9: More revelations…
It wasn’t only Ruby that shared her experiences, Kate also now felt the freedom to share what had happened to her over the many years that Leon had access to her.
Kate is our deep thinker. Our intelligent, empathetic, sensitive soul who seems to feel things on a deeper level than the average person. She has a well developed sense of justice and right and wrong. She is spirited and determined. And she loved Jen.
There were times when Kate was angry with Ruby for telling us, because it had been drummed into her by Leon that if we found out, she wouldn’t see Jen again. She raged to me about how unfair it all was one night and she said,
“Well, he was right wasn’t he. He was the one doing the wrong thing and we’re the ones that lost the person that we love”.
The loss of Jen in their lives deeply affected all the girls and I’d be lying if I said I was unaffected. I did hope that she’d find the strength to leave him. Instead, she continually let us down and I’m convinced now, that she had to know what he was doing.
Kate disclosed many things to me over the next few months. One of the more heartbreaking things that she told me was of one of the last times that they stayed there.
She told me that she and Ruby were playing in an area away from Jen and Grace. Leon came and told her that Jen wanted her. She said to me “But I knew what he was going to do mum, so I told Ruby to go instead, so that he couldn’t do it to her”.
She sacrificed herself for her little sister. Writing this now makes me cry for the broken and brave little soul that told me that.
We had to stand by and watch our beautiful Kate almost break in the two and a half years before the trial, only to begin the process of putting her back together, slowly but surely in its aftermath. Watching the guilt, shame and sadness almost swallow her whole was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure.
Every night for two and a half years, my girls, all of them, went to bed fearful. We had nightmares and an inability to sleep for fear of dreams. We had an irrational, yet understandable, fear that Leon would come and get them in the night. That he would send his friends to their school or our house to grab them.
Once the girls were given permission to share, they did, and as their mother, I had to listen, no matter the cost to my own sanity. I listened to the most horrific details, and would then try to sleep myself. I don’t think I’ve had a good night’s sleep for nearly 6 years.