is the best way to achieve this. I read many posts where parents are too scared and they have not even had the past I and others have had.
      A happy medium must surely be possible.
      It is so wrong to blacklist the entire male species!
      Thank you again for your kind comment and as always for reading.

  8. That took strength and courage, of which you show plenty. My sister will one day face this same situation with her daughter. We still need to watch our boys too.

    1. I hope your sister copes well. I think being aware of our past possibly affecting our decisions can help us check our behaviour.
      You have two little boys I think that in itself renews faith in men.

  9. Your post resonated with me so much. Its a difficult tight rope to walk…when does protecting them become stifling them? At some point we have to trust ourselves and our instincts but i hope i am not tested in the way you were as i dont know whether i would have let her go to her lesson or not.

    1. We can find the strength to do things for our children that we might never have without them. I am sure if you thought it was in your childrens best interest you would be strong.

  10. This must have been a difficult post for you. Although I’m not sure what exactly happened to you, I’m pretty certain that it was a tough decision to be able to trust your daughter alone with a man.

    1. Thank you. I was abused for five years. I have recovered well but some things challenge me still! The post wasn’t too difficult, however it is difficult to know it is read by people who actually know me, as it is not something I wear on my sleeve. My husband did remark that he had no idea I had felt like that that day as when he came home all I said was “She went on her own to guitar today”.

      1. I’m sorry about what happened to you. You’re definitely a survivor. And you’ve my respect for being a great mum – to be conscious about not letting your past affect the way you parent. πŸ™‚

  11. Wow, very powerful and thought provoking. You are right that we sometimes have to fight fear with logic – whatever that fear is. (And knowing the difference between ‘risk’, ‘danger’ and plain old ‘fear.’)

  12. Wow! This is the first post by anyone that I have ever really read (outside of the usual football nonsense I look at from time to time). I looked because you liked a post of mine. Still unsure of how blogging works etc I thought I would check out a post from someone who liked my post. It was you. Before I clicked your blog I picked that I would read the 5th post down. It was this one.

    Am I glad I read it? Yes. Overwhelmingly. Well done to you. Just from this post I can see that you have travelled some journey already. Every step is a positive one, even the occasional backward step. Much respect to you.

    If it counts for anything it sounds like I am just as wary as you are when it comes to leaving either of my boys anywhere. I just do not have the pain to back up my reasoning just a whole heap of paranoia.

    1. Delighted to see you visit. I usually am a whole lot more light hearted than the post you read but I responded to the Daily prompt that day and that is what came out! I do think though that it is good to let others know we cannot let paranoia or fear stop us. You are a super Dad, and obviously a good man, it is wrong to be thought of as a risk or worry to our children. It is for this reason I fought my fears. Thanks a mil for calling over and for commenting.

  13. I too struggle with leaving my children with anyone. I hate to admit it, but In my eyes, no one can be trusted..untiil they can be trusted..Yes, I know that can be a horrible way of viewing the world. But based on my experience of being abused by both a male and female as a child, everyone’s motives are questioned. This journey to healing, is truly a journey… and I have to work very hard to not allow my “fears” to be my children’s fears. thanks for your post!

    1. Our experiences have left us all with different hurts and scars. I do think some are more hurt and damaged than others which does not always relate to the amount and degree of abuse encountered. I know some who have not recovered at all and others who could cope no longer. Yet many of us do go on to make very good recoveries. However I think it would be very rare and indeed strange not to worry, fret and have trust issues. This time last year I could not have left my child but time marches on and thankfully so does healing, but it takes work each and every day. Thank you so much for calling over and good luck in the great job you are doing.

  14. Thank you for sharing. Im a mother to two young children. I’m separated from their father. Although i was never abused, i’m very paranoid about it. My children and I recently moved in with my partner of two years. Although i think he is wonderful, i don’t think i would ever leave my children alone with him? And i sleep with one eye open. Its exhausting!! And I’m not just like that with him, but with everyone basically. The anxiety is terrible. Sending you lots of love and strength xx

  15. I held my breath reading this. I don’t know how I would have been able to give up some of my over sheltering if my sons had been daughters. God answered my prayers when I asked for sons. He knew what I could and could not handle. Each small step in others eyes is a very large step in our own. You my dear just took a giant step on the road to winning you back! So happy for you, even though it was so hard.

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