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but I can’t ask Mark about it!

All day yesterday, I was noticing how he smelled.  Not awful, and I certainly hadn’t noticed it the first night, but he had been running around the house and playing, so he’d gotten sweaty.  I mentioned a few times to him during the day that he would need a bath.

After dinner, I asked him if he took baths or showers.  He told me neither.  I (still not getting it) laughed and told him it was time for a bath then and to go upstairs.  He refused, looked really scared, and ran and hid in a closet.  He told me he had ‘accidents’ in the bath, and I (still not getting it) told him not to worry about it, I deal with poop all the time, and he won’t be in trouble.  He still wouldn’t come out.  Long story short, he told me through a crack in the door that something bad happened to him in a bathtub.  I didn’t push it any more after that, and I feel really stupid for not picking up on his feelings/trauma.  We compromised (very gently) on him wiping down with a soapy washcloth in the bathroom.  He managed to do that fine, and seemed much calmer afterwards.

Okay, so now I know he REALLY needs a therapist.  I’m dying to reach out and help him, but I know I’m not a professional and it’s not my role.  I have absolutely NO CLUE what his bathroom trauma could be; obviously, my mind runs the gamut from rape to having to clean the shower curtain.

More than that, I just feel so SAD.  He does so well through the day, and knowing that there’s some part of him though that is that scarred makes me want to cry.

So I will be calling Marge right away on Monday.  The bath thing, plus a few other medical issues, lead me to suspect I’m going to be feeling a lot more sadness in the future.

I found out some more this morning about the sexual abuse allegations in Mark’s family.  Based on that, caseworker (call her Marge) asked me to take Mark to the hospital for one of those all-inclusive sexual abuse medical exams.   Yippee!

I hustled up some babysitting from family, called several different numbers at the hospital to find the right place to take him, and once I finally got the correct office, found out they don’t do the exam until after the child advocacy center interview.  (Just like the therapist.)  She was surprised Marge didn’t know that, so it must be pretty standard protocol.

The problem with getting the CAC interview is that the abuse took place in a different (very far away) county.  The initial removal from their parents was in this county, but the relatives were all far away.  So that far-away county has to schedule the CAC interview and transport from here, turning it into a whole day ordeal.  And Marge made it sound like that county isn’t keen on getting the interview to even happen. Even the GAL down there is leaning towards not doing an interview – too ‘traumatic.’

Come on.  From what I know, this abuse has been happening for some amount of time, probably a few months.  The other allegations might even include STDs.  If this CAC interview thing doesn’t get resolved early next week, I’m getting pissed.

But I did manage to get their enrollment papers done in less than 24 hours, so as long as their old district gets their records over to ours ASAP, the kids can start back to school in January with all the other kids.  Nikki is not happy about leaving her class, but our kindergarten teacher is AWESOME so I think she’ll be okay.  Mark probably also is not happy about leaving his class, but he’s not admitting it.