A Year Ago Yesterday

It was a year ago yesterday that my daughter came to me to tell me that she had been molested.  Even now, I can close my eyes and be in the same room we were in when she told me, and can feel that absolute punch in the gut I felt then.  I remember saying in shock, “What?  CF?  What?” but even though I didn’t believe he was capable, I didn’t disbelieve my daughter for a second.  She threw herself into my arms and sobbed, hard bullets of tears, and all I could do was hold her and keep thinking, “What?  What the fuck?” over and over again.  Even though I had no inclination, no buzz, no idea, I also knew from my own personal experience that yes, these things happen, and it is sometimes the least likely person to perpetrate them.  Yes, indeed.

I would say that the rest is history, but that would indicate that it is simply over and done with, never to be thought of again.  Most of you have been along with me and my daughter throughout this journey, and those of you who haven’t, well, I suppose you could search through my archives starting in November of last year to get up to speed-no matter.  The legal part of it is over, the long weeks and months of waiting for some kind of justice to be meted out finished, and we are for the most part pleased with the outcome.  Not that there was any one thing that was suddenly going to make all of this okay,  but at least there was some sort of legal resolution. 

I have spent a lot of time over the last year feeling as if I were floundering; there were days where I just didn’t think I could do it anymore, do what I needed to do to see Hannah through the experience, deal with my own long-hidden but still fresh feelings of my own childhood abuse, handle the enormous task of jumping through legal hoops and talking with prosecutors and still living life.  There have been many, many days where I would sit at my desk and weep with exhaustion, or muster up every bit of energy required to simply get out of bed.  There were the nights where Hannah couldn’t sleep, or when she felt so dirty and ashamed that she would take bath after bath, or the days where it all just seemed like too much.  Do you all remember those days?  I felt like we were somehow being punished, and that there was nothing I could do to fix it, or change it, other than just keep taking each step as it came.

But now, a year later, I can look back and see that even though what happened was beyond terrible (and frankly, still is), we-I-were incredibly blessed.  Let me say first that I don’t believe it when people say that what happened was God’s will-because what kind of an asshole prick God would cause something so awful to happen in the lives of people He loves?  No God I know, that’s for sure.  But what happened was this: He looked down and said, “Oh, myself, this is horrible.  That poor sweet family,” and then He got busy.  What I didn’t have was any kind of feeling that we would wake up and this would all be over.  I didn’t have any feeling that somehow it was all going to be all right with my world again; I didn’t have any of that.

What I did have was this: people who rallied together and bought Christmas for my family, because on top of the whole CF situation, there were overwhelming financial issues going on as well.  It was as if they were saying, “Okay, we can’t help you through the emotional and legal aspect of it, but we can give you Christmas so that you have one less thing to worry about.”  I have been surrounded by people who could handle my anger and my pain and just loved me anyway, even when they didn’t or couldn’t understand what was wrong with me.  I have had any number of hands there to lift me up when I just didn’t think I could take a single step further.  There have been people who said, “Oh, honey, I have been there,” both to me and, more importantly, to my daughter.  People-strong, beautiful, wonderful, thriving people have sat down and poured their hearts out in letters to my daughter, telling her hey, yes, this sucks and I am so sorry but let me tell you this.  I could sit here for the entire day and tell you all how many blessings have been poured onto us, even when it didn’t feel like it, and I still would not be able to tell you how much it has meant, how so many of you, simply by being here, have pulled us through.  There aren’t enough words in the world to explain how the bitterness and anger and pain have been sweetened by each one of you, in a thousand ways that you aren’t even aware of.

It has been a year, but it isn’t over yet.  I wrote last week about the things I am being told to do, and whether I like it or not, God is whispering to me, “Forgiveness…” and over and over again I keep hearing that we are all so loved, even the most vile of people, that none are beyond redemption.  I really don’t like to hear that; I want to hear God telling me that CF is being punished in this life and it is nothing compared to the punishment he will receive in the next, but-I don’t think that is going to happen.  Maybe he will, I don’t know, but it isn’t my job to try to orchestrate any of that.  What my job here on earth is, is to love, and find compassion, to serve other people, and to forgive. 

I am not there with CF yet, and frankly, I don’t know that I ever will be.  Really.  As far as HE goes, well, I am just working on at some point maybe, possibly, at some point in the future becoming willing to forgive.  That’s all I can do at the moment is entertain the idea.  and for the moment, well, it’s enough.

But what I can do, what I am working on right now this moment with every breath, is forgiving myself.  I am working on forgiving myself for not seeing the signs, because no matter how much my rational mind tells me that there aren’t always signs, I have been holding on to this idea that I should have known.  I am working on forgiving myself for that one.  I am trying to forgive myself for bringing him into our home and learning to trust him-because that part has nothing to do with me.  And oh God, this is a hard one, I am trying so hard to forgive myself for the reason the asshole was even in a position to get his hands on my daughter-because I had taken the opportunity to have a romantic interlude with Steve that afternoon at his house. It  is such a burden knowing that my own selfish desires are why I left them alone, that had I simply waited ten or 15 minutes longer before leaving, this could have been prevented.  I tell Hannah and God over and over again how sorry I am, and God, I still struggle. 

