This is the beginning of a series of blog posts I plan to write starting with Denim Day and why it’s so important to MS Do and her daughter.
Why is Denim Day So Important to MS Do?
Until last year, I had never heard of Denim Day. Denim Day 2014 seemed to become a turning point of sorts for my daughter. She was sexually assaulted by a family friend on December 1, 2013. It was about a month and a week before she turned 17. As a mother, I let my guard down. I thought she was old enough and educated enough that I didn’t have to really worry about someone taking advantage of her like “that.” Oh how wrong I was!
My (then) friend had been having back issues. She believed it to be from a former husband, boyfriend, or whomever having beat and thrown her into a wall. She had problems with her back off and on, but it was much worse than usual. She had suffered all weekend with this excruciating pain, but went with her four kids, my daughter, and her husband to the annual Christmas parade and then the Christmas in the Park activities.
Upon them arriving home after the festivities, my daughter told me about my friend being in such miserable pain, all day. Eventually, I was able to convince her to go to the ER. It also worked out that my daughter drove her and the kids home from my house, while the husband drove himself. He had come to my house earlier in the day to work on my car for me. I then needed to drive myself to their home, so I would be able to return home after the trip to the ER. If it’s not clear, we had three cars, we needed to drive and four drivers, but only three were able to drive. My daughter was only on a permit at the time, so she was stuck once she drove my friend to her house.
After all of us arriving at my friend’s house, we asked my daughter to stay there with the husband and kids. I was taking my friend to a military hospital and they aren’t usually very happy when the patient has a friend with them. We knew they wouldn’t be happy with two of us. We didn’t think they would let both of us go into the exam room with her. The choice was sit in the waiting room of an icky hospital or home with her husband and kids. It was a no brainer to me, she should stay there with him and the kids. She was resistant, but she was at that age where she fought me about everything. My friend also asked my daughter to clean the kitchen for her while we were at the ER. Her kitchen was a mess, she said, since she had felt so bad all weekend.
The nurse who was assigned to take care of my friend was someone I knew. We visited and chatted while waiting on the doctor to come and go. It helped to put my friend a little more at ease. Little did I know what was happening to my daughter while I was trying to lift my friend’s spirits and being silly like women can be.
After my friend was discharged, it was a very short drive back to her house. It was just a few houses away from the house I lived in when my ex-husband was in the Army. The same house where we brought that brand new baby home from the hospital. My baby grew up in all kinds of bad ways that night. In the house just a few doors away from her childhood home, my daughter became the victim of an aggravated sexual assault.
No, I didn’t know it right away. She didn’t run up to me and start crying. There were no marks on her, but i wasn’t looking for them either. The only thing I noticed different was that she didn’t want to drive home. Since she was still on a driver’s permit, she wanted to drive everywhere. It was well past her normal bedtime, so I assumed she was just really tired on our quiet drive home.
The next morning was totally normal. She got up and went to school as usual, I slept in, like I always did. As a retiree, there is no need for me to get up bright and early in the morning.
I don’t remember what time the call came, but one of my daughter’s friends woke me up. He told me that he had something to tell me. The call obviously didn’t sink in. I had to call him back because none of it made sense to me. I made him explain it to me again. My friend’s husband had left hickeys on my kid. WHAT?!?
Nothing made any sense. I was completely awake and NOTHING made any sense!