I saw my two youngest daughters on Sunday for the the first time in over two months. Considering I usually see them every three weeks it has been an unbearably long time.
I’m nowhere near 100% at the moment so we, being myself and my fiancée, cut the usual weekend stay down to collecting them for a day trip. We began with a visit to a park situated quite literally next to the river Thames. The UK, or at least the south east, is experiencing a heatwave at the moment so in the unbearable heat I directed our group to the welcoming shade of a broad tree.
Not only was it Fathers Day but it was also the 7th birthday of my youngest daughter. It was a joy to watch her unwrap the presents from us and other members of my family. Admittedly I was a little disappointed to witness her being almost dismissive of a couple of the presents before moving rapidly to the next one. Yet so many children are like this now that it wasn’t unexpected. The funny thing was that her favourite present was also one of the cheapest.
After ice creams and a quick visit to a playground with swings, slides and climbing frames we headed off for lunch. I’d pre-booked a table at a pub that advertised as serving traditional meals along with a selection of gluten free (fiancée) and vegetarian (myself) alternatives. It was a quaint little place, off the beaten track, that I suspect predominantly serves locals and students from a nearby university campus (or at least those who aren’t too lazy). Once seated at our table we ordered a round of soft drinks and our meals. As usual conversation with my daughters turned to silliness which was very welcome and sorely missed. After finishing our wonderful lunches we moved out to the beer garden, found a shaded table to sit at, and ordered our desserts. The highlight of any dining experience.
Suffice to say that our desserts were wonderful with my daughters particularly relishing the intensity of the flavours. After a brief jaunt into adjacent woods we drove back to near the girls home to another playground where we spent the last half hour chatting and joking.
As usual they didn’t want to go home and my youngest still insisted that we all go to my house to play her new board game, regardless of the fact that it is a three hour round trip. We said our goodbyes and I departed feeling both happy to have seen them and sad that it had been for such a short time. I also felt as though I hadn’t done enough to make the day fun, although I admit that I feel like that when I see either of my two pairs of children.
Next weekend I’m off to see my eldest two children. I can’t wait.
Yesterday was so far from the joy of Sunday.
The morning and early afternoon went by without incident. The usual activities such as housework, learning German and tinkering with my short story. I also completed the forms for the DBT assessment that I will attend this afternoon.
My fiancée returned from work around 4pm, as is usual for a Monday, and with barely enough time to catch up and have a cup of tea we heard a knock at the front door. It was the police officer who was scheduled to arrive at 7pm asking if he could take my statement early seeing as he was in the area. It took us by surprise but I agreed.
So ensued the routine statements he was obliged to make regarding process and rights. Then he moved on to the procedure of taking my statement with myself providing the details in the format of what, who, when and where.
Describing the sexual abuse by my uncle when I was five years old, even at a high level, was painful and very difficult. It’s one thing to write about it but another to give a verbal account to another person face to face. Yet I managed to give all the information that was required and the officer left after finally informing me that the statement would be delivered to the specialist child abuse team for processing and investigation.
I felt awful all evening but I’m hopeful that it will be worth it. At the least I want him to be placed on the sex offenders register so that it will be harder for him to be in a position of trust in relation to children. I’m still unsure how I feel about the thought of him being convicted but to be honest I’m taking one day at a time with this.
I’m reminded often that his actions have destroyed my life while he has continued with his own without remorse or hindrance.
The problem is that I don’t agree with an eye for an eye.
This continuing battle between anger and… what, compassion?