So, I’ve been struggling with this thought ever since the whole sexual abuse thing became real for me. I always remembered one situation that happened between my cousin/”Uncle” and I but I had always minimized it my whole life, until last year. And now of course other “memories” have come up. I put the memories in quotation marks not because I don’t believe myself, but because of the struggle I have to accept it and because of the cycle of doubt that likes to sneak up and tell you that it can’t be true. Of course that cycle always ends back and belief and then you keep working on it. So I have a rather large problem.
I have noticed that I go through these periods where I am literally obsessed with my uncle. By obsessed, I mean that I try to find information about him on the internet or information about his family, an address, a Facebook picture, a scrap of anything. This started largely because once I realized that what he had done, the one memory I’ve always had, was really sexual abuse, I freaked out thinking that he may have access to other kids, especially since he liked to keep it in the family. When I was little, I don’t think they had any kids, but I thought that maybe they had since I had left and what if those kids now had kids? What if he had nieces and grand-daughters!? He’s over 30 years older than me, my mother’s first cousin, so all of this was possible. Anyway, I go through these obsessive stages and I scour the internet looking for anything. It always ends in frustration nd anger because he’s stayed off the grid. I only ever managed to find his wife’s name listed with an address and I also found some information stating that they had a son who now in his 20’s. So, the other day, my obsession hit again and I started looking but this time I focused on his son who is named after him, so he’s a “Jr.” Towards the end of my search I see that his son got married last year to some 18-year-old girl. Now, I’m thinking, ‘Oh my god! what if they have kids!? I have to do something!” The reason I was always looking for information was because it had occurred to me some time ago that one way for me to take care of my responsibility in some way and to ease my own guilt about putting someone in danger, would be to send anonymous letters to his wife and his son’s family, stating simply that he is a child molester and to be careful. I thought that would be enough of a warning. If they chose to confront him, fine. If they watched out for their kids, wonderful. As long as they knew or had been warned, I thought I would have done my part. Well, the problem is that I can’t find any addresses for the guy’s son and new wife. I have no way of warning anyone. I became quite desperate and I decided to contact the local police anonymously through an email. I wrote to the department that handles sex offenders and the community. Here’s what I wrote:
My question is in regards to dealing with someone who has molested children but was never charged because no victims ever came forward. Is there some kind of anonymous way to tell someone? I am concerned that there is someone in A******** who has molested before and may have access to children.
Now, of course I knew what the answer was going to be before I sent it but…I didn’t know what to do. I thought that maybe they would let me just give a name and they could poke around enough for him to know that someone was on to him or something. Let me explain why this a dilemma. I’m going to mention something Paul from Mindparts said to me once, and Paul if you read this and you want to clear something up etc. just say so in the comments. Basically what was mentioned was, that it’s not like I’m trying to prosecute the guy in court. That’s a big deal to me because I would never go to the police with what’s in my head. Whatever cycles of denial come and go, I am 100% sure that the first incidence I ever talked about, happened. I know that. But, it was almost 30 years ago. And most of all I have no proof. The only other person that ever told me that he molested them was, *drum roll*, my mother. Yep. And we all know what our relationship is like. I can’t prove a damn thing and she likes to bury her head in the sand so she’s no use. Even if we were speaking to each other, which we’re not, she said he abused her and yet when I was little she left me there unprotected and didn’t tell anybody what he had done to her. The police department wrote me back this morning. Here’s what they said:
“To whom it may concern:
A person whom may have committed a crime can’t be brought to justice unless someone comes forth with valid information so that the proper law enforcement can look into the matter for investigation. If I understand you correctly, my advice would be, send me the name of the person that has molested children, along with all the Victim’s names, ages and address and a time frame as to when these events occurred. You also have the opportunity to come to the R***** Parish Criminal Investigation Bureau where you can remain anonymous and talk with a Detective so that this matter can be investigated.”
Well damn! They don’t know that I live 2,000 miles away so I can’t come in and talk to anyone if I wanted to. Now, I’m in the position of facilitating possible abuse because I can’t give them the information they want to know. I can’t prove anything. When I was little, I told my grandmother that he kissed me between the legs and nothing happened. I don’t know what happened, if anything, behind the scenes with the family, but legally, nothing happened. Hell, back then , in that area of the country, it’s likely that they would have shrugged it off as him just “messing around” and I misunderstood or something. The problem is that there is no reason for me to think that he has ever stopped abusing kids or that he wouldn’t if given the chance. However, if I say nothing, I’m helping him, but I say something, my name is out there with NO proof! I can’t try to have a guy arrested with the information I have. I won’t. Whether I believe in my memories or not is beside the question because I can’t prove a damn thing. So, what do I tell the police? I just wanted to warn someone. I really just want to warn the family so they can keep an eye on their kids or any kids they may have. That’s all. But I can’t do that and if he hurts someone else it’s my fault.
I remember reading about the actress Terry Hatcher. She was molested by her uncle at a young age. From what I remember, she never told. Then one day as an adult she reads about this girl who committed suicide and her uncle was named as a suspect in molesting that girl. Terry then came forward and he plead guilty to molesting other girls.
I can’t help but think that maybe if she had come forward earlier, that girl would never have been molested and would still be alive today. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the whole “not telling” thing. But now I’m looking at it from the point of view of someone who could tell but won’t. Doesn’t that make me an accomplice? And, morally I can’t do this based on what my brain and body have told me. I’ve got one solid incident that I could swear to tell the truth about and that’s it. But, you can’t prove a kiss between the legs can you? Ha. My brain and my body tell me that all of these other things happened but I won’t do that to someone, even this guy, even though I believe it. So, now, that makes anything that happens in the future my fault. That doesn’t make me any better than him.