After this experience with this young woman and the pastor and his wife, we quit volunteering at church, went less and less and eventually quit going altogether. We gave up our home and bought a new one in the next town over for a fresh start. I am not saying this was the right thing to do, but it is what we felt we needed to do for our family. I suppose this made it seem like my husband was guilty where others were concerned. But I did not care. Things were good again and that is what mattered.
We were not even in our home 6-7 months and my world came crashing down around me. One afternoon I had laid down with my daughter to take a nap. Out of the blue, she sat bolt upright crying hysterically and exclaimed, “I don’t want a daddy anymore.” Waking up hearing this, I was confused and thought she might have been having a bad dream. She was prone to having night terrors and I thought this was just one of those times.
I picked her up to cradle her and give her comfort. I told her it would be okay and asked her why she did not want a daddy anymore and if she had a bad dream about daddy. She shook her head no and told me that he, “touched her.” I asked her what she meant by that and she pointed to her private parts. I could not believe what I was hearing but knew she was telling the truth by how she was acting. I sat there for a long time rocking her, crying with her and letting her tell me her story. I let her know she did the right thing by telling me, that it was going to be okay and I would never let it happen again now that I knew.
Looking back I hate myself for not going to the police that day with my daughter. Instead, I confronted my husband. I told him what she had said and how she was acting. I told him I believed her because of her responses to my questions. He acted confused and bewildered. He claimed it was not true and he had no idea why she was saying this about him.
We sat talking for a long time then my husband started asking our daughter questions as to why she was saying this stuff about him. I could not wrap my head around this but it was one of those handfuls of times that my husband and I argued seriously. I asked him for some space while I came to grips with this situation and thought about how to handle it.
The rest of that day I did not take my eyes off my daughter or my husband for that matter. I watched and observed everything that went on. How they reacted to each other, what their attitudes were like if there was anything I was missing in their relationship. I contemplated the situation with that young woman months before. I sat my son down and explained what had happened and asked him questions about how my husband acted while I was not around or if my husband had ever touched him or treated him in a bad way. I also asked him if he ever noticed anything out of the ordinary that I should be aware of. All of his answers were a resounding, “NO.” He had no clue either and could not think of anything that would have happened while he was around.
That night I slept on the floor in my daughter’s room right next to her bed, holding her tiny little hand. I actually did not get much sleep that night as I was afraid to sleep for fear I would not be able to protect her. My mind played back my entire relationship with my husband trying to pick it apart and find whatever it was I had missed. I wanted to believe my husband but this time I just couldn’t. Not where my daughter was concerned. Why would she make this up? Why would she lie?
I thought back to how it made me feel when I had gone to my mother all those years ago and told her I was getting abused and who was doing it. Her response to me was, “It is not nice to lie about good people. I don’t ever want to hear you say these things again.” And this person was still allowed to babysit for us kids. I was not going to do that to my daughter even if she was lying. She would never be made to feel like that at my hand.
The next day I called my therapist up and asked for an emergency appointment. I took my daughter in with me thinking he would be able to tell if she was, in fact, telling me the truth. I had explained the situation and brought my daughter in to talk to him as well. During the appointment, I had decided I didn’t care if it was the truth or not I wanted it reported and investigated. I could not fathom going back into the same house with my husband.
After the appointment and talking to the authorities, I dropped my children off with my aunt and headed back to the house. I had to face my husband and ask him to leave before I could bring my children back home. I was not going to allow them to be around him until this was sorted out and I knew for sure what happened. Besides the fact that CPS had stated the kids could not return to the house until he was gone.
Confronting him was not easy. I loved this man heart, mind, body, and soul. I believed in him 100%. We had such a good life together. I had no clue, no clue at all. There were no signs of this happening. Nothing I could have missed. I was hurt, confused, betrayed, lost and felt so alone in this moment. Yet, I hated him at the same time. I believed in my daughter. She was young, innocent and fragile. There was no way she could make up a story like this out of the blue at her age. How could this be happening?
My husband begged me to believe him. He swore he did not do this. I had never seen him so distraught in all the years of being with him. He begged me to let him stay and face this together, get through it together, seek answers together. He begged me to get our daughter help claiming something had to be wrong with her mentally. In that moment I had to choose, my husband… or my kids.
Even if I wanted to seek the truth with my husband and give him the benefit of the doubt, I couldn’t. Not this time. Not over this issue. Not over my kids and their safety and wellbeing. So he left, he left because I asked him to leave. He left maintaining his innocence, lost, bewildered and just as confused as I was.
TO BE CONTINUED…