Depression is nothing to play with. It must be given it's due. My relative and I both felt bogged down, cotton headed. I felt the pressure of my family. The need to be alright. To be happy. I only felt worse for not being able to lift myself out of that mood. I felt guilty. Why then? I remember feeling despair and alone when I was young, but never the depression that gripped me in that time. She went to the doctor first and I followed. It helped, it helped a lot. It took time and I filled that time with journaling and learning about others who had experienced what I had. I played with my kids, down on the floor, out in the dirt. I let the child I had been out to play with the children I now had.. There was hide and seek in the dark, kick the can. We danced and we sang and my children got me through it. I hadn't heard from my mother. I considered that a good thing. My Grandparents called to say that they loved me. That they were sorry they weren't there to protect me. They were kind and I remember holding the phone and crying. hard, Silently, not wanting them to know how their words touched me. They were a balm, a salve on a deep wound.
In counseling we came to a new subject. Something I had never covered in over ten years of going to one specialist and than another. And I balked. I wanted nothing to do with this. But, I sat and listened. With everyone else. Taking in the words and I grew alarmed. I had my first panic attack, right there in group. What the hell was wrong with me? I could not pull myself together. It was like I didn't know myself. All my coping mechanisms had failing me. On and on they talked about the characteristics of a pedophile. As much as I didn't want to hear any of this, I needed it. Those three little girls forgotten for so long needed me to hear it. I had to do something and I had to do something right then. In all my years of counseling no one had ever told me that pedophiles never stopped. How did I not know that? I thought it was me. I was told me it was me. Oh hell, breathe.....what to do.... I knew my father was still a cop. I made some calls, found out where he was. And I screwed up my courage. I prayed for a woman as I listen to the phone ring, only to have it picked up by Richard, from child protective services half way across the country. I stuttered through my speech. I had practiced it over and over. He was patient and kind. I just knew I was explaining it wrong. He was never going to believe me. Crap, now I cry? Now, when I needed to be calm and clear headed the most. I felt helpless. He listened, until I had talked myself out. And he stopped my tears in an instant. He asked If I would be willing to talk to the DA. He said they were investigating him, my father for similar incidents there. I can't explain my emotions. I was relieved he believed me and devastated that I was too late. He had hurt others after me. And that hit me hard.
I called my relative and told her. Asked her if she would be willing to talk to the DA as well. At first she was hesitant. But she was brave said she would. I waited on pins and needles for that call. It seemed to take so long for the phone to ring. Finally it did and everything was changing again. The ADA listened to my words, he was all business at first. But as I got to know him better he became more passionate. He said we needed to come to Texas. To Liberty County. To testify. I said of course. My relative took some coaxing. My husband wasn't supportive. He did not understand. He felt I was abandoning my family. That I had responsibilities and that it was the past. He wanted me to let it go. I found my anger and turned on him. I told him I had to do it. I had to end the thing my father had started so many years ago. We were at loggerheads. I would not give in. When I got the call with the information for my flight, again I had a panic attack, worse then the first one. I called my doctor. He was not in, but his partner wanted to see me. I was filled with dread. I was going to have to drag it all out again, for a stranger. But I went. He was a good man, a great Doctor. He put a chair on one side of the exam table and asked me to sit down. He took his stool and sat on the other side, with the table between us. It made me smile. I remember. It touched me. That little kindness. He wanted me to feel safe. And I was calmed and humbled by his simple act. He asked me if I knew what PTSD was. I did not. He gave me some literature and something to help me cope anxiety. He said I was brave and he wished me well.
And before we knew it I was on a plane, taxing down the runway into a future full of apprehension and fear. To face our demons and do battle. I was anxious and yet I had hope. Again, there was hope.