Monday, October 18

What I Did

I procrastinate.  I vacillate.  I’m simply indecisive; or maybe I am just a moment person.  I believe in feeling the moment out – if the timing is right or not. I believe in “signs”.  I believe in gut.  I believe in that “voice within”.  So, until I have said or acted my decision out, it’s as if no decision has been made.

In other words, I was totally unsure of myself till it was time to leave the church, the very end of school day!

I agree that I needed to inform the “authorities”, whether it meant telling Y’s mom or the Sunday school director.  I have the responsibility to.

But I was also torn with my responsibility to keep my student’s trust and confidence.  Clearly, I needed to tell Y that I need to tell someone of the rape.  Never mind if she did not agree.  Never mind if she did not want me to.  For as long as I talked to her and explained to her why I would do what I will do.  At least I did not lie to her.  At least I did not do it behind her back.  That should be enough for her to give me credit for.  That should be enough for me to be worthy of trust and confidence in the future.  I had to tell Y that I would do what I will do because I believed, at that very moment, that I was doing the right thing.

It was right not just because I was doing what was expected of me.  It was right because by telling “authorities”, she will get more help and support than I can give.  There will be more people looking out for her; and for other kids too.  The “molester” needed to be stopped; and that wouldn’t happen if I kept quiet.

While I was rehearsing all these in my head, my spiel, it dawned on me.  On the way to church, Y asked if she can sit beside me during mass.  Of course I nodded “yes”.  But, as my duties called for it, I ended up sitting beside another student.  So, right after mass, I motioned to Y to come to me.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t sit beside you during mass.  Did you want to tell me something,” I asked.

She just looked at me so I continued. “How are you? Has it stopped?”

Y said, “Yes. He left the country.”

“And that was after your mom talked to him,” I asked.

Y nodded.

“What else did your mom do,” I prodded.

“Mom brought me to the hospital. And the police came.  Then mom brought me to a special doctor and the doctor gave me medicine.  The doctor said I had an infection like a diaper rash.”

At this point, I wanted to hug her but I didn’t.  I didn’t want to break down.  I couldn’t, shouldn’t.  Here in front of me was this strong little girl.  You can see the fear in her face, but you can see that she wasn’t about to cry.  And I didn’t want her to. So, no hug.

Instead, I started walking out of the church with Y beside me.  That’s when I put my arm around her shoulder as if in a casual walk.  And I gently asked, “How did it happen?”

And Y started telling me the details, which I will skip.  And that’s because more important than details of the rape was what Y said at the end of her story; an ending that said a lot about the little girl.  An ending that gave me confidence that Y will be ok.

While in the hospital, Y asked her mom: “Mom am I pregnant?  Because if I’m pregnant, I want to keep the baby.”

Huh?!  Unbelievable!  Here she was, an 11 year old rape victim, and what she’s worried about is keeping her baby!

So, I asked her, not knowing if she’ll understand: “Do you already have your period?”

Thank God Y understood and said, “No.”

And thank God, too, that I had the chance to say this before Y’s mom came, “Y, a bad thing happened to you.  And a whole lot more bad things will happen to you. Some better, some worse than this one.  Just remember, just because bad things happen to you it doesn’t mean that you’re going to have a bad life.  It’s up to you.  It’s up to you to make your life a good life.  It’s up to you to turn bad things to good so that you will have a good life.  Do you understand?”

Y smiled.  And the hug came.  Y gave me the hug!  Then she ran and took her mom’s hand.

Well, I guess, that one didn’t turn out bad.  Oh, the things we worry about.  Especially when there are others who have a whole lot more to worry about than us.

P.S. As for B, I thought I had a plan already. But while I was typing it now, it didn’t seem like it was a good plan after all.  I need to re-think this one.  I know.  I’m procrastinating again.  But sometimes, as I've learned, procrastinating can be a good thing, too.  As it is said, "Good things happen to those who wait."


The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

Hi Sam. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you had the opportunity to talk to the very brave 11 year-old, and that things are OK now. And, thank goodness she was sensible and brave enough to talk to you and her mother.
The enigmatic, masked blogger

SAM said...

Yes, I am glad, too, that Y spoke up for herself. That is kind of reassuring that she is "coping" well.

Also, it is I who must thank you for your support. Thanks again. And, good luck with your book!

Olivia said...

That little girl has guts! I'm glad you were there to reinforce her own strength. She trusted the right person. It's not over for her yet. I think she may need a few more hugs in the future.

SAM said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Olivia. It would be nice if I can see this amazing girl blossom to an amazing lady and person.

Better Man said...

You did the right things SAM. I agree, that little girl had guts. She must have a lot of trust in you and that is great. Great Job.

SAM said...

Thanks, BM. Nice to know someone trusts you. But it's also scary because with that trust comes responsibility and fear of letting the person down.