Long story short… I use to be married to a pastor! He died of a heart attack brought on from a relapse of cocaine… But that is a whole other blog. Don’t stop reading this!! I no longer am associated with the church. However, I do have this belief in something, call it God, call it what you will… So on my way to work every morning I got into this routine of praying, and it just became second nature. I always included all the children in foster care, I was one of those children and then I include all the children in harm’s way. I would just ask God, or whoever was up there, or around us to protect them all.
The computer project I was on went live, which equals boring to me therefore, I was looking for a new challenge. I applied for a new project at a local agency. The project was for the state department of human services, child protective services (CPS} and foster care (FC) agency. I accepted the position not thinking twice about what I was psychologically, emotionally and mentally headed into.
My first day on the new project was horrifying to say the least, I was given a settlement agreement document and asked to get familiar with the cases involved in said lawsuit. The agency, or really the state, was sued by the “children” for failure to protect. The document went into great detail on how these children were maltreated and/or died at the hands of FC parents and/or left in homes by CPS workers and died. My job was to work on a team with other developers to write code and provide statistical and detailed data to the federal government per the said settlement agreement.
Sometime a few months into my horrifying job I came across a familiar name in my data mining. I felt sick to my stomach! Could it be the same man? The man was older than me, I was like 7 years old, he was over 18… The case stated: 8-year-old student at blank school showing signs of sexual abuse, alleged perpetrator and then his name. I jumped up from my desk, went and changed into my running cloths and ran 4 miles on my lunch. I could not get it out of my head, I ran so fast… When I got back to work, I went into my manager’s office and closed the door. It took every ounce of courage in me to say, this man molested me when I was a child and I never told anyone. All I could think about was this little girl…
Due to no formal charges ever being pressed and a conflict of interest, I was unable to disclose what happened to me as a child to the CPS investigator assigned to the case. The only recourse I had was to press charges against the man for sexual assault 30 years prior. The police detective assigned to the case was amazing and took the allegations seriously. A problem arouse when my family members were unwilling to testify in court however, as a result of the investigation 6 other victims from our old neighborhood were found.
The perpetrator was interviewed by the detectives and denied the allegations and then willingly took a lie detector test, which he failed! At which point, he told the truth!! He admitted his guilt…sick fuck.
As a result of this investigation, I went into this mental nightmare or, what I know now to be as PTSD. I had always been a fitness buff but, I was obsessed with running. I would wake up in the morning at 5:00 am and run 4 miles, run on my lunch and run after work. I couldn’t eat due to loss of appetite, I started taking a benzo prescribed by my family doctor due to panic attacks and loss of sleep due to nightmares. At the end, I was eating the benzos like candy. I quit keeping track of how many and how often I was taking the benzos and I was spinning out of control.
It was a Tuesday night, I went home and changed then went for my usual run. When I got home there was a missed call on my cell from the prosecutor’s office with a message to call back. The prosecutor said, the statute of limitation law does not apply in this case and, he was not going to prosecute the perpetrator. I went into shock, I am not sure what I said however, I do know he responded with, “well he admitted he did it, isn’t that enough”.
I made spaghetti for dinner that night, took a couple of benzos, took a shower and called my ex husband to bring me some heroin. I was done… The next thing I remember was being really cold and throwing up in an ambulance, a man saying hang in there and what did you take. I spent the next 6 months climbing out of a hole of flashbacks and fighting to want to live. And praying for that little girl.
This is how PTSD can sneak up on you…#metoo