My Son Was Molested By The Babysitter
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Transcript for My Son Was Molested By The Babysitter:
Kristina: Welcome to the Impactful Parent’s, Inspire and Learn series, where real parents come on and tell their real stories of inspiration and learning because a wise man learns from his mistakes. Still, a wiser man learns from other people’s mistakes. So let’s learn today from our guest speaker, Alysia Lyons, and Alysia will talk to us today about her experience with her child getting molested by a babysitter.
It’s an important topic to talk about, and even just saying it out loud takes my breath away. I want to hear your story. So let’s start with that. What happened, and how did this all come about?
Alysia: My son was about four. I had hired a babysitter. I’ve been a single mom for most of his life, so I’ve relied on babysitters. My normal babysitter wasn’t available that day, but she recommended another girl. She was only 13, but her parents would be home while she babysat. I only took my son to her once, and it seemed to go fine, so I was planning to start using her more regularly.
The next time I needed a babysitter, I told my son we were going to this girl’s house. He immediately started making excuses, and my son told me that he didn’t want to go there. I asked why. He said that she didn’t have enough toys and that she was mean to him. I started to question my son more, and he immediately broke into tears. He then proceeded to tell me what she did to him. I won’t mention the exact words here, but it is pretty graphic.
Of course, I didn’t take him back there, and I was in shock. I filed a Child Protective Service Report because, in my mind, a 13-year-old doesn’t do ‘those things’ to a four-year-old if she hasn’t been abused herself. I also filed a police report, but unfortunately, the authorities didn’t find any evidence of wrongdoing. With no proof, nothing becomes of the investigation, and everything just came to a halt. Nothing ever happened to the case.
It was all very frustrating. I wanted to get help for that little girl, but the family denied everything.
Kristina: It’s shocking! You don’t expect that from any child, especially a young girl. I know I’m stereotyping, but it’s true. Most people wouldn’t expect such behavior from a young female girl.
How did this make you feel? What were some of your primary emotions?
Alysia: I mean, shock is kind of the first thing that you feel. And then I think I went into anger when they denied that anything happened because the language that my son used to describe what happened to him isn’t something that a four-year-old makes up. It’s not something that a four-year-old really has any awareness of at all! I also felt a little bit of pity for the 13-year-old because, as you said, the stereotype is that 100% of little girls don’t do that to little boys! I had no idea that I needed to vet for this when looking for a babysitter.
Kristina: I can’t even imagine! Nothing like this has happened to me, which is why I feel it’s so important to have you on the show and tell your story.
How is your son doing now?
Alysia: He’s perfect. I’m a little biased. He doesn’t remember a lot of it. I try not to go into detail about what happens to protect his privacy. He remembers only little things like her name, how her apartment looked, and from time to time, he thinks he sees her apartment when we drive by new neighborhoods.
Like you, nothing like that had ever happened to anyone in my family. It wasn’t even something that was on my radar to be aware of and look out for. My roommate at the time was molested in her childhood, though. Her mom did nothing to help or stop it. She told her mom, but it kept happening. I don’t think anyone believed her.
I was determined to be different. I believed my son, and he was never going to see that family again.
Kristina: I want to commend you for not only acting swiftly and believing your child but mostly for having empathy for this 13-year-old girl. To understand that the young girl had a LEARNED behavior. That isn’t something she came up with on her own, most likely. You were afraid for her and wanted to help her. A lot of people wouldn’t have had empathy for the molester.
Looking back, is there anything that you would have done differently?
Alysia: I would. In my worldview, hurt people hurt people. That’s not typical 13-year-old behavior, and again stereotypically, especially for a girl.
And as far as anything that I would do differently… I never talked to any of the family ever again. I was instructed to not contact them. There’s a huge part of me that wishes I had ignored that. I wanted to confront them and ask what was going on. I also wanted to ask what happened. I wish I could have talked to the young babysitter.
Kristina: Let’s talk a little bit about mom’s guilt. When something like this happens to your child, I can imagine that you feel guilty about choosing that babysitter. We all want to protect our kids from any kind of pain, and it’s unrealistic to protect them 100%. Did you have mom guilt?
Alysia: I did. And because of how I was raised and how I experience things, I didn’t realize I had guilt right away. I had this checklist of things to do that all pertained to taking care of him. I didn’t think about myself in any way, shape, or form.
Kristina: Of course. You made your child’s needs your first priority.
Alysia: I had guilt festering for three years before I even realized it was there! My defense mechanism is to leave a person before they can hurt me or deny pain before impacting my heart. That’s just how I’ve been for years. I had to realize I had guilt before I could work on myself, and finally, I did. After I was able to let it go of the guilt, I realized it was impacting my relationship with my son. I realize now that I was projecting into the future. I was afraid that this little boy that I love more than anything on earth would come back to me one day and be mad that I didn’t protect him.
Because I felt like this subconsciously, physically, I was there, but emotionally there was a growing wedge between us. Mom guilt is such a passion because it’s something that we don’t even realize how it’s affecting us until it’s gone.
Kristina: Tell me more about how you dealt with the mom’s guilt?
Alysia: We went to a doctor’s appointment about something unrelated, but I brought up the babysitter incident to the doctor, just in case it was connected. The doctor insisted that I go through Child Protective Services all over again, making me irrationally angry.
When I realized it was excessive anger, I also realized that something was off with me. I was working with a life coach and started to explore what might be going on. Eventually, the problem was obvious, and we went through guilt and shame exercises. It was like having somebody take 500 pounds off my shoulders.
Then releasing the guilt took time. I would be ok for a while, and then the guilt would come back. Then I would be ok, and it would return. It’s been a process to let go.
Kristina: I appreciate you being candid about how difficult it is to go through this process.
Are you worried that it’s going to happen again?
Alysia: I’m not. I’m a lot more selective with who watches him, and now that he’s in school, I just work while he’s in school. I’m not so worried about it, but my ‘spidey sense’ tingles from time to time. For example, when his dad wanted him to go to summer camp, I didn’t like the idea at all. I fought my son’s dad about it because it made me feel uncomfortable. Now I realize that those feelings came up because I didn’t know the camping staff. I didn’t know who he was going to be around and who would take care of him. Even the Boy Scouts of America are being sued for child molestation.
Kristina: Yes, child molestation is everywhere. Just another reason why your story is so important.
Alysia: I was significantly more trusting before this happened. If I knew then, what I know now, it wouldn’t have happened. It is also really easy to go down rabbit holes of what-ifs. How could I have prevented this? What could I have done? It is easy to beat yourself up.
Kristina: If people resonate with your story today, how can they get ahold of you?
Alysia: I’m a mom support coach now. I have a website that’s my name alysialyons.com, and I write a blog where I talk about mom guilt, communication issues, and all the things that moms struggle with. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristina: Audience if you have an inspirational story and want to share, go to the impactful parent website, which is theimpactulparent.com
But until next time, you got this. I’m just here to help.
My Son Was Molested By The Babysitter
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