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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Behind Closed Doors

I found out today that I unknowingly allowed my son to play at a house where the the father was just arrested for possessing child pornography with the intent to distribute. Since I was told this startling information I have been searching my memory to recall if I ever let my son go there without me. I know I have been there twice with my son. Did he have to use the bathroom while we were there? What about the children who live in that house? What were my interactions like with the father?

So I took a deep breath and had a conversation with my son that I don't think any parent is prepared for. He knows that my son has Asperger's and I know we discussed the obsessions that my son has. Did he use my son's Aspie obsessions to lure him? Did this man ever take photos of my son? Was there ever any "bad" contact between my son and this father?

In response to my questions my son had a puzzled face, he very rarely has any contact with this family, even though the boys are in the same grade at the same school. He thankfully replies no to my questions and we talk about good touches and bad touches and what to do if an adult ever tries to touch your private parts or wants you to touch theirs. We talk about how if an adult wants to take photos, any photos, of him they need my permission. These are things we have talked about before but I felt the need for a refresher course.

As with a neurotypical child when getting a child with asperger's to understand an important concept such as this repetition is the key. The problem I have with my son, and I am not sure if this is an aspie trait or just a child trait, the information can get lost in his brain. So much is happening, there is so much input that things he needs to know can get lost. I always think to my self when I have to explain a simple concept over and over to him, "Lather, Rinse, Repeat" It is my reminder to keep explaining things until he gets it.

Then he asks if he can go around the block, of course I reply without thinking. He is off and I realize he is going to go right past that house. The house where that father is being monitored by electric equipment. How would that stop him from hurting a child? It only lets the police know where he is. If he leaves his house how long will it take the police to respond?

This is the talk of the neighborhood moms, I even ventured out of the familiarity of my house to visit several houses. Honestly it was a wonderful feeling to be involved in the community. It isn't like we never see each other or talk, it just doesn't seem to be that often. It is me, I have a hard time trusting people, especially people I barely know. But today we all bonded and worried about our children. Today we were united.

Then later one mom and I were talking about my impending divorce. Because we had been talking about abuse and what this father did or allegedly did I opened up a bit to her. She knows us both and has been encouraging me to forgive him. I mentioned how he talks to me and how he treats me. I told her about the spitting and the few times that he hit me. I told her about the names he calls me and how he does it in front of our children. After all of this she thought it would be a good idea to leave the kids in his care so they could be in the same school district and be around their friends. Then when I was settled to try to get custody.

Can't she see that abuse is abuse? Just moments before we were worried about this other father's children and what kind of damage has been done to them living in that house. If they had to encounter or deal with the horrors that their father encouraged and enjoyed? Then when I reveal what happens behind our closed doors her idea is that I should keep the children in that environment.

His mother thinks it is my fault, my friend down the road thinks I should forgive him. Even my own parents have encouraged us to seek counseling. Though my parent's don't know everything he has done. They don't want to know and I am not going to tell them if they are unwilling to listen. They have been very supportive and are not in denial, they just don't want details. I am in counseling, he refuses. I know I need to get out and I have the resolve to do it.

Our two houses are just yards apart as the crow flies. Both fathers have sons the same age. Both fathers have done horrible things. We moved out of "The City" for a better environment to raise our children in. I hope my next move gets us closer to that environment. I need to know that what happens behind my closed doors will be a safe environment for my children to grow up in.

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