I just received an email notification that Hannah’s molester, CF, was released today; has it been 120 days already? The mind and body say no, but the calendar say yes, in fact, it has. I have been expecting it, though, knowing it would be some time this week-I don’t know why it hit me so hard to find out that it was today. I think part of it is simple denial; as long as he was incarcerated, it was pretty easy to believe that everything was fine and that we have dealt with everything we need to deal with. And I hasten to add here that we ARE , in fact, fine; a little less trusting, a little more battered around by life, a little more damaged, but essentially okay. The ultimate truth of that doesn’t change now that he is out.
However, I know well that we are going to have to work hard to keep the feeling of security that was easy to feel while we knew he was in jail, and once I tell Hannah, I expect a few sleepless nights and lots of reassurances. No, he doesn’t know where we live. No, he doesn’t know where she goes to school now. Yes, there is a restraining order in place to protect us all (between us, we all know how much good an RO does, but I am NOT going to tell that to Hannah). It is a bit unnerving in the sense that this IS a small area; we may very well run into him at the grocery store, at Wal-Mart, at the gas station. I may see him at different AA functions (although he is supposed to stay away from my Monday and Friday meetings, and is supposed to leave an event if he sees that I am there) on occasion, Hannah may catch a glimpse of him driving down the road. It is what it is, and I guess we just figure out how to deal with these different things just like we have figured out how to deal with everything leading up to this point.
The consolation, small as it might be, is in knowing that we did everything we could. He will be registered, he will be on felony sex offender probation for ten years, he will be required to undergo sex offender treatment; whether he can adhere to the terms of his probation is up to him. Whether or not parents check the sex offender website is up to THEM. Whether people in the AA program believe it or not is up to them-but I DO hope that even if they are on his side that they would still keep their kids away from him. Anyway, so much if it is so out of our control that we can’t even really worry about it; we have done all that we could, and it has to be enough.
I worry a little about telling Hannah, but I have to; far better for her to know so we can go over the different issues that might come up and talk about how she feels than have her be blindsided when she inevitably hears about it from someone else or sees him. So-please send her up good thoughts and mental reminders that she is a strong, beautiful and brave girl. She has been through the hardest part already-she can learn how to deal with this as well. And for me, pray for a clear eye and a sense of discernment, so that if she doesn’t, in fact, handle it well then I can find her a counselr. That has never been ruled out, but the lull has been good for her and it seemed best to let her breathe. We might not be able to do that now, so I hope that I can be aware enough to note any warnings signs.
So-we keep breathing. The world did not just stop, nor is the beauty of the day marred; maybe there has been more progress than I thought, because while I freely admit that the whole thing sucks ass, well, it just is what it is, and life keeps flowing forward. We have weathered far worse storms than this one, and there is no doubt we will weather whatever comes up as the result of his release.