Never Speak of It
Tim Barrus
21

I can’t even…

As I stood in the lobby of a children’s advocacy center one hot early August day years ago, I watched a “mother” shove her 8 year old daughter from her side. The little girl was bawling as her little brothers clung to her, crying, too, and with quivering words begging their older sister not to leave them because who would feed them, “who will take care of us?” and OMG! I thought I couldn’t be hearing what I clearly heard but I heard it, all right. The woman yelled coldly, although I can’t quite her directly, except for the vile description “cunt” she used for her little girl, this is pretty close: I don’t want this little cunt anymore. You take her. She is sleeping with my boyfriend, trying to steal him from me.

The center wasn’t a place to drop off children. It was a place for sexually abused children to be interviewed. I was a volunteer. I wanted to grab that little girl and her 2 brothers and run to someplace truly and forever safe. Instead, because of laws written and passed by people like those who responded to your piece, who blame instead of listen, who pretend instead of face truth, who are comforted by lies, I watched 2 social workers take the girl and allow that woman to drag her sons out the front door as her boyfriend held it open with this look on his face:

Everyone knew that the little girl wasn’t the only one being raped by the boyfriend.

Because of those laws, I later learned that the little girl was taken away by policemen in a police car. How does that even look to a scared child tossed from her home in which she was obviously assuming the responsibilities of a mother? I assumed it looked the way it looked to me: as if she broke some law. As if she had done something wrong. I literally puked.

Suffice it to say that after reading your reporting, I find myself again wanting to puke. These comments are from the same mindset of that god-forsaken woman and I wish them the same thing I wished her and her small minded and appendaged boyfriend, excited at the thought of what he’d stick into those little boys until their mom caught him and dropped her sons off forever. Everyone knew that the boyfriend was there for the kids and only for the kids. only the mother wouldn’t admit to herself.

Almost any female can give birth to a baby but many fewer can truly, healthily “mother” one. And evidently small appendages look larger if a child is raped with them. And women aren’t worth shit without a man…in the world of those whose words you reported, in the world of “never speak of it” in the world of pretend. It is easier to live there than do the only honest work to which we are all called: know thyself. Easier to blame others than stare into the terrifying depths of one’s own soul. Anyone who wrote that crap must be terrified.

I believe in hope and I believe in healing. Both equire us to truly know ourselves in ways that are terrifying which is why so few try for long. But oh, for those who endeavor, life can blossom. It will still be hard.

The work you do takes a special honesty and empathy that few have. I applaud you as I applaud your boys who are looking into their souls and asking the tough questions, first to themselves and later, aloud. I pray and pleas that they are not silenced or intimidated by those too scared to do what they are doing, by those who would policies decency, by those who can’t stand on their own and seek authoritarian rule.

May your boys and the many other men, women and children like them thrive!

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