With every journal entry, it felt like I chipped one tiny piece of a 5’2” statue loose and it fell away. And with every piece I chipped free, I believed it was one chip closer to life restored.
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Victims of Sexual Crime
We watched from the window. Tree limbs turned to statues of ice that held clumps of white, even the smallest branches held heavy clumps of snow. It looked surreal—my kind of world when I was a kid.
The anchor was set. I was convinced that I could and I would, conquer this crisis. I just didn’t know what that journey would look like. But I was ready to battle on behalf of my children and willing to participate in stopping Ivan’s crime spree.
The truth gave me an aching-sense of relief and confidence to take the next step forward.
He entered my room in a cloak of silence. He greeted me masked in kindness. Fully clothed in a disguise of safety, Ivan looked down at me.
Several days went by. I let my thoughts rest from searching for the shadow’s identity. Then when I least expected it, a face flashed in my mind’s eye.
As I stand on the banks of the river and pause, it reminds me of when I found my hidden past. Fear caused me to doubt that what lie ahead would enrich my life—a life freed from debilitating fear and anxiety. I just wasn’t sure I could handle what I was afraid of.
The first eight years of my life seemed to be misplaced somewhere in the back of my memory file. I was not aware of the seriousness of this dilemma.
I woke that morning from a nightmare. Details of the nightmare followed me down the hall and into the dining room. One more thread in the knot of unresolved thoughts.
Autumn arrived with no answers. The cycle of dread hijacked my thoughts and the lingering concern for Hannah’s odd behavior while visiting relatives haunted me. The demands of being a stay-at-home mom to three children, under the age of four, fell to the forefront. But unresolved issues from the past continued to haunt me.
I learned that Ivan took my daughter Hannah—20-month-old, on an outing. When they returned Hannah acted traumatized and flew into a temper tantrum.
Desperate to know the truth, I retraced all the times we visited the suspected perpetrator and during those visits how often did he have access to my children? Was he at home at the time his wife babysat?
It happened in December 1986, as I drove home. My thoughts broke free from a knot of vague details. The truth appeared as clear and straight as the road ahead of me. I clung to the steering wheel because it was the only part of life I had control of at that moment.