I really wasn't.
Or at least I wasn't until I figured out how I felt about it.
But it has been two days and I still don't know how to feel. I feel anger, fury, pity, and so many other emotions that I really can't get a handle on them.
It started Wednesday night as we were putting Lotus to bed. She was tired after an insufficient nap at school. D had ben trying to get her nightgown on and she wanted to do it. We know this because the cry "I want to do it!" echoed through the house. D dumped her on our bed with her nightgown half on and half off. He was having some bathroom issues and had to get to that room. I gently tried to righten the nightgown so she could better get it herself. I got a shriek in response. Great, I thought. Our nearly weekly going-to-bed tantrum. Finally she punched through the nightgown and I clapped. She smiled a bit and started to calm down.
She then started to look so puzzled and then started to cry again, harder.
"What is it, baby?" I asked.
"He hit me." She said.
"Daddy." I knew this wasn't the case. I just knew because the three times D accidentally hit Lotus he was practically crying harder than she was.
"Did he say sorry?" I asked.
She shook her head and started to cry harder.
"Daddy hit you?" I asked. "Are you sure? When?" I asked.
She shook her head no when I asked if Daddy hit her. She started to cry even harder. Somewhere between sadness and sobs.
"Honey, sweetie, what is it?" I said taking her in my arms and rocking her.
"Before." she said. The way she said it it had a capital B. She was sobbing now and I was rocking her back and forth. I started to get a glimmer of an idea.
"Before Daddy?" I asked. She stopped crying. The absence of sound was jarring. D walked into our bedroom sat on the bed and put his hand on Lotus' back. We were staring in each other's eyes.
"Lotus-full-name, are you saying that before you met mommy and daddy someone hit you?"
"Yes." She said and started to sob again."A lot."' She was howling now and I was rocking her and D had his hand on her back. She reached out and I though she was going to throw his hand off, but she wanted to hold his hand. I met D's eyes and I started to cry. He shook his head and gestured to her.
Right. She didn't need my tears right now.
I sang the Tarzan song I sang when we first met. It helped calm her as it usually does. We got her quieted down and she went to sleep. I stayed up.
Someone hit her. Before. Before she met mommy and daddy. Someone hit her a lot.
People scoff at the idea that she remembers anything about that. I know she does. I know she has memories from before us. Scent memories, sounds. There is a chef at our favorite hibachi restaurant that she freaks out when she sees him or hears him. So much so, we don't go there anymore. Does he remind her of the person who hit her?
Even now, typing this, a rage goes through me. I want to leap over continents and oceans to physically assault the person who hurt my child so much that over two years later she is still frightened. I'm not a violent person but I feel violent. I feel furious.
She feels at home with us. She feels right with us. She loves us enough to trust us with these memories. I feel honored.
She trusts me that I will not hit her. She trusts D that he will not hit her. Before she slept she gave a special hug to her daddy and kissed him. I feel humbled by this.
More than anything I am in awe of her. She trusts us. She shows it in many ways. I didn't realize how brave it was for her to let herself trust and love us. So much bravery in such a little package.