Shit….I knew this day would come, I knew someone would ask, and now I have to frantically come up with an awkward lie, that we both know is a lie when I say no.

SLEEPOVERS. 

“Does Leto want to come for a sleep over?” asks our school friend.

I panicked, “What do I say?”

I watch Shaun’s face for a reply, “Nup, they can’t, we can’t, we can’t”

“Tell her the truth” he says….

“hmmm, thats awkward”…I mumble quietly… holding my phone in my hand….

……I write a text saying “He can’t tonight because we’re busy”  but I don’t send it, thats not being true to myself.
I rewrite it 10 times and delete it 10 times.
I mean I know her, I’ve met the husband once or twice, I trust them, I know them. They are good people, right?
Ah shit….
I write another text “maybe another time” and hope they don’t ask again just to save both of us from the following awkward conversation; “I’m sorry, I’m really messed up so my kids can’t sleep over because you or someone you know might sexually abuse them?..
But I didn’t send that either.
I write another….“No, he can’t because I don’t trust anyone”….EVER.


DELETE. DELETE. DELETE!

But its not really my fault… you really can’t blame me, someone I trusted hurt me, in ways that many people will never fathom.

My mother trusting in someone didn’t protect me from being abused, so what authority does my own trust in someone else have over the safety of my own children?
I am worried about it happening because I lived it and still live it every day, and I know first hand what it does to someone, I know how real, and how frequently this abuse happens.
I know that sexual abuse often ‘runs’ in families, that the trauma passes through generations, I am responsible for passing that down onto my own children already and I am responsible for my children’s safety and they won’t have the hurt abuse can bring on their hearts under my care. In the case of childhood sexual abuse, prevention is key because there is no cure for the symptoms of childhood trauma. End of story.

But just because we trust someone with our children that does not mean our children are protected, that they are safe. Too often we hear in families when a child is sexually abused by someone else (especially those within the family or friendship circle,) people are often surprised, but the fact is that 80% of cases where a child is abused it is by someone the child knows. I was warned about stranger danger often as a child and my mother had no idea that for 6 long years, the very man within her home, one that she trusted was sexually abusing her little daughter on a regular basis. I was never talked to about body safety, or the possibility of abuse happening in the home, even though I was raised by a mother who experienced sexual abuse at the hands of her own family, and also domestic abuse.
Almost every person I know in my real life that has had any experience with sexual abuse as a child was carried out by a male family member they all loved.
These are the fathers, step-fathers, brothers, uncles and grandfathers, husbands and lovers, friends.
This isn’t to say that women don’t abuse, they do, and reportedly on a much smaller scale.
93% of offenders are male (Australian Bureau of Statistics-Recorded Crime, Offenders 2013-14.)

I have a select few  family members and friends that I allow my three children to spend time with, its a select few because in keeping the amount of people they spend extended time with is vital to their safety and my own sanity. I can’t help but feel that every time we get more friends or acquaintances the risk of them being around someone unsafe is increased.
My reasons for this are personal. Openly, and utterly personal to me.
I have issues with trust, I have issues with trusting trust, and I never 100% trust anyone.
Not even you…..
I suspect everyone, yet somehow love, appreciate and adore everyone…

I don’t want to take the risk, because in my heart and in my mind because I couldn’t live with myself if anything was to happen.

I don’t take the risk because  if I send them for a sleep over and something is to happen then and even if they do happen to tell me, that is one step too late, that is one rape too many. We rely on our children to speak up, we empower them to speak up and we assume that they’ll speak up before it’s too late, but even then, we are having faith in them to speak up after they might have experienced something so hurtful and shameful that historically they rarely do speak up. We as adults struggle enough to speak up, we can not rely on a child to do what we often can’t.

I won’t take the risk.

So if you do ask me for my kids to sleep over, and I say no, it is personal, its just a different kind of personal. It is not that I don’t trust you, its all of this, and if we are all the result of our own experiences then we should learn from that and be vigilant and careful, respectful of parenting opinions and choices always, and this is me learning from my experience.

I told my friend the truth, and do you know what she said?

“No need to explain, please don’t be sorry, we have 7 years more of school together, another time”…
And we are still friends…. and the world didn’t close in around me.

There is no cure for childhood sexual abuse, there is no cure for rape, all sexual abuse on children is rape and we can only try to prevent it.

One incident is one rape too many.

EDUCATE> EMPOWER>SPEAK.

