Thanks Lady Lee. As usual you have pegged a difficult topic. You express yourself far better than I can on this or any other subject.
Why don't victims tell about their abuse.
Sometimes the victims don't have the vocabulary or the concepts to know let alone tell what has been done to them. If a child is so isolated from other families, it may not even know that this is not a "loving" touch.
I can remember when I finally realized what had been done to me and what had been taken from me and how angry I was. I forgave myself because I didn't know, I didn't know.
Just remember that this happened to the person as a child not as the adult they have become. I always think that adult survivors should put a picture of themselves as a child on their face so people see who really was molested.
Blondie(living in fear no more)
Lady Lee, you have a gift of writing. I really can relate to all you wrote here. While the incident that happened to me, was extremely brief, it still damaged me emotionally. I literally never thought about it again, until I was an adult.........about 25 years old. I hated the man, and could never verbalize to my parents why I didn't want to be at their house, or have them come to ours. I went through years of denial after remembering, and then when I was in my early 40's I started talking about it...........he was disfellowshipped for it too............at age 80. I hope he is dead now.
When the memory did come back, with all the details, I remembered his telling me no one would believe me, and it would damage both families (his and mine).
Thanks Big Tex
Excellent point Blondie. I too didn't have the words in the beginning. I was so confused the first time it happened. And scared.
Kids tend to try to understand even when they don't have enough information. Because I couldn't talk about it I was left to try to figure out some things on my own - a half-tuth here, an out-right lie there. Add in some myth and truths and it's no wonder I didn't have any words to describe this.
The picture is a good idea for the adult survivors too. Too often they forget just how small and powerless they were. They take on all the guilt of the abuser thinking they "coulda, shoulda, woulda"
My grand-daughter is the age I was when I was first abused. She is so small and helpless in the face of an adult who would want to hurt her. We talk about this so that we can make sure the next generations will be safe from these predators.
Mulan - betrayal of trust is big regardless of hwo big or small the abuse. Blocking is common (I have some blocked memories too). It is so aweful that these men will walk away from this without any feelings of guilt. They don't have to. They put the guilt and fear on the child and since she is young and doesn't understand she carries it. Glad you handed it back.
There were at least 3 occasions i did not tell my mom about. We did not have a close relationship, and she would have blamed me. All of these involved me spending the night at girlfriends homes. The offending parties were either my girlfriend's father, or their friends. On all occasions, i was in great danger, and did not know it. I wish i'd had an adult I trusted and could have confided in. By some miricle i was spared on those occasions. But not so on others.
My husband also, was molested by a babysitter, a teenage girl, and he never told his parents. he felt he would be punished.
I kept quiet because we knew all the same people and I didn't want to make waves.
But I had to confide in someone, I was dying inside. I told my boyfriend at the time. He was totally disgusted, not by the man who raped me, by me.
In a lot of respects I am still silent. I have told very close friends. One boyfriend who outright asked me if I had ever been raped, but otherwise I have kept it to myself. I never told anyone in my family, and the people who were friends with my rapist had no idea.
I have no problems talking about it when directly asked. I don't go out of my way to share this information with people. For the most part I don't even think about it, so it doesn't occur to me to share it. And also, I don't like to share it. Not because it is painful, but because I hate to be viewed as a victim. Everyone's automatic response is "oh god, I am so sorry"...the look of pity on their face drives me crazy. I know it's not rational. I know they aren't doing it to bother me, but it does.
I firmly believe that children have an understanding of when a parent will listen and be supportive. I knew my mother wouldn't be so didn't tell her. I beleived that he was more important to her than I was so knew she would get rid of me and keep him. When she did find out by walking in she did exactly what I thought she would do - sent me into foster care and stayed with him. Kids aren't stupid. We might not have all the facts but we know our parents and how they react to things. And we stay silent if we think telling will make things worse.
What a sad state for a child to be in - to think that if she discloses abuse she is making waves. That is such a perfect example of how the child takes on the blame for the incident. Your boyfriend amplified that and added to the guilt and shame that weren't yours but rightfully belonged to your abuser
I know what you are saying about that response of people who hear about our experience. Even if they don't physically step back you can see them do it emotionally. When I forst started noticing this it took me by surprise and shut me down. Now I see it as their problem and take the opportunity to teach them something (cuz you just know I have to say something about it). Sometimes I discover that it happened to them tooo and they have not been able to deal with it. Talking helps break the ice and lessens the stigma we carry inside of oursleves mostly due to those kinds of reactions. Ultimately each of us will deal with it the best we can. And hey if it doesn't bother you then nothing needs to be done about it.
Take care both of you ladies
Hi there. Very interesting post, although I haven't read it all or every reply.
From my own personal experiences with sexual abuse in the WTS and out, it is very difficult for victims to speak out because they are mostly children. Our children need adults to take risks in their defense. Our kids need to see that we believe, trust and mostly love them. Most victims will eventually speak out about their abuse when they are adults. That's because it takes that long to come to terms with and understand all the complexities of feelings and emotions that come with SA (sexual abuse). As adults we become more confident and assertive.
But our kids need us to work for them through SA. They need to see us fight for what is right and hate wrong. And they need to see our courage in speaking out for them, whatever the consequences. That's what will help victims move out of that label and into a SURVIVOR'S role. As parents, friends, any adult really..................we can do much to change things for our kids.
Power to the family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some children believe that if they tolerate the abuse they can protect others in the family.
This is what I believed in my family, and to a point, this was true. As long as my abuser was focusing on me, then I didn't have to worry about the other kids being abused. Of course, once I moved out of the house, the abuse started for one of the younger ones, albeit on a more subdued level than it was with me. It will continue until something drastic is done to stop it.