I wish I had always thought you were precious. I wish even now that I could truly believe those words to be true – that you are precious. You see, life has always taught me otherwise.
When you were just a small child, and no one was watching, a man crossed the boundaries of what was acceptable. In that moment, not knowing any better, I allowed myself to believe that you were worthless. And from that moment onward, I hardly gave your well-being a second thought.
I picked up on the effect that you had upon others – they liked you because you were visually appealing – but I had no idea how that could get us into trouble. My thoughts were innocent and I was naïve.
I should have protected you better. I should have fought for you, like I fought for everyone else. I should have yelled and screamed and stood my ground to keep you from harm that night. Instead I stood there motionless and silent – trying to detach myself from the events that were unfolding in front of me. I thought I could separate myself from you. I thought that my mind could forget what happened to you that night. But I never could forget it. And to this day it remains a big part of me.
Those things that were done to you when you were so young – those things that I felt powerless to stop – they were wrong. Those things that were done to you made me feel worthless, empty, and ugly. No one should have treated you that way. But they did. And we’ve learned a few things, haven’t we? We’ve grown a lot, you and I.
Those painful events became part of our identity together. We learned how to be strong together and we discovered our voice together over the years. We learned how to trust our instincts, to lean into the pain, and to embrace healing.
It was all for something. I can see that now. You had a tough role to play in our life, but I thank you for playing it. You’ve taught me a lot.
It took me a number of years to see you, but I see you now, and I won’t ever forget what you’ve sacrificed. And I won’t let it hold us back either. I’m grateful for the lessons that I learnt through your pain, but we’re in this together now. I know better now. I’m going to take care of you now. Because you are precious.