Archive for sexual abuse
I convinced myself of many things in order to cope with child abuse, emotional abuse and being defined as less important than others in my life.
I was unable to cope with the truth so I changed the truth to suit me. I learned how to view “unhealthy attention” as though it was healthy and validating in order to cope with my dysfunctional world the way that it was and by doing so I was able to pretend that my world was actually functional. I found a way to believe that I was special.
But in order to feel loved and to believe that I had at least some degree of self worth, I had to change my understanding of the word “special”. I had to warp my definition of that word in order to fit it to the actual circumstances. The things I accepted as “proof” and validation that I was “special” became pretty sick and unhealthy.
I remember when I was about 13 or 14 years old, my mother started Read More→
I was not heard for most of my life. My voice was silenced in many ways. I was sexually abused from a young age. I don’t remember if I “told” or not in those young years, but there were signs. There were physical and mental distress signs that went unaddressed. That is a form of not being heard.
My mother used violence to vent her anger and frustration. My father either didn’t notice or didn’t care; he never tried to stop it. Who could I tell? The way things were in my family was “my normal”. In my survival mode, I only knew to keep trying harder to be “good”, to be what those manipulative people wanted and to be quiet because it seemed to me that I was causing a problem for them.
I don’t know how I kept going.
I know I told about a teacher who was emotionally and psychologically abusing me in grade 5. I told but I was ignored. I was shushed. I was silenced. I was lectured about “respecting my elders.” I was not heard. When I finally got so sick that the pediatric specialist asked to speak to me alone (without my parents) he ordered my parents to take me out of the class I was in. My parents didn’t want to do it and the Dr. said he was going to get a court order if they didn’t remove me from the presence of that teacher.
That doctor heard me. But my parents did not hear me. I felt I was “wrong” for telling. I knew that I had caused Read More→
I was 13 years old the first time I woke up hearing my mother having sex. My parents had been split up for a few months; I had never heard my parents having sex. By the sounds of it, I thought that the man my mother had in her bedroom with her was trying to kill her. And he could have been! How would anyone know? None of us knew him.
I felt frozen in my bed, terrified about what I was hearing and not knowing what to do about it. Should I get a large object and go in there and club him over the head? Should I call the police? My frozen immobility and indecisiveness was making me feel guilty and then suddenly, those horrifying sounds stopped. I heard normal murmuring sounds of conversation. I must have gone back to sleep then. Eventually, I figured out that what was going on in her bedroom was not murder or physical violence.
My toxic mother didn’t want to be a single mother. That was her answer to everything. It was even her justification for having very loud sex with men while three children slept in rooms very close by.
One of my brothers made comments about her night-time noise making sessions; she would respond “I never asked to be a single mother”. I was left to assume the translation for that statement. And I translated it according to my belief system. My mother deserves to be happy. Men make her happy. I have no right to interfere with her happiness. I have no right to feel uncomfortable about Read More→
I was fifteen or sixteen when I worked in that Real Estate office as a receptionist on the weekends. I answered the phones, and typed offers for the salesmen. My mother’s disgusting boyfriend got me the job. That should have been the first red flag.
There was this one chubby salesman named Ron who gave me the creeps. He was about 40 years old. He was just a little too friendly. He would come up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder. He tried to rub my back. I was terrified of him and didn’t even understand why. It was one of those feelings that today I have come to realize was my intuition. It was my “radar” warning me about a predator. That man had really bad motives when it came to me.
One day he came up to my desk and showed me some porn pictures. At first he was on the other side of the reception desk. He handed them to me; I took one look at them and handed them back without speaking. They looked like snapshots and they were mostly of naked people having oral sex. Those snapshots were pretty graphic. He came around to my side of the desk and at first I tried to look away, but he told me to look at the pictures. Something about him scared me and so I did as I was told and looked at the pictures. He slowly flipped through them, and I looked at them one by one. I was horrified and terrified, but I didn’t turn away. I thought if I was strong, if I showed no reaction, that he would lose interest in me. I thought that if I just pretended that it wasn’t bothering me, he would not ask me to Read More→
I am excited to have guest blogger and frequent contributor to Emerging from Broken, Shanyn Silinski from “the Scarred Seeker” blog sharing with my readers today on the topic of Spiritual abuse and Church abuse. Please help me welcome Shanyn and as always, please feel free to contribute your comments and feedback in the comments section of this blog post. ~ Darlene Ouimet, founder of Emerging from Broken
Sexual Abuse at the Hands of a Youth Pastor by Shanyn Silinski
Mark 9:42 “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.
For years it was me who wore the millstone of being dirty, whorish, asking for it, trash and I wore it silently because my abuse at the hands of a youth pastor was a secret for years. He knew, of course, and because of the shame I didn’t tell. I paid the price for his secret desires, and his willingness to touch a child. I look back on the photos of that weekend. I was just a kid. Not ‘blooming early’.
