Amanda, please believe you did nothing wrong — neither during this boy’s assault nor after. I don’t know how old you are, but from what you say in a comment later about your ex husband, I assume you were in kindergarten at least twenty-five to thirty-five years ago. It was different then than it is now. People were not as open and this type of thing did not get reported as frequently. I am a lot older than you, and I can tell you that your story reminded me of when I was three or four years old and taking naps at home. We had a live-in housekeeper who had a friend that would visit her during my nap time. The two of them would be in the kitchen talking while I was supposed to be sleeping. I don’t know how many times this happened, but this one time is still very clear to me. I walked into the kitchen for something, and the visitor took me back in my room. She took the collar and leash off my stuffed doggy, placed the collar around my neck and looped the leash around the bars of my toddler bed. She walked out and left me screaming for her not to leave me that way. I thought I was going to hang myself. I don’t remember anything else. Years later, I asked my mother why she let that lady visit our housekeeper, and my mother said she didn’t know anything about it. It was difficult for me to believe that I never told my mother until a therapist once told me that these are things we don’t tell anyone because we are afraid we won’t be believed that it ever happened or worse, that we will be condemned as the reason it happened.

When I was reading another comment under your story, I couldn’t help but feel how cruel your father’s behavior was toward you. He certainly played into your fear from when you were five by saying “What you did to him by ruining his life with that phone call is worse than what he did to you.” You didn’t ruin his life. He did. This man ruined his own life. And your mother isn’t suffering because of you or your ex. Maybe you knew that if you told your parents about the boy when you were little, something similar to this would be their reaction. Your father needs some help with compassion, nurturing and love.

I have a story I’d like to share with you about my father:

Writer and copyeditor. “What doesn’t kill us gives us something new to write about” ~ J. Wright

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