TW-mentions of sexual abuse
"He's been with her forever, how much longer could he possibly take?" I said as I paced the room. "Darling, it hasn't even been thirty minutes yet. I'm sure she's fine, other wise he would have came and gotten us," Freddie said trying to calm me. "Come on love, sit down," he said to me. "Fred, how are we going to fix this?" I asked him as I sat down next to him. "Fix what?" He asked quite surprised. "Hannah, I mean how are we going to get her better? Make her less afraid." I asked my husband. "Darling, she isn't broken. Yes, she's having a rougher time with the transition than we anticipated but she just needs some time. You heard Charlie, she feels safe around us," Freddie said. "You're right, you're right. I'm sorry, it just hurts me to see her like this," I said shaking my head a bit ashamed. Freddie took my hand and said, "Darling this isn't going to always be smooth sailing. There are going to be bumps in the road sometimes but we'll get through them. All that matters is that we give our little girl all the love she deserves and support each other through it all." "I love you," I said as I kissed him. Just then, Charlie walked back in. Hannah wasn't with him which concerned me a little bit. "Where's Hannah?" I asked a bit more anxiously than I intended. "She's with Lizzie in the other room. Before I bring you back to her I wanted to discuss with you something she disclosed to me," he said as he sat down. "Now this may be a bit difficult to hear but Hannah disclosed to me that her birth father sexually abused her," he said. "Oh my god," I replied. Freddie grabbed my hand tighter, I could see the anger on his face but he was keeping it in. "She told me that was what her nightmare was about that triggered her panic attack. I know this is painful to hear which is why I wanted you to hear this while you were separate from your daughter," Charlie stated calmly. "How could they have done all these things to her? How could they have been so cruel to such a precious girl?" Freddie said with watery eyes. "I will never understand how anyone could hurt someone as innocent as Hannah but all that matters now is that she has both of you to help her heal," Charlie said consoling us. "Is there anything we should do differently? Well, be more aware of?" I asked. "Just be aware that certain things or sensations may trigger memories of the abuse. How is she during bath time?" Charlie asked. "She seemed generally fine. In fact, she seemed to enjoy it," I replied. "That's good. Just be conscious that certain sights, sounds, sensations, even smells can trigger memories. If this happens just help calm her down and help ground her in the present. She told me you did a good job of this when she had her anxiety attack. I would also hold off on telling her that you know about the abuse. I would rather her come to you," Charlie went on. "Okay, we can do that," Freddie said. "Hannah mentioned that she gets scared around bedtime because that's when the nightmares come. Together we thought of some things that would help her feel better around bed time but I would like for her to tell you about those herself. How about I take you to her? Are you both ready?" Freddie and I looked at each other and nodded. "Yes, we're ready," I said.
Charlie lead us to another room that was much more colorful and child friendly than the room we started in. Hannah was sitting with Lizzie on the floor and they were playing with a dollhouse. When she noticed us walk in the room Hannah's face lit up, "Daddy! Papa!" She said smiling reaching her arms towards us. "Hey there, princess," Freddie said as he sat down and pulled her onto his lap. "Did you have fun with Lizzie?" I asked as I sat down on the floor. "Mmmm hmmm. I like her she's nice," Hannah replied. Lizzie chuckled and said, "thank you honey, I like you too." "Hannah honey do you remember us talking about bed time? Can you tell Daddy and Papa how to make bedtime feel better?" Charlie prompted her. "Daddy and Papa stays till I fall asleep?" she asked looking up at Freddie and I. "Yes of course, we can stay darling. Anything else?" Freddie replied. Hannah went on, "Ellie and Juliet sleeps with me. And ni....ni," "nightlight," Charlie helped her. "Yeah light so not so dark at night," she finished. "Those sounds like great ideas sweetheart," I said as I stroked her hair. "We love you so much darling," Freddie said as he pulled Hannah into a tighter hug. "Ufff Daddy, you're squishing me," she said giggling. "Oh! Sorry princess," Freddie said as he loosened his grip. "Are you ready to go home now love?" I asked her. "Hmm hmm," she said as she snuggled into Freddie and began sucking her thumb again. "Well, it looks like someone could use a nap. Is there anything else you need from us?" Freddie said. "No. It's been a long day for Hannah, I'm not surprised she's tuckered out. Unless you have anymore questions for me why don't we call it a day," Charlie said. "I think we're alright for now," I said as both Freddie and I stood up. "Say bye to Lizzie and Charlie princess," Freddie said as he looked down at Hannah in his arms. She responded by waving goodbye and resting her head on Freddie's shoulder. "Goodbye Hannah, we'll see you next week," Charlie said as he and Lizzie waved goodbye. "Thank you again for everything," I said as Freddie and I walked out of the office.