What a freakin sombre post title! Rape. I never thought I’d be writing about topics like this on my blog when I started this blog. This was supposed to be my happy place….filled with makeup and good things only. Unfortunately I’ve realised that this is the place I like to come to when I want to make some sense of a situation. Whether it’s a kid who refuses to potty train….whether it’s aboutlife changes and job loss….or even about my weight struggles. When the media storm broke out last week about the 6/7yr old girl, raped in a bathroom at a restaurant…. my first instinct was to not get sucked in. Don’t read it Simone. It will make you sad.
Last night though, I spotted the video of the man alleged to have raped this little girl and I was gutted. Hearing (what I assumed to be) the mother’s screams. To see the alleged face of such evil…. it just tore into my soul. I could barely breathe. I could now picture what this little girl had to ‘allegedly’ look at. In her worst moment.
I then saw somebody ask on a mom group: How do we speak to our kids about rape? How do I prepare him/her for something like this happening to them? This broke me further. Imagining my child….any of my children, going through something like this….to have to be in the presence of such evil ever in their lives…would destroy me…and them. I realised the only way to process this…was to write…. so here I am…
I’ve tried to imagine starting this conversation with my kids. Then I start feeling nauseous….and lost for words.
Am I trying to prepare them for the actual act of rape?
Am I trying to scare them about ever walking around anywhere ever. All. The. Time.
Do I want them to defend themselves?
Do I want them to never trust another adult besides me and their dad forever?
What is the intention? What is the goal???
How do I even do this?
Our new world
I’ve googled for tips and advice, but most articles seem to talk about ‘the usual‘ concerns. Not knowing the neighbours, going to a friend’s house and making sure you’re safe, not alone with somebody you don’t know…lock the bathroom door when you go to the loo. Date rape. This new world though….of child trafficking and being ripped from the cubicle of the toilet just after playing on a swing and having a milkshake…while your parents sit 5m away? This is a new terror!
Is it a new world though? We all know of the girls who disappeared in the 80’s….the difference is we had to wait for Carte Blanche to share the story with us. Or the news. So these things happened. We just didn’t hear about it immediately. It wasn’t shared and re-shared 10000000 times for you to relive the pain every single time you see it again. How selfish do I sound? Relive the pain…like my pain and tears even mean anything……
So the question remains……
All I’ve done is ramble on….and not come up with any answers…. I don’t know how to broach the subject without instilling a level of fear that can never be undone. I don’t think I’m ready to have this conversation…maybe that makes me an asshole of a mother, but I just can’t. Not to a 9yr old with the biggest, softest heart….. I can already see her face, panicked and afraid. Not with my 6yr old, who is already so fearful, he thought the mom I asked to give him a lift a month ago…was going to kidnap him. How much more can their little hearts and minds take?
My mom said to me last night: Simone I used to think you were crazy and paranoid. We go to a restaurant and every 30 seconds you go: ‘Where is Adam? Where is Josh? Where is Addison?’. I see now why you are like that…….
I never let me kids go to the bathroom alone. I’ve tried to give Addison some ‘freedom’ and I give her a 1 minute head start. By the time she closes the cubicle door, I’m outside and calling her name to make sure she went into a cubicle. This has just always been how it was…from the moment she was born…. my life’s mission has been to keep her…them all safe. BUT that being said…..just because a parent doesn’t have eyes on their child at any point in time….does that mean they deserve to be grabbed, raped and murdered? Is that the punishment for being on the phone? Tending to another child? Eating your lunch?
It does not make me a better parent, because I’m paranoid AF. It feels like I am in a prison with my fears…. I truly wish I could let them play for even 5 minutes without worrying…. I wish I was that mother…hell I envy that mother. Nobody should live like this…so scared and fearful.
It feels silly to say….we should pray for our children, because we know…. children of praying parents have suffered horrible fates. Still…I pray. Every day. However, I feel like I kind of have to rely on my faith AND and myself, my husband and those people I trust my kids with. Also, let’s try to be a village to each other. Keep an eye on a kid that looks unsupervised in the park, in the play area. If something doesn’t look or feel right…find somebody, say something. That’s all I’ve got……. If you’ve got any thoughts, tips, advice….please let me know below how you are broaching this subject.
In case you’re on the prowl for a GPS watch that may assist with the paranoia, check out THIS post.
PS There is a petition to have the sexual offenders list made public…PLEASE sign it HERE.