Breaking Through the Fear of Speaking About Child Abuse by Kylie DeviBy
I am pleased to welcome Kylie Devi back to Emerging from Broken. In January of 2012, Kylie wrote a guest post about having been sexually abused as a child and how much trouble she had getting professional help dealing with it. There were some unforeseen results due to her sharing this information however and this new post is about her abusers confronting her about that blog post and her reaction to that confrontation; how it froze her and how she got through it. It will be helpful for you to get the whole picture by reading her original blog post first. Please help me welcome Kylie back! ~ Darlene
Breaking Through the Fear of Speaking About Child Abuse by Kylie Devi
In January of this year, I wrote a blog post sharing my experience with the “get better industry.” I shared how I felt that traditional psychology and social work failed me when I really needed it. And how I pulled myself out of the trenches of the horrors of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse as well as a ten year battle with drug addiction.
The belief I shared is that any industry designed to help me “get better” is only going to thrive when I don’t get better. An example of this is that the medical industry doesn’t thrive when nobody is sick, seeing doctors, or buying pharmaceuticals. Therefore, they are invested in people being sick. Make sense?
My main purpose for sharing this blog post was to reach out and say, hey, we all have our own unique path to healing… and it’s really awesome when we can share with each other too. For me, both of these are implicit – we have to do the work ourselves, but it is so powerful when we can participate in communities full of people who are also “doing the work.”
I do believe it was received that way by many people who read it, but there were some other people who weren’t too excited about what I had to say.
In February, I got a phone call from my main abuser saying: “I read your little blog post, what are you doing? Trying to get attention? Who abused you, and why am I hearing about it in this way?”
(I would like to say that “your little blog post” was kind of comedic to me, since this is a highly trafficked website that has helped thousands of people.)
And then 3 more phone calls from my other main abuser.
Phone Call 1: “Kylie, we got a phone call today about your blog post. Someone in the family has read it and we really need to know what is happening and what is going on here. It’s really obvious that you are accusing someone in the family of sexually abusing you and since we know that isn’t true we just want to find out what is going on with you.”
Phone Call 2: “Kylie, one of your aunts has read the blog post and she can’t sleep. She hasn’t been able to sleep in 3 nights. She is so upset.”
Phone Call 3: “Kylie, one of your uncles has read the blog post and now he is wanting to beat up the person you accused in your article.”
Kylie: “I am really sorry for all the drama this is causing for you. I genuinely was trying to help people. I do whatever I can to help people heal from what I have overcome and been through. I had no idea it would cause anyone else any stress or pain. I was very conscientious not to point any specific fingers, so I’m not sure why people are making these assumptions about who abused me.”
Yes, I really said this.
And here are the truths that I derived from this series of phone calls that catalyzed a frozen, scared 5 year old girl paralysis within me.
So much that I actually stopped working on a book on overcoming sexual trauma that I have been working on for over 10 years. I stopped commenting on EFB and OSA Facebook pages and sites. I stopped offering the recovery-based courses that women were participating in with life-changing results.
In short, I stopped speaking my truth.
I silenced myself.
Truth #1: A part of me was still terrified of my abusers.
Truth #2: I was disconnecting from my own truth to protect them, STILL.
Truth #3: I felt like I had done something wrong by speaking my truth in a public forum.
And it was another survivor’s writing that woke me up to this.
On July 8th Christina Enevoldson of Overcoming Sexual Abuse published the following post
What really moved me about this post was that Christina identified the part of her that was still afraid, the child or voice inside that had been groomed to respond with fear… but that in identifying that voice inside, she also saw the reality of her adulthood, of her responsibility in her own life, about her desire to speak the truth, and how no one can stop that. She was bold and brave in the face of fear and threats. She had taken back her power from these people. Or at least, this is how I interpreted what she wrote.
I literally stopped in my tracks when I read that post.
Once I realized what I was doing, I decided that it was time to reassess my recovery process and get a little extra support, and so I did that. I started posting much more heavily on all the recovery forums online because I needed that. I started working with Darlene doing some coaching to work on the very specific blocks I was experiencing. This helped me to see EXACTLY where I was at, so I could make recovery and life affirming choices from a space of self-love and self-care rather than from reactivity to the genuine shock I felt when I realized what I was doing to myself.
And in that process I realized I had done so much work, and in doing that work it was really time to confront the abusers and stop pretending like that they have some kind of mystical power over my life. I didn’t want to be in the grips of fear anymore.
So I did.
I do not believe this is a necessary step for everyone’s healing, and I would definitely say if you are going to do something like this have A LOT of support.
What I learned about myself in this process:
- · I do not exist for anyone else’s pleasure, I am not another’s property.
- · I have the right to speak my truth, at any time, in any situation. There is no time or place where it is not okay, or not permissible, for me to speak what is true for me, as I had been groomed to believe.
- · My levels of self-love and self-care are not influenced by what others think of me. I love myself and I will provide care and protection to myself. The child in me needed that from another, but I am capable of providing what I need, even if that need means needing something from somebody else. I am interdependent and dependable.
- · Other people’s emotions are not mine to take care of. I am not responsible for my abusers’ horrible feelings and beliefs about themselves. I did NOT do that to them. It was not my fault.
- · I am not internally flawed. I have shortcomings, and when I become aware of these shortcomings, I can transform them into a higher level of relating with myself and the world.
I realized that in beginning to speak about my abuse in an even more public way than ever before, I was making major strides in my own recovery. And when the abusers saw that happening, part of their abuser identity began to crumble.
“We can’t control her anymore! Who are we, then?”
I don’t know who they are with or without abusing me, and it doesn’t matter. I know that my identity no longer exists inside of the abuse box that they created, the one I had no other choice but to live in as a child.
Just like the medical industry literally fuels itself with disease, the abusive system also requires a certain fuel. This mostly consists of me giving my power away, of me believing limiting thoughts about who I am…
Things like “I am not loveable,” “I am powerless,” “I have no voice,” “My voice is not important,” “I have no right to speak,” “Nobody believes me anyways,” “I deserved it…” these beliefs fuel the system.
But the worst one for me was the one I discovered in this process, that Christina also shared overcoming….
“I’m going to get in trouble if I tell.”
What does trouble look like now that I am a 33 year-old woman?
It could look like legal battles. It could look like some kind of harm done to me. I realize that someone who would harm a child is not above retaliation.
But I am not a child anymore. I have resources. I have the ability to keep myself safe. And I for one, am not willing to be silenced again. My life story is a powerful stand that anyone can heal from trauma and addiction and live a meaningful, enriching life contributing value to the lives of others.
No one can stop me from being that story. No one can stop me from telling you that story.
I’m not shutting up any time soon.
Please share your thoughts, reactions, feelings and comments with Kylie and the EFB community.
Bio: Kylie Devi is a writer, healing artist and internet marketer who is passionate about mental, emotional, political and spiritual freedom. You can connect with her at www.facebook.com/kyliedevi if you care about any of the aforementioned things.
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