Two words. Two questions. Two things I may never know or understand. Why did this happen to me? Why would he do this to a child? Why did no one stop him? How did no one know it was happening? How come no one protected me? How did I get missed? Why? How?
The problem with these question is they will honestly make you go crazy. They will keep you up at night and add even more stress and anxiety to your day. But no matter how many times you tell yourself these answers don’t actually matter, you still keep asking yourself these questions. I think it is a part of everyone to want to understand. The need for knowledge is human nature. Its how we have lived, learnt and survived all these years. But is there a point where the knowledge of the why and the how no longer matters? Is there a point when it is no longer the most important thing in the world?
I’ll let you know when I find out.
For now I still am woken some nights after a nightmare with the question of why in my head. I can not wrap my mind around it. Being so little when it all started for me adds to this not understanding problem. At four you are learning the world. You are beginning to understand who you are and what the world means to you. So as a child who was being interfered with from such a young age, and for so long it became my “normal”. (Lets take a moment to really grasp that. Let it sink in. That was my “normal”) As that broken child I had no grasp on the question why, I don’t think I even thought to ask it. But now as an adult I am holding, no squeezing, that question close to my heart. In some weird place in my mind I think I believe that knowing this will make it go away. Obviously it won’t. In fact, knowing any of the why’s won’t help me now. Why he did this to me is irrelevant. It matters not. It will not heal me. It will not help me to sleep. It will not make the pain go away. And yet I still want to understand.
The how’s are different. Understanding some of the how’s might actually help me. How did no one know this was happening? It was years. How did no adults in my life realize something was wrong? This question bugs me on more then one level. It makes me angry and disgusted that no one knew how to help. Why did the police fail me, the teachers, my family? Why aren’t they trained better? Why didn’t they pay better attention? How come I fell thru the cracks? But the other reason this question bugs me, is because I am a mom. I have three kids. What if I don’t notice if something wasn’t right? My children are my everything, I would choose their lives over my own at any moment. I would hope they could come to me with any problem, but if they couldn’t for whatever reason (In my cause one of the reasons I couldn’t just go to my mom was because I was threatened and told I couldn’t tell her because bad things would happen.) I would hope I would see something isn’t right. And IF something was wrong for my child I can say I would move mountains to make it right for them. I would do whatever needed to be done to protect them and love them. So how come that wasn’t the case for me? How come this is still not the case for me?
In grade six I tried to be heard, and instead the police failed me. This is something that I understand is getting better, police are become better trained. In Edmonton we have the Zebra Center (https://www.zebracentre.ca/) where a child can go to get help. There is counselors, police, toys, food, everything needed to help support children. I may never know how come no one knew or helped me, but I can be a voice for those without voices in hopes that they will know its okay to get help, you are not alone. You have support. It may just look different then you thought it would. Figuring out these how’s could help so many children and adults. What if the teachers where better trained to help children in these situations? What if instead of making the child feel like the criminal, the police made the child feel loved, supported and most importantly, safe? What if we as a society didn’t make this subject taboo? What is we talked about it openly so survivors weren’t scared to share their story or seek help? What if we shinned a giant spot light on sexual violence, in all forms, so that the monsters don’t feel safe? So they can’t hid behind people being to uncomfortable to talk about it. What if we made it so survivors didn’t feel shamed and broken, and instead we showed compassion and understanding? What if we stopped hiding and pretending this doesn’t happen? What if we came together and made it so no one else ever has to wonder, why me? or How come no one helped me?
What if we came together and made things better for the survivors and worse for the monsters?