I was at the salon today doing fun girly things. My nail tech Tracy (Not her real name) purchased my book and has been bragging it up, telling all the others she works with to buy it, borrow it and read it. Nice warm fuzzy feeling. Janey, (Not her real name) has known about my writing for a couple of years and has been very excited about the publishing of parts one two and three in a paperback. As she works on my hair she tells me about how Trace has gone on and on. She loved it.
Then she says, “I can’t read it. You need to know that.” So I ask her, “Why?”
“Well, I just don’t want to know that those ugly things happen in the world,” she sighs. “I don’t want to see it or hear it” She has said this so sweetly, earnestly and honestly that I am quiet for a moment contemplating my reply.
You have four lovely little girls. Statistically, one of them has been or will be victimized. She smiles, “That wouldn’t happen to them. They would tell me. Would they? She admits there has been no discussion with them about these “ugly things.” They can tell me anything.
I tell her what I believe. They know you don’t want to hear these things without being told. Your children know you. They probably even love you very much for making this wonderful perfect fantasy world. If you are not open to reality, and something happened to them, they will hate you for it later. They might even blame you. I urge her to have at least one conversation with those girls about whats ok, and what they can tell her. If only it were so easy. Ignore it, go deaf and blind. If I don’t see it then it didn’t happen. If I don’t ask and you don’t tell then it didn’t happen.
Conversations and comments fly all around us.
She hugs me as I leave and say, Hon, I still don’t think I can read it. I tell her, “Its OK! We had a conversation with a room full of women with scissors and chemicals and no one got hurt. We laugh about that. For 35 minutes, we all talked about the consequences of child sexual abuse. I call talking about it a winning day.
IF ONLY we didn’t live in a world that makes these conversations feel so necessary. Annie