Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Didn’t Tell Anyone

After breakfast, Ann and Heather went to their favorite log next to the archery range for devotions. "Before we read, I have to apologize to you" Ann said. She stared at the ground, pushing pine needles around, "I've never told anyone about this, Heather, not even my parents." "It's okay, Annie," she assured her. "You know I'm here for you.” Ann could not keep tears of shame from flooding her eyes. "My grandpa . . . touched me in my private areas. He made me ... touch him too. He said it was our secret and that I should never tell anyone, so I never did. But I can't stop dreaming about it." Ann began to cry. She felt Heather's comforting arm around her and heard her sniffling too. The two of them sat and cried together. "How long did this go on?" Heather said as they wiped their eyes dry. "About three years. Then Grandpa got real sick. I didn't tell my parents because I thought I would get in trouble. I thought it was my fault" she said with great shame. "Annie, you were only a little kid," Heather argued. "It wasn't your fault. Your grandfather was wrong. Nobody should do those things to a little kid." "Then why do I feel so guilty about what happened?" Heather thought for a moment. "I don't know how to answer that, but maybe Jenny would."

Jenny Shaw was their counselor at camp this week. Jenny and her husband, Doug, were volunteer youth leaders at the church where Ann and Heather attended. “I think it would be good to ask Jenny's advice about how to handle all this. We could talk to her together." Ann winced, but somehow she knew Heather was right. "Okay," she said, "I'd like to talk to Jenny—if you'll go with me."

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