Has anyone heard that country song by George Straight "I saw God today?" I heard it for the first time a few weeks ago. I was in my car driving home from what I can only assume was a bad day at work. Becuase as I heard it I changed the lyrics in my head to "I saw Satan today."
How morbid is that. As I thought about the song and the lyrics, I thought about my days at work and how for the last three years I have seen Satan on a daily basis and how it has begun to wear on my emotions and my spirit.
The song lyrics say this:
"I've been to church. I've read the book. I know He's here, but I don't look near as often as I should. Yeah, I know I should his fingerprints are everywhere I'd just slow down to stop and stare opened my eyes and man I swear I saw God today. "
It all applies. I have been to church, I've read the bible, I know that Satan is real and exists, but I've never seen him be so real and evident in peoples lives than I have the last few years.
I hesitate to write this post, because I realize what a downer it is. The truth is, I've been trying to work up the nerve to write it for a while now. I have posted before about how I'd like to have a career change. In reality, I NEED a career change.
If you don't know what I do, let me me break it down for you. I have talked about it vaguely on here before, but I'm going to lay it all out, so get ready.
I am a civilian investigator and I investigate severe allegations of child abuse. Mostly, child sexual abuse. About 98% of the cases we investigate are allegations of sexual abuse on children.
For most people, the mere thought of child sexual abuse makes them shudder. They can't fathom what it would be like to do what I do. I hate meeting new people and having to tell them what I do. It can bring a party down in seconds.
To be more clear...I am assigned approximately 15 new cases every month. In a 20 work day month, that's almost a new report per day. Each report has a victim. I am responsible for making contact with that victim within 24 hours to ensure their safety. If the offender is in the home with the child or is someone who has immediate access to the child, the call is considered priority and only moments pass before making contact.
On every case I have, I conduct a forensic interivew with the victim child. I am specially trained to talk to children who are victims of child abuse. There are certain things I can say and certain things I can't say. I am responsible for conducting an interview that the prosecuting attorney will watch and use to help base whether or not criminal charges will be filed on. It can be a daunting task.
As if that's not enough. The interview itself can be very emotional. I mean, I'm sitting in a room with a child, anywhere from age 3 to 17 who is describing very intimate details of sexual abuse that has been done to them. I can't cry in an interview, I can't reach out and console a child in an interview if they begin to cry. I can't share information about myself in an interview.
I can reassure a child that they have done nothing wrong and are not in trouble. That's about as far as the touchy feely stuff goes in the interview. I can't leave anything open to a defense attorney to use in a criminal trial.
I have had some very sad cases. During one interivew, I actually had to excuse myself because I could feel the tears coming on (and I wasn't pregnant). Others I have walked out of and began to cry immediately.
Today was a day that I had to do a really sad interview. I saw Satan today. I have seen Satan on many occasions. I have seen in in the eyes of Pastors, Sunday School Teachers, Youth Ministers, Teachers, Coaches, Day Care Workers, and many other professions where you do not want to see people using their authority to abuse children.
This job has jaded me in so many ways. I don't trust anyone. I hate meeting new people, because I think things like "they could be abusing their children." BJ and I have been without a church home for several months now. We have tried a couple churches, but we have not visited churches very aggressively to find a new church home.
I have a difficult time making myself go meet a group of new people, having to decide whether or not to leave Jordan in a nursery with people I don't know anything about and just have a "trust" of them because they are "church people" or keep her with me in the service, which is no longer really an option at her age. So I end up just not going.
It is so nerve racking. Jordan will never be allowed to sleep over at a friends house. Period. I just will never be able to have that trust in someone else.
I realize that many of you are reading this and thinking that I'm being a little paranoid or fanatical about this. I can understand how you would think that. People who don't work in this field cannot begin to understand it. I would put in print some things that might help you, but it would be vulgar and offensive to many.
But imagine, the worst possible thing that could be done to a child, by a parent, by a teacher, a coach, a youth minister, a friends dad, and on VERY rare occasions, a stranger....and I do mean the worst possible thing....when you are there, THAT is what I deal with on a daily basis.
Not only do I get to hear the child tell me all about it, but I get to see these bastards get off with NO criminal charge, or a FAR less sentence than they deserve. Because these cases are hard to try. It's usually the word of a child against the word of an adult. I have seen some very deserving individuals be sentenced to the rest of their lives in prison, and those are good days. But it comes with knowing that their victim may never be a fully functioning adult as a result of the brutal abuse that was done to them.
Don't misunderstand my Faith in God. I still believe in God and believe He can do All things. While I have many unanswered questions, I do know that God is still a big God and that he has an ultimate plan. I have a relationship with God and long to have fellowship with other believers, but find it difficult to trust.
I want to say to you parents out there...please never ever question your gut. If you have a bad feeling about someone, trust that and don't leave your child with them. Get far away from them. I have found that our guts are normally right in regards to this. Also, PLEASE educate your children about touches that are okay and touches that are not okay. Do this as absolutely early as they are developmentally able to begin to understand. Usually this is around age 3. Also, I advise that you teach your children the right names for their body parts. Slang words can confuse someone that they may dislcose abuse to. If they are using the right words, there will be no confusion. They should know that NO ONE is allowed to touch them in those places.
Okay, if you're still reading this, Thank you. If not, I understand. It's not a fun post.
I covet your prayers in my daily life but also in an opportunity to change jobs if that is God's desire for me.