Thursday, June 25, 2009

Did I Keep You Safe

I just want to visit something that from time to time, I find running through our blogs like an unseen ribbon. It's about predators, of course. I'm beginning to wonder if, because of our histories, our mindset is too skewed to spot a true predator, or if we believe everyone is and go from there. There is a recent post that has really made me think about this.

I just finished reading a post on Reasons You Shouldn't Fxxx Kids. The point was that she is sure everyone IS a predator. I would have reacted the same way she did in the situation she describes.

When I first learned about my DID, I couldn't get my daughter out of my mind. Day after day, my thoughts raced thru her childhood trying to detect anything that I might be able to say was inappropriate behavior by a family member or by a stranger. I know now that it is usually someone the child knows, so meetings with acquaintances of ours around my daughter as a child played unbidden on the projector of the theater I call my mind. It (and I) was relentless. At the time of this obsession, my daughter was 23 years old. I had spent nearly every day of her life with her until she was 14 years old, there was a lot of footage to examine.

One day after leaving therapy, I was exhausted with the movie I continually saw running past my thots as I attempted to determine if this person, or that person, or this time, or that time... I had to stop it, I had to know if my daughter had ever been molested. My days and nights were filled with brooding about it. So, this particular day, I picked up my cell and I called my daughter. My voice was filled with the tears I'd cried during my session over this.

"Hi, mama!" She is always glad to have me call.
"Did I keep you safe?"
"Mama?" My daughter was then quiet and I'm sure she anticipated the worst.
"Did I keep you safe, sweetheart? Did I keep you safe when you were growing up?"
"Yes, Mama, you kept me safe." She is so perceptive and after a bit of a pause, she added, "I love you for it Mama."

I had to hang up. Tears flooded my eyes and my heart! I was so relieved! That night, I slept soundly for the first time in months. Every once in a while, I need reassured I've done my part and I will call her, at work, at home, anywhere, I don't care where she is, and I ask only that question: Did I keep you safe?

It's very important to me (obviously) to know that I somehow changed the course of my own history by preventing yet another innocent child (my own) from being molested. To be able to protect her, I needed to see everyone as a perp, yet, I didn't know that's what I was doing.

Bits of my childhood are a mystery, yet I was hyper vigilant around my daughter as a child. I never even wondered why, that's just the way I was. She grew up safe, feeling safe, and knowing I would protect her at all costs. I'm blessed that she never resented me for being around. Our house was the "go to" house for her and all her friends. I made it fun, and I'm honored that all her friends liked me and included me in most of their activities.

Yes, she grew up safe, but...

Next post, I visit what this way of thinking has cost us both, meanwhile, check out the post that inspired this one.



Paul from Mind Parts said...

This is a great tribute to you Ivory. We cannot change what happened to us for that is in the past, but we do have control over what we pass on to our children. You have done well. You protected your daughter. Whatever you write in the next post won't change that. Paul

Ivory said...

Thank you so much, Paul, for your wonderful thots.

My T has explained that it takes 5 generations before extreme dysfunction in a family can be eradicated. I compare what happened to me with this. T says that even tho my marriage ended in divorce, both my ex and me managed to end our previous generation's method of dysfunction with how we raised our daughter. But, tho what I write next won't change the fact that I kept her safe, I may have done a bit of injustice. I hope you come back in a few days and offer your opinion there, as well.