I work, too, to forgive those friends who chose to to distance themselves because they couldn’t handle my toxic anger, or couldn’t deal with the raw, sharp edges of my pain.  I try to forgive those who don’t know what it is like, for not supporting us at all.  It doesn’t mean I am going to re-invite those particular ones to be part of my life again, but I can forgive; I know that what we did was right, and it can no longer matter to me what those supporters of CF think or feel about me and mine.

I really don’t know very much in this life.  As I sit here and try to get out all of the words and thoughts and feelings that are welling up, overflowing, all I really can do is weep.  I have been in so much pain, for myself and my daughter and my family, for every woman who has stood up with us and said, “Me, too.” I have hurt so badly, and yet at the same time I have been so loved and cared for and nurtured that it fills me up and gives me just enough to keep moving forward.  To know I am loved, to feel  it, is no small thing; I know this just as surely as I know that whether I see it or not, the sun is going to come up in the morning. 

So much can happen in a year; I feel so grateful.  Not that any of this happened, but that we were given what we needed every day, even if it was just the amount of energy necessary to get up.  Call it God, which I do, or good karma or simply people showing their true natures (which my god aren’t you all so beautiful?) and showing up when they are needed.  I don’t know what the answer is for you, but today, for me, it’s just all about love.  Maybe in the end that really IS all we have, but for me, today?  It’s enough.

44 thoughts on “A Year Ago Yesterday

  1. I’m glad you’re focusing on forgiving yourself – fuck CF.

    I’ve been so humbled by you throughout this journey. You are so amazing, so strong, so honest. And I’m glad that you wrote about it. You allowed us in to help you in whatever way we could, and you accepted that we loved you, even if we couldn’t make it go away.

    I love you always.
    .-= April´s last blog ..Navigating the middle school years =-.

    • @April, well, for me of course at some point I will have to forgive him, but it isn’t today, and probably not tomorrow. The stuff that is killing me is not forgiving myself-and that has to come first.

      I love you so much.

  2. What an amazingly well written beautiful post Kori! I am so proud of you and Hannah both. Remember – one day at a time is all you can do.

    P.S. I’ve moved to a new blog.
    .-= lynn´s last blog ..Brand New! =-.

  3. It’s funny your timing in writing this- I’ve had the topic of forgiveness on my heart and mind for a couple of weeks now. I’m just waiting for the thoughts to congeal a bit more before I attempt to put them out there.

    God is mighty and loving. He provided you the love and support you needed. He carried you and supported you when you were weak. And He will continue to do so.

    Your perspective on all of this is so strong, so good. If one year can change this much for you… just imagine how great it will be when another year has passed.
    .-= Eternal Lizdom´s last blog ..Kid Snacks, FitCity Style =-.

    • @Eternal Lizdom, It is funny, too, how God has been telling me what I need to do for weeks. In books I have read, things I have heard or run across, he has been working on me. I know he will on you as well, and you will inherently know when the time is right. At least that is how it has worked for me.

  4. I couldn’t even imagine going through something like that. I would probably have either gone insane…or gone to prison…as much as I hate to say that…I just can’t imagine. Bless you and your daughter’s souls…for you are both very strong women. Don’t let anyone ever take that away from you.
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Parenthood =-.

    • @Kristen, In my wildest dreams, I never would have imagined 1.that we would go through this and 2. that we would get through it. It is amazing what we can do, I have found, when we HAVE to. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your very kind comments.

  5. I said it today myself in a post- what it all boils down to is love.
    What a hard year. What a very, very hard year. It is behind you- that year, at least. And I know healing is happening. I hope you can learn to forgive yourself, darling, because that’s when YOU will start to heal. And that will help Hannah.
    Sending love to a very brave woman who is deserving of much love….Mary
    .-= Ms. Moon´s last blog ..Holy Kisses =-.

  6. You are just such an amazingly strong person Kori.

    I envy your ability to find the good parts of even the shittiest of times, and your ability to keep going even when it seems impossible.
    .-= Justme´s last blog ..Hard =-.

  7. It’s funny … I went back to my own blog this morning (Huckdoll’s Hood) to one year ago today to see where I was and planned to write about it later, too. It’s amazing how fast one year can go by and how far we, as humans, come in such a short time. It’s amazing that in those shiteous, fucked up moments of not being able to breath through the tears, insanity, wanting to kill or hurt someone badly, feelings of not being able to do anything other collapse on the floor, the feelings of thinking you’ll never recover … that we’re able to look back and reflect with a new state of mind. On anniversaries like this, it’s like you’re back there but not because time has started to heal and strengthen.