When I finally did tell someone, I was told, don’t be so dramatic, it wasn’t you he wanted but me (my mother). Take it as a compliment. This was years later, and I realized that she knew he lusted after her, and she thought somehow, in hindsight, that it was okay to have your daughter serve as substitute.
I remember it so clearly, driving in the truck, finally breaking the silence. Hoping and praying for something more than that. I was worried what if he hurt other girls and was ‘assured’ I was Read More→
But yesterday I suddenly thought about how abusive this statement is when I think about it through the eyes of myself as a child! You reap what you sow, you get what you deserve. I was raised with this expression. I was raised to believe that whatever was in my life or NOT in my life was my fault. That if I had problems in my relationships with people then it was because I cultivated incorrectly and I had sown bad seed. I was willing to take that responsibility because I had been taught that it was all up to me in the first place. I believed that I deserved to be picked on because I thought I was dislikeable. I believed that if I could be likeable, that people would Read More→
It was so important for me to believe that my childhood had in fact been difficult. I had been brainwashed that my childhood was wonderful, normal and that I was one of the “privileged” people in the world. I believed that something was wrong with me because I had so many struggles with depressions and emotional issues. I felt guilty that I was so unhappy because I had been convinced that I was so fortunate to have grown up in the family I had. I believed that I had wonderful, hard working parents who did their best for me. I constantly looked to those “less fortunate” in order to beat myself up about how “ungrateful” that I was.
I bought their definition of “normal” hook, line and sinker. No wonder I always felt like I was drowning.
The way that I was raised was not healthy nor was it “normal”. But how was I to know that? It was my normal. It was all I knew. I had no frame of reference for any other way of life. I had to face that although I had been “told” that I was a liar and an exaggerator, I did in fact know the truth about at least some of the things that had happened to me and that those things were wrong. I had to listen to myself. I had to believe myself. I had to validate the pain that being devalued, dismissed and treated as “not quite valid” as a person had an effect on me. A lasting effect. There was damage done. TO ME.
I deserved to heal, but first I had to believe that I had something I needed to heal from. I had to believe myself regardless of the lifelong message that I had Read More→
Last week, Pam shared a piece of her story with us in her guest post “To be Objectified is to be Dehumanized” This week Pam shares the next stage of her recovery on the subject of human Objectification. As always, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. ~ Darlene Ouimet
When the Bubble Popped: My Recovery from Abuse by Pam Witzemann
My sister says that it wasn’t rape. She says that statutory rape laws are “controversial” and for that reason, she doesn’t believe that what happened to me at 16 was statutory rape or any kind of sexual abuse. She believes this because many young men become involved with teenage girls. In her opinion, the man who victimized me was merely a victim of the sexual revolution and I was rebellious. I said that since she doesn’t acknowledge the law, that leaves only opinion and my opinion is as good as hers. Actually, I said, I believe the laws were written for a good reason. I told her that when a young girl (me) was given lots of alcohol and drugs by a grown man who then proceeded to have sex with her in front of other grown men without her knowing, it was Read More→
“We are so used to such phrases that most people don’t even notice them. But there are some who do notice them; people who have decided to analyze the words of adults from the perspective of the child are arriving at new knowledge and no longer afraid of letting in the light. They see that the destruction of a human life is not to be described as “ambivalent parental love” but must be recognized for what it is: a crime”. Alice Miller ~ Banished Knowledge ~ facing childhood injuries
Have you ever thought about the statement “leave well enough alone”? What the heck is “well enough”? What does that even mean and who gets to decide what “well enough” is. It is actually more of a command or a directive then a statement. Someone else is dictating what I should do or shouldn’t do and even telling me how I should or shouldn’t FEEL. (Because we never want to revisit anything that we don’t have strong feelings about)
I can tell you that in the old system, it was certainly not me who got to decide what “well enough” was! It is certainly not the person who is suffering from the damage of what happened that got to decide what needed to be left alone or not. And I can assure you that the person who was invalidated and mistreated is not Read More→
“Child abuse damages a person for life and that damage is in no way diminished by the ignorance of the perpetrator. It is only with the uncovering of the complete truth as it affects all those involved that a genuinely viable solution can be found to the dangers of child abuse”. Alice Miller ~ Banished Knowledge ~ facing childhood injuries
Lately I have been writing a lot on the subject of dysfunctional family systems. I feel like I am just getting started when it comes to sharing about some of the things that were so dysfunctional in my own family. The dysfunctional mother daughter relationship I had with my abusive mother was only one part of it. I had an emotionally unavailable father as well. There was sexual abuse and physical abuse. I was not heard or even seen as a child ~ as though I was not really a person yet. And that “non person” fact seems to be at the root of everything; the discounted voice and disregarded feelings of the child. We live in a whole world of adults who have not been valued as children but who are Read More→