Abuse never stands alone. There are so many complicated areas that abusers weave into the fabric of the perfectly crafted prison cells they make for us. Many of us barely escape, and when we do, we usually never talk about it. The physical barriers may have gone but a wall of shame and secrecy keeps us imprisoned.
It’s exactly what they designed for us. Our silence.
Keeping us cut off from the rest of the world through their schemes of deceit, we stand hidden with their sin. Why do we fear telling our story? Weren’t we the victim in the situation? We didn’t spend hours, days and months grooming them to abuse us. They did!
Through their very deliberate actions, they force us into a group that is basically shunned from society. We are separate from the world but also from each other.
You think not? Think, again.
Once you join the club of being sexually abused you are completely separated from society. You know you are different, awkward and filthy. You can even loathe yourself by actions you didn’t even conceive of creating. Actions that were unknown to you until someone taught you.
I was horribly mistreated by my first husband. Sexually, he pushed me into things I did not want to do. Verbally, he treated me as his slave. Respect lived no where near us.
In my early 20’s, I began to try to tell my story looking to find a way out. No one was really interested. Actually, they weren’t interested at all. They looked at my like I had three heads and a twisted twat. Pardon the expression, but that’s just how their reactions made me feel.
It was clear I belonged in a group I couldn’t find but I knew it wasn’t with the proverbial “them.” They didn’t want me and my pain scared them.
I was in dire need of help! Why wouldn’t anybody listen to me? If they couldn’t hear me, what about what their eyes witnessed in my pleas of desperation?
What about the time I had gaping wounds on my check and my eye was swollen shut from a glass that was smashed into my face? Why did “they” all turn a deaf ear to me? The plastic surgeon that dug the glass out before he could stitch up my face had compassion and told me to get help.
Where would I find that help?
It was so very clear to me. I had become a burden to “them.” So, I quit trying to tell my story. I didn’t tell it for years. Me and my children suffered silently.
Finally, after 18 years, I left that abuser. You see, my first abusers had left that imprint in my life and I was living it out.
I hunted to find an amazing counselor and started telling my story to him. ALL OF IT! Every ugly, dirty, stinking, rotten part.
And, you know what? He didn’t make me feel like I came from the island of misfit toys. He didn’t abandon me and make me feel worthless. He met me with full grace and reassurance that I hadn’t done anything wrong.
I still struggle with that. Just saying, “I didn’t do anything wrong” feels like a burden being lifted from me. And then, I immediately have thoughts like, “Oh, but I kind of did do something wrong.”
I tell my story now because I can. I don’t give a damn about what “they” think of me. I want to start a mutiny against the established rules that society yells at us to be quiet.
I am all done being quiet.
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,Ecclesiastes 3:7
It’s time to speak.