Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Apparently I Have Some Issues

Sam was invited to a camp out with some people from the church down the street from us. A Father-Son Camp Out, and my visiting teacher's husband has said that he would be happy to take Sam on the trip (Sam DID ask Steve, but Steve couldn't because we have a family wedding to go to that same night). I have thought about it and talked to a couple of different people about it and what it all boils down to is that I can't let him go. I have always been fairly cautious with my kids, but since the CF incident I have become even more so. I don't know these people; I don't know anything about them at all, I haven't been around any of them even in a church context (because I don't go to that church, and in fact am trying hard to get away from it), and I cannot imagine allowing some man I don't know take my 10 year old son on a camp out with 50 other men and boys I don't know.

It is odd now, this new feeling of distrust. Well, in many ways it isn't new; I mean, I tend to have to know a person quite some time before I allow my children to go places or be alone with them (and in fact, it was probably close to two years AFTER CF and I became friends before I allowed him to take the kids anywhere or be alone with them even for a minute), so it isn't as if I blindly trust just anyone. However, long gone are the days when a church camp out seems both fun and harmless, a nice diversion for a son who could really use it. Because anything can happen. ANYTHING.

So anyway, it's gotten a little worse, because I know this: I know that predators can and do molest a child in a room full of people, in the stall in a restroom, in a fucking car going down the road. I know that predators like to gain the trust of a victim, even if it is a temporary, short term trust involved in, say, helping a shoe to be tied, wiping a tear, picking up a dropped backpack. I know that predators look just like the rest of us, that they appear normal and talk normal and SEEM normal.

This is why I totally lost my mind when we went swimming over the weekend. And it scared me a little bit. I don't want anyone touching my kids, for any reason. Don't lean down and help my three year old adjust his water wings; both myself and his father are right here and can do that. Do NOT offer to help my 10 year old learn to do a back flip off the diving board; that is why he has an older sibling. I flipped my lid at Steve when he told Sam, "Just go on in the dressing room and start getting changed, I'll get the towels out of your moms bag." "The fuck he IS going in there by himself!" I said, while Steve looked at me like I had grown a third eye and fangs. But that is how it FELT; this visceral fear, this gut clenching fear that someone else is going to hurt one of my kids. A little girl grabbed Owen's arm and was trying to help him down the stairs into the pool and it was all I could do to stop myself from body slamming her.

I have to get over this; Hannah's counselor says it is typical, normal, under the circumstances, and has given me and Hannah both "permission" to feel this way for now. I feel it as the kids' parent, she feels it as a protective older sibling. "If what you need to do to be okay is to make Sam go into the women's restroom with you, do it. If you need to call his name every ten minutes when he is playing outside so he can check in, do it. If for the time being you don't want to let him go into the neighbors yard where they have a ten foot fence? Even though he has gone over the jump on the trampoline before? Then don't let him." It feels nice to be supported in this, it feels good to know that this is normal, but it is also a little bit scary. I could so easily turn into one of those parents who just never lets her kids go anywhere. I won't, because I will work really hard to NOT become that parent, but man, it is a struggle.

Hm, this isn't the post I had planned, not by a long shot. But it is what came out, so I guess I will run with it. I hope you all had a wonderful three-day weekend. Despite my insanity at the pool, mine was pretty good; I'll post more about it later.


Lynn said...

I think what you are feeling sounds pretty normal considering what has gone on.

I say go with your "gut." When you're ready to let go a little bit, you will.

MindyMom said...

Even without your history, you made the right call about the camp out. It sucks, but he reality is an "innocent and fun" trip can easily not be.

I agree; let your gut guide you. It's there for that reason.

April said...

You already know that I agree to stick with your gut. I wouldn't worry too much abt becoming one of those parents. The good thing abt being a busy, working single mom (of 4 in your case) we just don't have the time or energy to create unnecessary drama.

Ms. Moon said...

Funny- I was going to say "trust your gut" and then, so has everyone else.
So you see- trust your gut.

Anonymous said...

1. Your daughter was victimized.

2. You are scared sh*tless.

3. You do not have issues.

We live in an urban area that houses many many sex offenders. You just never know who your kids are coming into contact with, so you have to be ever vigilant. I don't blame you a bit for not sending him on that camping trip.

The Tutugirl said...

I can only imagine what you're feeling. I was mugged in a grocery store six years ago, at 7:30 in the morning by someone who followed me in. I STILL don't trust anyone walking near me, and I never feel entirely safe (making me act like a little child who's afraid of the dark and monsters under the bed). Given my reaction to that, I can only imagine what I'd do if I had a child that had been violated (probably homeschool them and refuse to let them leave my house).

