“When the family energy is focused on the problem of the adult rather than on the needs of the children, the results for the children are the state of not knowing they come first, the state of believing that they have to fix the situation, and the state of believing that life is about surviving instead of enjoying and that the meaning of life is to get through the struggle of life.” Cathleen Brooks
1. From Child Abuse Survivor; “Another Good Reason to Talk about Child Abuse”:
Last week, I was working at our annual user’s conference in Vegas, and once again, found myself talking to one of the people that I had previously trained about this and that and whatever. I mentioned having been a survivor of child molestation, and wouldn’t you know it, the response I got was that she was as well.
I realized, this was not just some magic radar that was bringing me to other survivors. I am, literally, surrounded by other survivors, and so are you. We just don’t talk about it, so we don’t even realize how many survivors are in our midst every day. We stay silent, and hide our “secret”, and miss out on the benefits of seeing other survivors.
One of the biggest benefits, and one of the things I’ve tried to feature here, is just showing you other survivors, from all walks of life. It’s always been my opinion that I can help other survivors most by simply talking about being a survivor, showing them that healing is possible, and pointing out other survivors who are going through healing, have come through and are leading successful, contented lives, and other who are still struggling. At times, we can be all of those things in one person! But the overarching message that I hope I’m conveying here, is that you are not alone. You are not the first person to deal with this, what you are going through isn’t even all that rare! There are survivors all around you, just waiting to tell someone!
2. Writing: Overcoming Damaging Effects of Child Abuse and Rape:
Being ignored is the cruelest way to make a point……to flaunt control…..to wield power. Not acknowledging a person can create a hurt so deep – it’s the harshest thing someone can do to another…especially if that person claims to care.
My father used to ignore me….refusing to talk or acknowledge my presence. His silence would go on for days…sometimes weeks… shutting me out of his world….closing the door….denying me access to him. He wanted to teach me a lesson….that he was right….I was wrong…he was good….I was bad. It was his way to force me to do whatever he wanted.
He had hurt me many times with his words and his fists – yet to be locked out of his world tore at me. It made me crazy…and desperate to make things right. I ended up doing whatever he wanted….anything just to have him acknowledge me again.
Ever since I could think, he taught me ‘that without him…I was nothing’ and even though he beat me…called me awful names…broke my spirit – I believed I needed him to live…to breathe…to exist. I needed him to survive.
Something has changed since I wrote my story…and told the truth of what happened. Writing…voicing what I had never been able to say….changed something in me. It gave me an inner strength…a courage I didn’t have before. I’m not afraid anymore and I’m not a child.
3. Blooming Lotus: “The Power of Forgiveness”:
I can hear you groaning through the screen at the title of this blog entry because that would have been my reaction once upon a time. I have written numerous times about my goal to stop nursing the bitterness to free myself, but I absolutely would not embrace the term forgiveness because what was done to me was unforgivable.
About a year ago, my dearest friend betrayed me, and her betrayal triggered many of my childhood issues surrounding trust. After months of intense bitterness and anger (all well-deserved), I felt led to forgive her … not because she deserved it (nobody being forgiven ever “deserves” it) but because doing so would free me. I used the tools provided in Beth Moore’s book, Praying God’s Word, of praying blessings over this person who had hurt me so badly. Over a period of months, I released the bitterness, and it was replaced by peace.
Next, I felt led to do the same thing with my mother/abuser. If you have read any of my blog entries about my mother, you know how difficult this was for me. I did this for several months, and the same thing happened – I was able to release my bitterness in a way that had not been possible before.