When I was first struggling with my repressed memory, someone I trusted told me, “Maybe there is no appropriate way to ask about something inappropriate that happened.” Someone I didn’t quite trust told me to “be selfish, ask questions, and not be afraid of people’s responses.” The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center supported my struggle to question. My therapists at the time did not. I was told that there was no point in asking because an offender was likely to lie. I was told that making accusations was inappropriate if it turned out I was wrong. All I know is that, should someone ever approach me and ask if I ever sexually abused them when I did not, I would never be mad. Never. They, in my mind, would have every right to question and I would offer them whatever help I was able. I would treat them with kindness and compassion. I would never accuse them of trying to ruin my life. I would be kind.
Last week I received a phone call from someone who may know something, if not about my history of abuse, about the history of the abuser I suspect. I was so tempted to ask them questions. Tell them that I was diagnosed with PTSD. Ask them what he meant when he said, “Something happened. The other two people involved were able to forgive him; I was not.” Ask them what they knew about December and ask them if they had any information that could help me figure out what was going on.
But I didn’t.
I didn’t have the courage.
I suppose I could ask my new therapist if it’s worth it to reach out. If it’s worth it to contact people who may know something about the history of the abuser. If it’s worth it to ask questions at all. I’m just afraid of being told “no”. Maybe it’s not even that – I’m just afraid that I’ll never have any answers at all. I don’t want to be accused of trying to ruin someone’s life or blackmail someone.
I just want to know.