I think you made the right choice for everyone on the campout.

FreedomFirst said...

I don't think you have to worry about turning into one of "those" parents for good, for the simple reason that you ARE worrying about it.

You absolutely made the right choice for Sam. If the person doesn't know you WELL, they should expect a "no." I would never allow Andy in that situation either. It's just plain stupid. I also agree 100% on the locker room.

I'm having an issue with Mark this week that I want to discuss with our counselor tomorrow, which is somewhat related. He likes to get a reaction from people, especially me and Andy because we're good for that sort of thing, hehe. Lately it's been really driving me crazy that he will not respect the boys' personal space and leave them alone when they say so. He thinks it's hilarious to just grab them and tickle them and refuse to let them go, and I think he's laying a really bad groundwork for their relationships with OTHER people. He doesn't see it that way. He says he's Dad and they should know it's different. No way. I don't see how a 2- or 4-year-old should be expected to draw the line with other adults when Dad won't respect it. I don't want them to think that it's just a silly game if someone else puts their hands on them without permission, and refuses to stop when asked. That's a bad setup. I want Andy to come and tell me if someone, even another kid, is physically harassing and tormenting him, and not have to worry that he's going to be laughed at. Grrrr. Men.

Yes, we do have liberties as parents that other people do not have. We also have a responsibility as parents to give the kids a good groundwork. Disrespecting their personal space is NOT a good groundwork to lay. IMO.

Anyway. Hehe. My rant for the day. Should I send you some rent? :)

Rachael said...

Everyone has issues. The ones you're having right now? Completely normal and to be expected. When you experience that kind of awful situation, it changes you. It has to. And no matter what anyone else thinks, you have to be comfortable, and ultimately it's your choice what you do with your kids. I totally agree with Lynn. You will know what you're ready for, and when you're ready. It's sad that Sam can't go on the trip, but I think you completely made the right decision since you don't know the other people. (Hugs)

Unknown said...

I would say its normal to an extent - obviously as parents we want to protect our children and when something happens that threatens that we become over protective to compensate for that which we have no control over. If the therapist says this is normal and its ok to feel this way then - do it. Working thru the issues means allowing yourself the ability to acknowledge then, feel them and then move past them when the time is right.

LiteralDan said...

Most of that stuff is understandable even without having gone through what you all did, so I wouldn't feel too bad about it.

You gotta do what feels right.

justme said...

Kori, I can only imagine how hard it is for you. I feel these things (in a much milder fashion, but the same feelings none the less) and my history is no where near yours...I do not doubt though, that you WILL be able to NOT become that parent.

I do, also, agree with your decision on Sam not going. He may not fully understand the decision right now, but ultimately he is the child and you are the parent.


Anonymous said...

You do not have issues. I would have been leery of someone like that volunteering to take my son even without all that has gone on in your family. There will be other opportunities, I'm sure.

Speaking of opportunities, there are cookies to be had at my place if you hurry. That goes for the rest of you, too.

JT said...

I think that's perfectly normal even with out the extenuating circumstances. I tend to be like that myself, because for every shining soul out there, there is a scum-sucking, black-hearted, worthles POS that I don't want my kids around.

Not speaking of my ex-asshole at all.

Martin said...

You DO have issues you black pen using freak.

These are not them though.

Tara R. said...

I would have had the same reaction as you about the camping trip. I'm still overly cautious with my teen.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Well, Kori, I truly don't think what happened at the pool was insanity on your part. It sounds like your therapist is telling you the same thing, about it being normal for this stage of your grief/anger/terror/suspicion.
I have complete faith that you WILL get past this and feel more "normal"... whatever THAT is! ;-)

Crazee Juls said...

I am not sure about your history...but I can totally, totally relate. I am way leary of people in general. Especially people who just seem TOOO nice and helpful.

Mrs4444 said...

I'm not going through what you're going through right now, but I wouldn't have sent my son with him either. It's hard to tell what's normal and what's not these days, I'm sure, but know that that decision was a good one :)

Shiona said...

I've been told to go with my gut ever since J was born. Each time I haven't I have regretted it. I already don't like anyone touching J besides my family members. At first it was because of the germ factor, but ever since I got robbed now I worry about someone snatching him up.

Didn'ty mean to ramble but under the circumstances it's totally understandable.