The conversation I had this morning with a family member turned to a topic I used to avoid at all costs. My uneasiness used to be so apparent I thought people could see right into those deep, dark scary places inside of me. I thought that the little girl who stayed cringing in the shadows could be seen, but I was wrong. I quickly became a master at covering it up. Even those people closest to me never knew the cesspool in which I lived. And when the time was right, I eagerly and willingly accepted the label of being the black sheep of the family. It so conveniently explained all my erratic behavior and kept the awful, ugly truth from being known.
Today, I attempted to explain why it takes some people so long to admit to being molested as a child. For the victim, it seems like an eternity of internalizing the pain and the shame and often times, they are quick to accept the blame because that seems to be the only control they have in something of this magnitude. The painful tsunami waxes and wanes throughout the person's life. It's crushing waters flood and warp every aspect of a person's psyche. Some people never get to the point of letting go of their false sense of security. The buoy they often cling to is the pain itself and forgiving both themselves and the molester is an unbearable task. But without forgiveness the healing process never begins. Without forgiveness the molester always stays in control. What a tangled web it is and one that a child has no tools to draw upon to help in their own recovery.
How awful it is for any child to stay silent because they think no one will believe them. How horrible it is to have some perverse sense of loyalty towards the molester. In protecting that person and ultimately the whole family, the child sacrifices themselves. Struggle as they may to build a facade of normalcy, underneath that flimsy facade is a house of cards subject to tumble at any moment. When mine tumbled, it took many, many years to rebuild and be at the place I am today.