Wednesday, November 02, 2011

MY TSUNAMI

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.

9 comments:

  1. I admire your courage to post the trauma and evil that was perpetuated against your body, mind and soul. I pray that you find the peace that you so deserve.

    Muffy Love

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  2. I believe you and I have talked about this before, and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    All I want to say today is that you were (and are) fortunate enough to have had a strong inner child that somehow protected you and kept you strong until you were old enough to confront what could have destroyed you so easily if you had been a weak person. I hope you thank her each and every day.

    I was well into my forties before I told anyone in my family. After doing so, I wondered why I had waited so many years. The earth didn't come to a standstill. Still, something kept me from opening up when I was younger. The reason for the secrecy is what I try to understand, because, for the life of me, I will never understand the actual act and the reason for it.

    I also wonder if I would have been a different (better, less crazy and black-sheepish) person had it not occurred.

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  3. Mildred, may you find peace and healing, and may your strength always serve you well. For victims of sexual abuse, the struggle to find peace can be a long one.

    If I'm not prying, have you reached out to any people or organizations for help?

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  4. Muffy, thank you for your kind words and yes, for the most part I have found peace. Now, all I have to do is find fame and fortune to go with it!

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  5. Jnuts, it's a rough road to hoe, isn't it? You know what? I think we're pretty spectacular just the way we are!

    Ahab, thanks for your concern and yes, I have spent many hours in therapy over the course of my life dealing with this issue and others. It no longer has a stranglehold effect on my life.

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  6. I have several close friends who went through the pain of which you speak. They trusted me enough to reveal their pain to me. It's a truly helpless feeling to be able to do little more in return than offer a friendly ear and shoulder and genuine concern. I admire you, my friends, and every abused person who refuses to allow these evils to destroy them.

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  7. Well written and shared, Mildred, thanx. Perhaps your short post will help others to recognize the opportunity to comfort people they know who are still only giving slight signals.

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  8. Doug, as many times as I felt like I was drowning, there's always been someone or something that has acted as a lifesaver and sometimes, that someone was myself.

    Sabio, thank you for dropping by commenting.

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  9. Sabio, that was supposed to read "thank you for dropping by and commenting."

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