6: I took them to school?
The day after their initial disclosure I took Grace and Kate to school. I wanted to keep things as “normal” as possible for them. To this day, I hate myself for doing it, but I think that I was running on auto pilot.
I’ve spoken to a couple of counselors about it since, and they have reminded me that on the day that the girls told us about what was happening to them, their world got better, we stopped it. Our world had jumped track. Everything looked the same, but it was irrevocably changed.
The school counsellor at the girls’ school, Cassie, happened to be someone that I had gone to school with myself and walked out onto the playground as soon as she saw me, having been given the brief from Leanne. I took the kids to their classrooms, Leanne came and took Ruby to “do some jobs”. I walked into Cassie’s office….and cried a river. It was like the dam wall broke.
I resolved then and there with Cassie, that the most important thing for us to try and do was to work on “creating a new normal”. We made a list of things that needed to be done to ensure that the kids were safe and that the people who needed to know what was going on, were informed so that there were strategies put in place to deal with possible issues.
I left the school that morning with a sense of purpose and a determination that we would be okay, as long as we kept things relatively routine…remembering that their main support system and mine, Jen, was gone.