Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Dimmer Switch

Recently, I have been blessed by a couple of things that have allowed me to let go of some long standing, unhealthy guilt. It's really quite an amazing feeling.

The guilt I carried around came about as a result of my daughter being sexually abused by my second husband. It happened not once, but twice. And therein lies the crux of my guilt. This happened over 10 years ago. My thoughts have gone something like this: "If I had been a good mother, I would have believed my daughter. If I had been a good mother, I would have thrown him out after the first time. If I had been a good mother, my daughter wouldn't have lost her childhood. If I had been a good mother, I wouldn't have to worry about how this would affect my daughter for the rest of her life." LOTS of guilt. I have said many times that I wish I had a dimmer switch for the guilt.

A little over a week ago, I had a lengthy conversation with a friend I've had since the 8th grade. Her husband has been convicted of molesting a young girl. So we have much common ground to visit about this subject. We talked until nearly 3 a.m. that morning. Through that conversation, I realized (for the first time) a very important detail. I have endlessly criticized myself for not believing my daughter. As I was recounting this to my friend, we began to talk about the time frame surrounding that disbelief. I was told of the abuse by a police detective about 1 or 2 o'clock in the afternoon. He asked me what my gut feeling was. I replied, "It isn't true." Other conversation ensued, but that is what has haunted me for all these years. That same evening, a social worker came to our house and among other things made my (then) husband promise that he would never do this again. Which he did. Sooo, I then realized the truth. He had indeed molested my daughter. So that means that I questioned the truth of the matter for no more than 6 or 7 hours. Just a few hours!!! And in that few hours our world was turned upside down. Surely I can forgive myself for that few hours of what was really just not wanting to believe such a horrible thing could be true.

The second event occured just a few days later. I went with my daughter and son-in-law to their small group. The topic for the evening was, "What horrible event have you ended up being grateful for?" And my daughter talked about the abuse, and how much she has grown and learned from it. It was so amazing to me to hear her tell other people how this has become a blessing to her and that she wouldn't go back and change anything. Wow!
Even though she has told me the same things many times, it really made an impact on me hearing her tell other people.

So, the load, as of late, has been much lighter. Although I know I will continue to struggle with all of this, I also know that from this day forward, The dimmer switch has been dimmed.

Just an additional note, Emerson is in the hospital with a urinary tract infection. He is experience fever and quite a bit of pain. So if you would, please pray that his recovery will be speedy and without further incidence.

May God continue to Bless you, and may you have all kinds of Peace in believing!


tomorrows up to me said...

Boy, guilt can be sooo heavy! Congrats on letting it go.Its not easy to do.
Prayers coming from here.

jayme said...

Well goodness...if thats what it took to get you to stop feeling so guilty I would have gone on the local news years ago mom. :)

And you were and are an amazing mom. I have you to thank for who I am. Everytime you question your questions how I turned out. :) Remember that!

I love you!