I realize not everyone here was sexually abused while they were children in the WTS. But many of us were victims.
Many of us were victims of other kinds of abuse, physical, emotional and definitely spiritual abuses.
In light of the wonderful work that People like Barb Anderson and Bill Bowen have done they have created an atmosphere where it is finally safe for us to tell our stories. We do this for a variety of reasons.
We tell our stories because they are our stories. We were silenced for so long and it needs to come out. It really helps to
- find out we were not alone
- we are free to talk and share
- we get support
- we offer support to other victims
- we empower oursleves and control of our recovery
- know we are believed (especially if we were told we were lying)
We want to protect other children. Silence only makes more victims. The one thing that an abuser wants from his victims is silence. They threaten us with all kinds of terrible things. They blame us. They make us feel like we are reposible. They tell us we are dirty and deserved it. They tell us (through their behavior) that we are worth nothing.
The only thing that an abuser wants from any one who finds out is silence. When other family members or elders give him what he wants - that precious silence - he is empowered to continue abusing us. He is empowered to find more victims. He thinks he has it made. Many of them actually believe they are not hurting anyone. And mnay of them think no cares about children'
But we do. We have no desire to see one more child hurt. So we speak out now that it is safe. We speak out now that we know somebody is listening.
Some one just told me it is too painful to read our stories. Yes it is painful to read. I ache for each story I have read. Sometimes I need to take time before reading another story. I can understand their pain in a way that only other victim's can understand. But I read them. It hurts but I read them.
I know how much it takes for a victim to tell his or her story. When I tell my story for a new groupof people I shake. My body reacts to the telling. It releases a lot of fear but it stirs up a lot of fear too. What if they don't believe me? What if no one responds? What if they think it wasn't that bad? It isn't easy to tell our stories. It means we relive it in the telling. Few of us can even begin to tell you how bad it really was. I try to do that with my poetry. The feelings are raw. But it takes a lot to do that. I doubt there is one victim here who has told her story and not suffered that night because of the memories. it isn't easy.
We want one thing from you.
Read them. Take your time and don't read them all at once. But please honor the effort and the pain it takes for us to tell our stories. You don't need to say a lot. A hug is good. Just a sad face will do. Sometimes that can be the most piognant. Let us know you were there. Let us know you will not stand by quietly and pretend you didn't see it.
There are so many of us here. Some tell their stories for the first time here in thses pages. Even if you cannot express any words just let them know you took the time to share their pain.
We lived it. We only ask that you read it and share for a few minutes.