Tag: story

I Know Because It Happened To Me

“So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted.  Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality.  You can say: This did happen to me.  It was that bad.  It was the fault and responsibility of the adult.  I was — and am — innocent.”

(TCTH, p.27)

I know people who don’t have any comprehension of what it means to have been sexually abused as a child/youth, and in their ignorance they somehow (almost always) leap to “why didn’t you tell anyone?”  There are many answers to that question, but one of the things that is so offensive about it is that it possibly implies the continued abuse is the fault of the child/youth because, in not being able to tell someone or to get an adult to believe/understand them, then maybe some of the fault is with the child/youth.  Why isn’t the first question adults ask in the face of abuse stories, “who was the jerk?” or “where were the adults who should have stopped the pervert?” or “why is society so blind (and to some degree complicit)?”.  Or better yet, rather than ask a question that would put the victim on the defense or responsible for explaining perverted-adult-behavior, simply say  “I am SO sorry you experienced this terrible offense against you!”

I will be writing much more in future posts about my experience of having my experience trivialized/ distorted, but for now I simply want to say to my peers, my fellow-survivors: now as an adult, I am so sorry you experienced this heinous offense against your sacred, innocent person.  And I am so grateful you survived.  I pray you will find the strength within to advance your healing; I pray you will find wholeness.

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You Are Not Alone

public domain two children walking

It helps to tell our stories.  It also helps to hear others tell theirs.  Especially when we struggle with painful memories, we can feel alone, isolated in our pain.  Each person is a unique individual, but we also share much in common with other human-beings. And, in fact, every human-being, if they live very long at all, will experience pain, even memorable suffering.

It seems ironic to me that the very common experience of pain can make us feel so alone or even alienated from others.  Yet, a sense of alienation is often part of what makes the pain so painful, especially if it was inflicted through some form of abuse.

So if you are hurting, know that there really are others who have had similar enough experiences and feelings to sufficiently understand your pain.  When you are ready to share your story, look for “safe,” trust-worthy people who will respect and honor you and your story.  And when possible, extend them the same grace and listen to theirs.  Listening to others is a powerful gift to them, but you may find listening blesses yourself as well, helping you realize we are all in process, hopefully on the journey of becoming whole.