The feedback I collected from family, friends and Dr. Barone drew a clear conclusion. We wanted to turn him into authorities. Unfortunately, we needed more evidence. I didn't have anymore and didn't know how to find more. And if I instigated an aggressive attempt to pull evidence out of other family members—if there was more evidence, it could damage a potential criminal case against my perpetrator.

“It’s my word against Ivan’s.”

If I accuse and confront him wrongfully due to inaccuracy recalling childhood memories, I could destroy a family relationship, be shunned by family and friends, and/or judged as a trouble maker.

If I confront him justly, without more proof, what kind of behavior will it provoke? Rage, violence, more crimes against me and my family? A legal battle with Ivan retaliating and claiming my accusations slander him or defame his character?

And if I ignore what I believe really happened when I was four years old, Ivan could violate other children--if he hasn't already.

Frustrated with one lone memory clung to my conscious and no access to more, I prayed in desperation, "God, please let the truth be revealed."

It was the weekend we took the kids to pick out a Christmas tree, December 1986. It rained that day and I hoped we could postpone our adventure until the weather improved. But two enthusiastic children and a determined husband, out voted me. The tree would be found, cut down, placed in the living room and decorated before the weekend ended.

We trudged through the mud one row of trees at a time. A familiar heaviness stirred within me zapping my energy, but I attributed it to the foul weather. I grew impatient with how long it was taking to choose the perfect Christmas tree and couldn’t focus on having fun with my family.

After we returned home, I cleaned muddy boots and dried kids, dog, and mommy out while my husband trimmed the tree. I craved a nap as the internal heaviness grew more intense. Finally, quiet settled over the household and I found a few moments alone to rest.

But rest nurtured another graphic childhood memory. The details flooded my mind’s eye as if I were watching a recorded video. This time Ivan, the location, the conversation, and how I responded showed itself all at once.

And...there were other children in the room with me and Ivan.

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Kids Safe Organization provides an excellent guide to help understand what to do next if you suspect, discover, or someone discloses abuse against a child. Read more.

Act responsibly, prayerfully, and seek sound advice. Write everything down you recall, hear, or see regarding concerns of child abuse then call an authority for help.

Be safe. Be accurate. Be brave.