“Read this,” she said. She laid her diary opened to a dog-eared page, on the café’ table, in front of me. “Tell me if you can shed any truth on what I’ve written.” Then she excused herself and went to the restroom.
I was touched that she would entrust me with her private thoughts scrolled in the wee hours of the morning, her memories, no doubt, poured out on the page in tandem with her tears.
I read. It didn’t take me long to detect the first lie. The common one, it was my fault, disguised in her written words: “I flirted with him.”
She returned several minutes later.
“How old were you when you flirted?” I asked.
“Eight, maybe nine,” she estimated.
“Do eight year olds flirt?” She had a lot of experience with children. I knew she could tap into her knowledge with little effort.
“No. But I wanted his attention, I know I did.”
“Did you want sex?”
I searched her eyes, attempting to engage eye contact, longing to cauterize the lie, to replace it with the truth. “Children love attention. Children need attention. And children, who don’t get the attention they need, seek attention. But, they don’t seek sex. You weren’t asking for sex. You were asking for love.”
She brushed the tears from her cheeks and returned my gaze. “Thank you,” she whispered.
She began her healing by asking to see the lies. Knowing she couldn’t see them on her own, she took a risk. She asked for help. She is courageous!