Advertisements

17 thoughts

  1. My daughter is 20. She had one sleep over when she was 16 years old and that was it. I never for one day regretted not letting her and she didn’t feel like she missed out on anything. I did allow her friends to stay over here because she had a separated trundle bed right across from my room and I could see them, even at that I think she had one friend spend the night. I was just never okay with it. So I let her friends stay as late as they wanted but when it was time for bed they had to go home.
    I think you are doing an awesome job as a parent and this is an important issue you are bringing awareness to. We have to protect our children. It is our job. And if someone else judges us for that, well we have to shrug that off. Hopefully they won’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think thats really good, staying late but always going home, it covers you and your kids while still allowing them to have fun. Go you. Thats awesome.

      Thank you so much for popping by, i hope to see you around here in the future!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bless you bless you bless you. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words. I’ve never discussed the abuse with anyone but now I freak at the thought of my daughter staying with anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Antanika I just went to say thank you only because you open my eyes you see I’m a father whom was raised with no sisters so I had alway thought sleep overs were ok well beings boys and boys only doing boy stuff and of course getting into trouble as a kid and had to not worried about myself being abused cause I was fought how defend my self due to getting into fights at school and streets so the thought of my Lil girl who is just 5 asking to sleepover or even have a sleep over when gets older I now know the things that could happen if it would not we’re cause it would never happen cause now that I know thanks to your story you just made it easier for me to say no when the question comes to me and I won’t feel bad for telling my girl the answer is No

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so so so glad that this opened your eyes. And now you will have no fear of wondering what could happen. This truely makes me happy.

      The safety of our babies is only up to us. And more people need to see that. Thank you for taking the time to message me. ❤

      Like

  4. I am so glad that in my naive Yorkshire childhood sleep overs were not the fashion. Yea we stayed with cousins occasionally but didn’t hear of any wrongdoings it was so innocent then

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know it doesn’t happen often in other people’s homes. Usually it’s people in children homes that actually harm them. However it still makes me cautious.

      Sleep overs weren’t a thing?

      Like

    2. I’m so pleased you had an idyllic Yorkshire childhood Dawn, but believe me when I say that it happens in Yorkshire too, in own homes, in cousins homes, in neighbours homes, and in back rooms at weekend jobs.
      Sadly, it wasn’t so innocent then at all – I wish.

      Like

  5. I understand as a parent and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I was the sam way with my kids when they were little they didn’t spend the night at friends houses and the only family I had was my mom.. And my husband and I worked opposite shifts so we didn’t have a babysitter. I stopped it from happening. We want to protect them make sure they will be okay and if that means they don’t get to spend the night at friends houses until they are teenagers that’s what will be. But I learned to talk to my children at young age. Tell them about good touch bad touch mom and dad touch dr touch. I had to o never wanted to be the parent that let them get hurt. To this day as they are now reaching adulthood I still have issues with letting them go.. But they know now that what I did was to protect them. Talk to your children tell them bout good touch base touch it may help u to let go just for a min. Have the other kids spend the night at your house.. I don’t know if this was helpful but again as a survivor o understand your skeptisim..

    Like

    1. it is all helpful. Thank you. Education is the key to these awful things being prevented. Its so necessary and it’s parents like you and I that have kids that wont have to recover from their childhoods.

      Like

  6. I have never endured any childhood trauma, as a matter of fact I probably had the perfect parents, apple pie childhood. But I still agree with you on this wholeheartedly. As a single mother of a 15yr old boy and 5yr old girl, I don’t date. If I do nobody meets my kids. Ever. They don’t ride buses. Don’t do sleepovers. Don’t play outside alone. My theory has always been if you’re watching constantly, you stand a good shot at keeping them safe. Most days I feel like I slept with one eye open and I’m always a little tired at least. With so many ways a child can be scarred for life, why take unnecessary risks? Why take ANY? Would you let a rabid dog wander up and play fetch with them? Id prefer to have the rabid dog put down before it made it to the gate. We do movies, football games, concerts, etc. I’m always there. I don’t have to hover and embarras. I just need to see. Maybe I’m too obsessive? Or maybe even paranoid? Maybe as a single mom I know I’m their first, last, and only line of defense? Whatever the drive is, it works. Thank you for this. Its a great topic that needs to be raised. The safety of our children is literally in our hands. So many people don’t seem to see that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have to do what you have to do to feel like you’re doing a good job at parenting and you are doing exactly that. Your Children won’t be harmed. And you get to live with that.

      Like

  7. Good. You’re totally, unequivocally, one hundred percent, absolutely, undeniably RIGHT!!! Trust no one. It happened to me over and over and over. Nearly every man I encountered while growing up did it. Do you know one place people never think about it happening? A school bus. It happens there. School. There, too. When you’re eleven and innocently knock on a neighbor’s door to inquire if their child is home and the child’s drunk father answers the door. It happened then. *sighing sadly* My child doesn’t leave my sight.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave me some text lurve :

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s