The Babysitters Club

It was early fall, 2004. I was 18 and babysitting for a family with two young kids. The little girl was a handful, and I was thankful that most of the time she was at kindergarten while I cared for her little brother, who was sweet as can be. I remember exactly what I was wearing the day it happened; dark jeans and a light blue zip-up jacket over a white t-shirt.

I remember being upstairs, right outside the bathroom, when I suddenly started feeling violently ill. I remember calling Mrs. H and telling her I needed to leave right away and having a very difficult 30-minute drive home. I remember lying face down on my kitchen floor in agony as my mom was anxiously calling the Dr trying to find out what to do with me. I remember going to the emergency room where it was discovered I had kidney stones, and I remember my then boyfriend, now husband, showing up with a sweet get well card.

For 17 years, that’s all I remembered of that day. Fast forward to February 2022, and flashbacks of this time had been occurring for about a month. I suddenly remembered how the dad of these children started carrying my senior picture in his wallet before I even started working for him. Sure, we all thought it was a little creepy, but not enough to be genuinely concerned. Then I remembered why they hired me. The babysitter before me was getting a little too close to the dad… they were spending a lot of time together, and their relationship seemed inappropriate. Why we didn’t see these as red flags before, I don’t know.

And then, like pieces of a puzzle coming together, more parts of this day started coming back to me. Upon arriving around 8 a.m. that morning, Mr. H offered me a chocolate cupcake that was leftover from some kind of party or family gathering they had just had. Then, like a slideshow, I see the next “scene,” and I’m knocked out on the bed of their master bedroom, but I’ve no idea how I got there.

I’m still unsure of what exactly he gave me (was it in the cupcake? A drink?) This was far from the first time I was drugged, but praise God, I’m quite certain it was the last. Either way, whatever he gave me fulfilled it’s purpose and he was able to accomplish what he intended. Were the kidney stones my body’s way of reacting to the terror it just endured? I don’t think that’s too far-fetched, especially after reading The Body Keeps the Score.

While processing this memory, I felt a lot of things; mainly disgust for me and sadness for his wife, but what I didn’t feel was surprised. And that surprised me! Is it because these “incidents” have happened so often that it all just seems par for the course? Was I born with some kind of sign on my head, signifying I was available to be used and abused at every pervert and pedophile’s disposal?

I feel like this is the part of the blog where I’m supposed to come up with some deep, spiritual insight to make sense of everything and prove God is still good even though things that happen can be anything but. I’m hoping the fact that I still have faith after going through all of this is enough because I don’t think I have anything else right now. No special “aha” moment, just the knowing that He’s been with me throughout all this tragedy. For that, I am thankful.