Jasmine calls me back just as I am getting home from therapy. I give Kat a quick hug, and motion to hubby that I’m going to take the phone call in our room. He nods at me, and I head back to the bedroom.
Sitting down on the bed, I say, “So….what’s going on? Is everything okay? The nanny just got here, right before I got home. And I have to be honest, you’re kind of freaking me out.”
“I’m sorry,” Jasmine tells me, “I don’t want to freak you out, not at all. I just feel like I have to tell you this. My daughter, she told me that Nanny touched her private parts.” Jasmine goes on to talk in more detail about what her daughter has said. She tells me that because of a situation earlier this year, and her own bad reaction to it, her daughter has been accusing people left and right of this– to get attention and to not have to be around them when they have done something to make her mad– so Jasmine is quite confident it isn’t true, but she felt she had to tell me because it would be wrong not to, on the off chance it was true.
I can’t breathe, I can’t think. I can feel his hands in me, and smell his cologne. I’m struggling, fighting to stay present on the phone. I dig my nails into thigh until I feel something. “I…thank you for telling me. It’s okay. I would have done the same…” I choke out the words, just as hubby lets himself into the bedroom. He takes one look at me and sees that I’m not okay.
“What is it?” He mouths at me. I shake my head. I can’t right now. I need to get off the phone.
I struggle through a few more minutes of conversation. “I’m going to email Bea about this, okay?” I say to Jasmine. It’s the one thing I can think; email Bea, it will be okay, she will have a solution, she will know how to fix this. I feel like I have to warn Jasmine about it though, because her daughter sees Bea, too. Back when Kat was the only one seeing Bea, I recommended her to Jasmine for her little girl, and they have been seeing Bea since then.
“Of course. She knows about this, and agrees with me….it was actually Bea who suggested it was not a true story, but one to get a reaction out of me, to get attention.” Jasmine is fine with me talking to Bea. Thank God. “Are you okay? Is hubby there?” She asks me, and I think she sounds really far away.
“I’m fine. I’m okay. Hubby is here. It’s okay,” I tell her. She promises to call me later to check on me, and I hang up the phone.
Hubby comes and sits next to me, and waits quietly, patiently for me to talk.
“I have to email Bea.” I pick my phone back up, and stare at it blankly.
“Hold on….just a minute. Breathe, okay? Can you just breathe for a minute?” Hubby says gently. I realize now how confused he had to have been, and I’m thankful I had been letting him in a little more lately. “What happened?”
I turn to him, and the tears I had been holding back start to fall. “Jasmine’s daughter said Nanny…touched her…I don’t know…you know…” I manage to explain it all to him, including that this has become something her daughter says to get rid of people who make her angry. “Can you please buy me a nanny cam….today? I know it’s crazy, but please, just please. Because I can’t do this. I really can’t.”
“Yes. We can buy a nanny cam.” Hubby has his iPad out and is looking for nanny cams right away. “I really don’t think anything happened, and I believe Nanny is a safe person, and Kat is fine. She shows no signs of being abused like that.”
I stare at my husband for what seems like forever. “Either did I.”
“Yes, I know. But I really believe Kat would tell us if something were going on.”
I shake my head. “I’m sure my parents thought that, too. The thing is…if it’s not scary. If it seems like a game, there isn’t anything to tell, not from a child’s view.” It’s the most information I have given hubby about my abuse, the most I have said as far as what I felt.
“I know. We’ll get a nanny cam, I’m ordering one right now. And we will continue to make space for Kat to talk to us. Okay?”
I nod. I curl up under my big soft blanket, and send an email to Bea, freaking out. I honestly don’t know how long it takes her to respond. It seems like no time has passed, and like a million years had passed. Dissociation and flashbacks can do that to you. She tells me that she can understand why I don’t know what to think, what to believe. She suggests that we can ask Kat if any grown ups have ever asked her to keep a secret, and also reopen a discussion about who is allowed to see our private parts, ext. And she says she is going to talk to another therapist, someone she sees for supervision sometimes, in a little while and she will bring this whole messy situation to him and get some more input. I feel a little panicked that she feels the need to bring this to supervision, like I have screwed up somehow, made a mess of things.
Hubby lays down next to me, but doesn’t touch me. He seems unsure of what to do. “Can I do anything for you?”
I shake my head, whisper, “No.”
“Do you want me to stay home today?”
“No…I’m okay, I’m fine.” The words are automatic. It’s not safe to need anyone. I blink back tears as I talk, because I desperately want him to stay home.
He studies me for a moment, and shakes his head. “No, you aren’t okay. I’ll stay home.”
I tell him I’m really triggered. That it all is too close, and it gets messy in my head. That so many feelings I’m having right now are from my past, so even if it doesn’t make sense I really need him to accept it, because the feelings are very real. He nods and agrees.
I don’t know how much time has passed, but hubby stays sitting silently next to me, keeping me safe. “Don’t laugh at me, but can you get my teddy bear? Kat ran off with him.” I say it softly, little girl voice, little girl needs.
“Of course. I’ll go find Teddy.” Hubby gets up to search the house. Teddy is a bear my Grandpa gave me when I was really little. I’ve had him for over 26 years. The little girl part of me clings to Teddy and believes he can keep her safe.
Hubby returns, and hands Teddy to me. I bury my face in his fur, and then hold him tight to me. Hubby sits next to me, holding my hand.
My phone rings, and I look at it. “It’s Bea,” I tell hubby.
“Answer it,” he says.
Right. Of course. Answer the phone. “Hello?” I say. My voice is little girl small.
Bea tells me that she and the other therapist talked through it all, and they both agree Jasmine’s daughter is telling stories. Bea is really certain and confident about this. She apologizes that she can’t fully explain why because of confidentiality, but that she truly believes our nanny is a safe person, and Kat is okay. I don’t really remember the conversation, other than that. We talked for a few minutes, that’s what I do remember.
When I get off the phone, I relay the conversation to hubby. He nods his head. “I really do agree with her, Alice.”
“I trust Bea. She wouldn’t ignore something like this if she thought it could even remotely be true,” I finally say.
“I trust her, too,” hubby tells me.
I go in and out of being completely dissociated; enough so that I lose time several times, and am surprised to find that it’s dinner time when 6:00pm rolls around. I skip dinner, and manage to actually fall asleep for an hour.
Hubby takes care of Kat, and of me. After he puts Kat to bed, he sits next to me while I try to fall asleep. We don’t talk much, but just the fact that he stayed and was there, and that I let him stay is huge for me.