Ruth’s Song

I am changing the names of my children in order to protect their privacy. As much as I would love to leave the perpetrators name as it is (since he is now legally an adult, I feel it would be unwise at this point, since law enforcement has not yet charged him for his crimes. I will name him Fairbanks, because that is where he is currently living, free as a bird in an independent living facility and attending public school. In fact, he was at one point expelled from bringing in knives and drugs, but after saying he was sorry, the school has accepted him back and is helping him graduate. Doesn’t that make you feel safe?

I adopted Fairbanks when he was 10 years old after being his foster parent for four years. My four biological children are as follows: Bill is 18 and still living with us. He was 16 when Fairbanks left our home for residential treatment. Fred is 16. He was 14 when Fairbanks left. He is currently in intense inpatient mental health treatment. He can’t function in the community yet, because he was so affected by the long-term abuse. He also needs serious knee surgery for a physical injury incurred by Fairbanks. Tory is 9. He was 7 when Fairbanks left and was his favorite brother, primary victim, and along with Fred, has suffered the most severe mental trauma for the abuse. Tory refused to speak of the abuse, and has said that he has put it in the back of his brain and can’t remember what happened. The youngest boy, Skippy is six. He was five when Fairbanks left. He and Tory missed Fairbanks the most. Skippy has been the most vocal and descriptive regarding his abuse.

I’ll refer to myself as Ruth, and my husband will be Boe. We’ve been married a little over 20 years. We were never warned when we took Fairbanks into our home and throughout his outpatient treatment, that there was a possibility Fairbanks could injure our children. We just thought he needed a loving family, with good boundaries, faith and patience. In some ways, Fairbanks was the easiest of our children to raise. He was quiet, obedient, and a hard worker. He was tender with the little ones, and rarely lost his temper. We had many “accidents” in our home, but we always thought it was due to having active boys. In retrospect, there were some warning signs, but they came so far apart and we were so blinded by our love for Fairbanks that we didn’t put them together until Fairbanks, himself, could no longer contain his secret and cut himself so badly that he needed hospitalization. It was during treatment that he admitted to sexually abusing the younger boys in our family. My boys never came forward on their own, until we reassured them that Fairbanks had already told. I have found out since, that this is statistically very normal for children who have suffered long-term, violent, sexual abuse, by someone in their family.

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