Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Inoculation edition and the obliteration of innocence


By laser314, Amsterdam.

Answer: No.

Last week, my daughter’s friend and schoolmate told her that she had a “secret.” The secret was that, whenever her older brother got out of the shower, if no one else was home, they would have sex.

My daughter and her friend are both 5.

After my daughter told me this secret, which she rightly suspected seemed “off,” I turned the car around and drove immediately back to her school, where I tracked down the girls’ teacher and told her what the friend had told my daughter. I made no judgment in my retelling as to whether I thought this was true or not, just reported what had been said and put it in her hands. The next day, the friend’s mother picked her up from school, so I assumed things were okay. The day after that, it was the girl’s grandfather. She hasn’t been back to school since then. So I guess it was true. A five year old girl should have secrets about magic and dreams and glittery wands, about easter baskets and kisses on the cheek under the slide, not being penetrated by her brother’s penis when there is no one around to keep her safe. This is more to me than just the loss of innocence, this is a complete obliteration of it, the sucking dry of a life that was only newly struck when it got pulled down.

I have spent the week trying to wrap my mind around the entire thing, while dealing with the questions of my daughter, who still dimly feels she is under a cloud of trouble or suspicion for having this secret with her friend. She has asked me why kids can’t have sex, why family members can’t have sex, and why her friend’s brother would want to hurt her; whether her friend will still want to be her friend when she comes back to school, if she comes back at all, what is going to happen to her friend now, and why her friend cannot stay with her parents if it was her brother who was the problem. Dealing with her questions and keeping her close during the day has occupied my mind. But it’s not so easy at night, when she is asleep, and I am asking myself some of the same questions.

I did not believe there were evil people, just evil decisions, until a friend of mine died violently. It changed my view. I don’t think evil is an excuse, or a disability. I still think it’s a choice, but it’s a more overarching and wholly tarring choice than I originally perceived. For awhile after my friend died, I was obsessed with crime and criminals, afraid to leave my house, dreading that the same thing would happen to me. My daughter’s birth came within a few years of my friend’s death, and I think —I know— that my paranoia increased. After my marriage and move to another state, I isolated myself and my daughter completely in our house and told myself I was finally safe and happy.

Neither of these was true. There is no way to escape a dark place that isn’t a physical reality, but a pit in your mind, that keeps dragging you back down. I’ve done my best, I think. I recognized my unhappiness, I stopped running, I emerged, and I took my daughter with me, but to what end?; I’ve brought her to the only place I’ve ever lived and actually felt safe, and evil is already intruding in her short life. It makes a moment when she will be taken from me by some less-than-human person seem inevitable. It haunts me, it suffocates me, this idea. It is breathtakingly terrifying. I really don’t know what to do.

That’s all I can say for now. It’s too upsetting.

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8 Responses to “Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Inoculation edition and the obliteration of innocence”

  1. Its Important When Yo Head On To An Easter Gift Basket | Mobile Says:

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  2. panda eraser Says:

    this has been bothering me all day since i read it.

    • E. Says:

      Hope you and the fam are feeling better today. It is bothersome, I know. We will have to talk about it in person soon, when you are on the mend.

  3. tinyelk Says:

    Well done for telling the teacher, and your daughter is wonderful for telling you.

    I’ve read your blog for a while (I dig the words and pictures) but not commented.

    My son is 2, the thought of him telling me something like this in 3 years twists up my insides until I want to cough them up and flush them away.

    I hope everything and everyone becomes as ok as possible and that friendships continue, because good friends are wonderful things.

    • E. Says:

      Thanks for reading. I figured that eventually she would hear of something like this, but I never expected it to be so soon. I am glad she understood enough to tell me, and I guess I am glad her friend told the right schoolmate the secret. I hope things get okay soon, too. Thank you!

  4. John Salisbury Says:

    Your daughter’s a superhero.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychohistory

    • E. Says:

      Hopefully she is in the “helping” psychogenic mode and that is why this has affected her so deeply … her empathic response to the situation. She is a valiant and sensitive little soul.

  5. How To Make An Individual Easter Basket | Mobile Says:

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