Such a quiet secret, but it hurt too much trying hard to keep it...
|You know that five years ago I went through a particularly bad time caused by the betrayal of someone I trusted and esteemed at a time that I was especially vulnerable. But it didn’t end for me five years ago. I know that you remember the person I was before that time. Despite my past, I felt that I had been getting so much better.
But I was coerced to keep secret the identity of the person who did this to me. And the secret has hurt me as much or more than the original abuse. I’ve become bitter, angry, and devoid of trust. It has severely damaged my relationship with your son, with you, and I feel it has strained our entire family. I know you’ve sensed it, and you’ve asked about it, but I couldn’t explain it to you. I think I’ve been unfair to you, to myself, and to our friendship.
I’ve learned that secrets are hurtful. I knew that from my past. I knew it, but I was afraid, and I didn‘t trust my instincts. If I had been strong enough to be open about what happened to me, I would have been strong enough to prevent it at the time. Your son didn’t want me to tell you what happened, and I trusted his instincts at the time instead of my own. He told me several years ago that if I really needed to “go public” with what happened, he would support me. But I was just so afraid that I’ve hesitated, and I’ve gotten sicker and sicker. I feel like this is a cancer, killing me.
I was afraid of what would happen to me if the person who did this finds out that I told. So I secretly cut myself and drank to excess to try to numb out my feelings. But only the truth will free me. And I’ve finally gotten to the point where I just don’t give a damn about what happens. I’m sick of keeping this secret to protect the person who hurt me, and hurting all the people around me including you, your son, and my boys.
This person told me. “I’m not a molester. I’m not like those other people.”
Now I say, “Bullshit.”
Your son grilled me about every word and every action that had happened to be sure he had a complete picture, and I swear to you that I told him everything I remembered. I didn’t want to slander anyone, or cause a problem. I was more worried about your son than anything else. I assumed he would leave me, so I had no reason to lie. I was just in shock.
Your son called this man soon after it happened and recorded the conversation to prove to me that he would lie to cover his own ass. I still have the tape somewhere. I had been making excuses for him, because I hadn’t stopped him. I told your son that it was my fault, because this had happened to me before, but this man had never done this to anyone else.
Your son’s response was, “How do you know he hasn‘t?“
I don’t believe he understands what he did, and I’m not convinced he ever will in this life, either because of denial, or just plain cluelessness. What totally disgusts me is that from things he has said, I assume he believes what he did to me was a mutual thing.
A year after it happened I was told, “I’ve repented , and God has forgiven me, so it’s over.”
My thoughts were, “Gee, I’m so very happy for you. It’s not over for me.”
Being around him makes my skin creep and when he gets too close I want to deck him. I have come so close to just bolting when I feel trapped in a corner. Your son had to talk to him lately to tell him not to touch me when he talks to me. It’s as if he wants to give the illusion of us getting along, to hide what he did. I hate this. I’m even afraid of my oldest friend’s dad now, whom I’ve known since I was eight. I’m afraid of pretty much everyone now.
So it’s time to just be truthful. My pastor and my best friends have all told me that they don’t think I’ll get better until I let this go. The dumb thing is that I’m afraid of making things worse. Gee, I’ve been borderline suicidal for five years. How much worse can it get? I’m still afraid of offending the person who did this. That’s the reason I didn’t stop him in the first place. He said, ‘If anyone found out, I’d just have to leave.” But at this point I can live with that.
I think I can get past it if all the important people in my life know. If it’s open. After all, you know about the people who molested me as a child and you don’t hate them. So why does this person think he’s an exception? He claims to be a Christian. Aren’t we supposed to confess our sins to one another? I think it’s pride and - I don’t know- something else. Maybe stupidity.
It’s time for this to be behind all of us, and to move on. My life will never be the same. But I am sick of hiding someone else’s sin. Hiding it just compounds it. Bringing it out in the open gives us a chance for forgiveness. I’ve held on to this for five years, so now I’ll give it to you.
There’s a line from a song, “Such a quiet secret, but it hurts too much trying hard to keep it. Oh, and I looked up to you. I wanted so much to believe in you. I wanted so much for you to believe in me. Oh, I tried. I try,” that always reminded me of my situation.
Enough dancing around the issue. Five years ago when we discussed this incident, you told me that if you were the wife of the person who did this to me, you would want to know. Well, you are. You know all the rest. Now it’s in your hands.