Playing the Hand You Were Dealt

If you've been devouring the news about the Sandusky trial like me, you may have noticed the warnings before some of the articles. Trigger warnings, they're called, to alert those of us who are sensitive and apt to relive trauma.

I take a deep breath with every disclaimer but I continue on, refusing to bury my head in the sand. Denial is the last way to make child sexual abuse (CSA) disappear.

My day job is pseudo-librarian in a hospital library. I dig through medical journals for research all day long. Recently I've reviewed some of the info on pedophilia, trying to understand why it happens, if it's biological or psychological. I haven't found any answers.
I keep getting distracted by the fact that CSA keeps being allowed to happen. Or as Tom Klein, the lawyer for Sandusky Victim #5, said in a recent report by my friend Emily Reddy, enabled. Children aren't protected or taught to be prepared. The best of parents have had their heads in the sand.

I worked at the public library for a year and one librarian mentioned that s/he stealthily placed a book for kids, on the topic of molestation, in the parenting section. I liked the thought of a parent serendipitously finding it there.

Meanwhile I both seek out & accidentally stumble across CSA stories in hopes of healing my wounded inner 7-year-old.

I don't care much for watching sports but after hearing about Mets knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey's abuse as a child, I found myself desperate to read his memoir. Although once I had the book in hand I couldn't face it. 

But yesterday, on the plane to Nashville, the town where R.A. was born and raised, I decided to venture in. Nothing like crying convulsively at 30,000 feet in the window seat, trying not to disturb my neighbor. Still, the man's honesty was uplifting.

And I calmed down. The clouds soothed me and I know I'm lucky to be where I am, in every aspect of my life. (I remind myself that) I'm a grown up now with the power to make smart choices and utilize resources when I need them. People care about me, and I love myself, which hasn't always been the case.

Inspirational bathroom reading at the Piranha Bar in Nashville
While I'd been avoiding Dickey's book, a few weeks ago I started reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  Now there's a family more messed up than most. But Jeannette and her siblings took care of each other and were prepared for anything, even child predators, who the kids chased down the street with a machete.
Even early on they knew better than to be victims. We should all be so lucky to grow up with such wisdom.

The rest of us, however, have to keep our heads up & in the game, even if it means throwing one awkward knuckleball at a time.

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