    But I think the whole of what you wrote here is pretty amazing. Forgiving yourself is *the* most important thing like so many people said above and I’m sure that’ll come in time if you allow it. I found that in my own situations, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but when I did, it was the most freeing thing in the world.

    • @Huckdoll, A year lasts forever, yet is gone by so fast, all at the same time. And I think for me, the change in perspective can ONLY come through time and distance, which really bites sometimes.

  8. Terrific post, Kori. I am glad to hear that, despite all your pain and suffering, you are still managing to find things to be thankful for.

    It’s SUCH a hard thing to do at times, I know. But if you can see past all the bullshit and uncover the little diamonds of greatness life gives us when we’re not looking, you’re doing it right.
    .-= Matt´s last blog ..Throwback =-.

  9. You’ve been so strong for you and for her. I hate that it was necessary, but it’s admirable. And forgiveness- if CF isn’t asking for it, I wouldn’t be inclined to give it. But you’re better than I am like that.
    .-= Cat´s last blog ..Trip to New Orleans =-.

    • @Cat, Oh, no, I am not, not at all. Better than you in that respect, I mean. This is a really, really hard one because believe me, I can carry a grudge. and this is considerably more than a grudge. but one of the things we talk about in AA, a LOT, is if we carry a resentment and anger against someone, the only person we are hurting is ourselves. and I am so tired of hurting, you know?

      • @kori, For me anger motivates- show ’em I’m better, stronger, happier despite what they’ve done. But I can see how it wears on you after a while. Even when I’ve reestablished relationships, I never really forgive… just move on and chose not to be quite so angry anymore. But I suppose it kind of depends on your definition of forgiveness too.
        .-= Cat´s last blog ..Trip to New Orleans =-.

  10. It takes a long time to recover from this kind of stuff. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You did SO MUCH MORE than so many mothers have done for their daughters. You made right from a very wrong situation.

    Go easy on yourself

    Love you

  11. Wow Kori. I have only been reading your blog for a little bit now and I had no idea about this. I am so sorry. Your strength and honesty is amazing, and an inspiration. I really don’t have the words to truly express how moved I was by your post. You are a wonderful person and I wish I could say or do more.
    .-= Mr. Shife´s last blog ..My Top 10 List =-.

  12. Oh Kori! I hope you never thought I abandoned you! I love you and gosh I wish I could have tuned in and followed every word and prayed and wished and thought more! I have thought of you so often I just haven’t been able to be around for anyone.
    I know you know I love you…and have got to get that painting to you already!!! Hmmm, not sure that I have your new address, you will have to e-mail it to me because getting this package off to you is oh….about a year over due!
    I cannot believe it has been a year already since all of this started to go down. What a year! You are amazing! And Hannah too!
    .-= annabbonkers´s last blog ..Lest I forget…. =-.

  13. I’m really late commenting on this but I just had to tell you how beautifully written this post was, just beautiful. I can’t imagine how hard this last year has been for your family specifically Hannah, but it is so good to hear that things are beginning to look up. I continue to pray for your family and hope that things continue to look up. What an amazing family…simply awesome!
    .-= Mrs. Ski´s last blog ..Friday Fragments!! =-.

  14. It’s been a year? I bet that when this all started you never thought you’d be as strong as you are now. It was a horrible thing that happened to your entire family and you’ve had to deal with other blows along the way. Yet, you’ve managed to not become hardened, jaded, and closed-off. You’ve been able to sort the wheat from the chaff and hold on to those you love and grow amidst the storms that have come your way by bending and not breaking. And now look at you! Standing tall!
    .-= Dingo´s last blog ..My Fat Mouth =-.

  15. I see no reason to forgive unless he asks your forgiveness. There’s a difference in forgiving and simply moving on.

    And here’s to moving on – to better things, by God’s grace. 🙂
    .-= FreedomFirst´s last blog ..Drowsy =-.

  16. “To know I am loved, to feel it, is no small thing; I know this just as surely as I know that whether I see it or not, the sun is going to come up in the morning. ”

    You make me proud to call you my friend. You give me hope that each day can be better than the last, and you are the reason that I know that I can stay strong, even when I feel like I can’t.

    xoxo, my friend. I am so proud of you for staying this course even when it’s so very hard for you, and for Hannah.

  17. Sorry I’ve been such a bad commenter 😦 I really can’t beleive its been a year since I read about what happened to Hannah on your blog. I’d been reading before that, but I have never been moved to reach out to someone I’ve never met until that day. Its amazing what has taken place in the last year, and even if I don’t vocalize my appreciation for your wise words, I cherish everything you have to say, I really do.

    You rock Single Mama. I have nothing but respect for you.
    .-= Hanna´s last blog ..I’ve been cheating on my blog =-.

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