The Monster Next Door

*****Warning! Possible Trigger: child sexual abuse******

I have thought about writing this post since I first started my blog, but I wasn’t sure it was my story to tell. After discussing it with a few trusted friends, I have decided to share this very painful part of my life on my blog. I don’t know if it will help anyone but me, but it is part of who I am.

The abuse, this time, did not happen to me. It was my children. My three year old son and my 18 month old daughter. I am the mother of two sexually abused children. My babies. It hurts to see that in writing, to be honest.

I was a young mother. Only 19 when I had my son and 21 with my daughter. I was married to not the best man in the world and was in the process of getting divorced. I was 22 years old. I had been on welfare, but through a county program I was able to get a job. I had no car. Barely any money for childcare. I needed a sitter for my son and daughter, 3 years and 18 months old.

I had spoken to and observed the teen girl who lived next door. I had spoken to her mother and our landlord about the family, the mother, daughter and a son 12 years old. All checked out fine. This was during the summer so the girl offered to babysit for me at a very inexpensive price.

One day I came home from work and was casually talking with my son. Asking him what he did today, normal questions. It seems like out of the blue when I think back. I am almost scared to write what he said to me…..

“Mommy, watch, like Jimmy put my penis on (his sister)…….

I froze, I couldn’t breathe, my face was frozen in horror. It scared my son who started crying. I told him it was okay, I was fine, what else did Jimmy do? I won’t go into details, but it was horrifying.

I screamed for the baby sitter to come here. We lived across a very small hall from each other. What is going on? Why was her brother alone with my children?? She admitted that she sometimes went out and left Monster Jimmy alone with them.

I was very, very poor. I lived in an apartment in not the nicest part of town for $175 a month, so you can imagine how small it was. I didn’t have a phone or a car.

I packed up the kids and fled. We took what we could from the house and we left. I went to the nearest pay phone and called the police. They would send someone over, I would be at the hospital. I took my son to the hospital, but there was no evidence at that time that he had been molested they said. I don’t know why I didn’t have them check my daughter. I can only think it was because I was in shock and my son was the one telling me all this. I don’t know why the hospital didn’t think to ask about her, I was in too much shock to notice.

Nothing ever came of the case. The family moved as soon as I fled since like a dummy I said I was calling the police. I really messed some of this up. The mother went to jail on some other charge I found out, but that just meant Jimmy was out there unsupervised, maybe harming some other child. It haunts me. I felt this was all my fault.

I was distraught. My babies!! I needed to stay with my parents for awhile so I can get a new place to live. My father lets me stay 6 weeks. Then I have to be out. My mother helps me find another apartment. I hide a lot. I trust no one around my children except my mother and my best friend.

I try to do the right things. I get him a counselor through Catholic Charities. I got him a male counselor, which is what, even at 3 he wanted. He went to counseling for many years. When he was 7 he told me he never wanted to talk about this event ever again. He has never brought it up again to my knowledge.

A year or so after this happened my daughter developed a urinary tract infection. Again, I was very poor at this time. I was going through a clinic for the poor operated through one of our hospitals here. I took my daughter to the clinic and they had her stay in the hospital for this infection. Then the questions began. I was taken aside and told my daughter had been violated. I was dating a very nice, respectable man at this point in my life. The children called him Dad since we were planning to marry. He was not allowed near her room. Did I think he might have done this to her? I was devastated, but told them what had happened with Jimmy and what my son had told me.

The hospital questioned everyone I knew who came up to the hospital to see my daughter. Did they think this might have been my boyfriend? IF not who? I hadn’t told many people about what had happened. They didn’t know, but thankfully very rightly stood up for my husband to be.

The hospital finally believed us all and released my daughter to us. I can tell you it was a horrible time. My daughter was unaware anyone was being questioned and really was too young to know anything other than she was sick.

