I knew it was about three in the afternoon without even glancing at a clock. I have been checking LA news outlets twice daily for months; my body knows when it is time. I check when it is noon in LA and when it is six. I scour televsion news and newspaper outlets. Since last week, I have added the LAPD website to search news releases. I look for stories about abductions and kidnappings and attempts at each. And I check for child rapes. I check to see if the fellow who abducted and hurt me so long ago is at it again.
I am not proud of the obsession; I am ashamed of it. In all honesty, I believe that since he has done what was required of him -- a total of 25 years in prison for hurting three pre-teenage girls (though he is believed to have hurt 17 of us) -- he ought not to be harrassed. Those are my values. But what do you do when your values do not match your experience?
I do not know what you would do. As for me, I watch from 3,000 miles as if my capacity to heal was inevitably linked to his capacity to evolve. But I know that it is evitable -- my healing ability is divorced from his evolution. I know this intellectually...and yet I check Monday through Friday at three and nine pm (he never worked weekends, prefering to find kids on their way to or from school).
And I do not know what I would do if I run across an eerily familiar incident and physical description that approaches his east coast sex offender registry photo. (He is not identified in his new home state as an offender.) I know his age preference. I know his weapon preference. And I know his luring style. I have not read or viewed anything compelling enough to require a decision about what to do next.
For now, it is enough to know that if he is making his way in the world without harming another child, this one who he wounded 31 years ago can hang onto the hope that healing is possible.
And I am working at it.