This has all stayed with me through the rest of my life. Am I to blame? Why did I trust that girl? What did I not do that I should have done? It haunts me. I try so hard to make it up to him, help him out here and there with money, forgive him for everything almost instantly. I tried not to baby him too much, but I know I have treated him a little bit specially, thinking I could make up for being poor and putting him in a position to have this happen. I still feel guilty about it. I try to tell myself I did the best I could, but sometimes that isn’t enough. I just never saw this coming.

My son has grown into a caring, loving person and seems happy and well adjusted. I still worry about him more than my girls.

My daughter never knew any of this until last year. She was only 18 months old when this happened. She, thankfully, has no memory of any of this. I thought she knew, that I had told her about it. Somehow it came up in conversation and she was a little shocked. She didn’t remember. I felt awful telling her.

She took in stride what had happened to her since she didn’t remember it, but said she now understood “why you are the way you are” with my son. Meaning I am always worried about everything he does, how happy he is. I’m just a little more protective of him, while trying not to be too involved with his life. He is a grown man now.

I don’t tell many people about this. I have mentioned it on a few other blogs in the comments, but not in depth. I don’t talk about it. I don’t like being judged and I have spent 30 years judging myself over this. I am hoping that by sharing this I can stop hiding it and move on.

Thank you to those who read all the way to the end and thank you for letting me get this out and maybe heal a little bit more.

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11 thoughts on “The Monster Next Door

  1. I can only imagine what you must be feeling and what you felt during all those years. Someone else’s actions are not yours. You’ve lived with this and tried to do your best to redress the harm. What else you could have done I don’t know. There is healing in the speaking and help for others. It also reminds us all to be on the alert for predators that we may never suspect.
    I hope you and your children go on to heal and grow from this although, like yourself or anyone reading, I wish such things were never possible. I cannot fathom who does these things and what they gain by these actions..
    You have my utmost sympathy for the burden you have carried.x

    • Thank you for your kind words. I was very afraid to post this, but your kind words alleviate that. My heart aches every time I hear about this kind of abuse. I felt guilt for years that I couldn’t stop this monster from hurting my child. I am working on letting go of this guilt. Writing it down takes away some of the feelings involved in hiding this deep inside.

      • It beggars belief each time we hear or read of abuse of children. But I know from my work that it happens. Some of it is horrific. ‘Adults’ capable of treating children with cruelty of all kinds in ways I would never have dreamed possible. Or ever imagined one human could do to another. Especially the most vulnerable.
        It is heartbreaking and enraging. I seriously have trouble sometimes not striking out either verbally or physically every time I’m made aware of another child mistreated.
        I understand your guilt. I think any mother would feel the same. Well, most. That’s part of what’s astounding. Some of the abuse that occurs is at the hands of mothers. That explodes in my mind.
        But we can’t be everywhere at all times. We trust and people sometimes take advantage of that trust. How is anyone to know? We either live in perpetual fear and mistrust or we have faith that most people would never dream of hurting a child. If we could know the difference then there would be justifiable guilt but the cruelest of people don’t always advertise their natures. And you did not leave your child with this person. You trusted someone else. How can you be to blame? But that’s kind of what parents do to themselves when their child is hurt. We feel responsible for everything – even those things we could not have known.
        You’re there for your children and that’s what matters. However they need you to cope with this, you’re there for them. You’re a loving mum and they know that, I’m sure.x

      • Thank you so much. I don’t understand how anyone could hurt a child. My guilt has affected my children in subtle ways. I did my best…thank you…

  2. Why do we always beat ourselves up with guilt over the things we cannot control in life. Your love for your children shows in everything you do control. So smile and be proud of the life you gave them. You seem like a damn good mother to me.

  3. You were doing the best you could given that your situation was far from ideal, and had you know that little monster was like that you never would have let your kids anywhere near him. There’s nothing to judge you for, you did nothing wrong.

    • Thank you Mama, I have felt I failed my son for so many years. You don’t know how much these comments have helped me. I am grateful to Mer for encouraging me to write it out. 🙂

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