Breaking Through the Fear of Speaking About Child Abuse by Kylie Devi

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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

 

stop the silence about child abuse
Kylie Devi

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.”

What?!?!

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

The Truth About My Abusers Threats

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.

Kylie Devi

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.

Related Posts ~dysfunctional family law and family belief system

~ sexual harassment and freezing in fear

85 response to "Breaking Through the Fear of Speaking About Child Abuse by Kylie Devi"

  1. By: Kylie Posted: 12th October

    Hi Viga!
    I did not receive a message there so if there is anything else you want to say to me, please re-send!

    Much Love,
    k

  2. By: Viga Boland Posted: 12th October

    Thanks Kylie. I look forward to you visiting my blog and my group at Facebook. Have messaged you from there too. Chat soon!

  3. By: kylie Posted: 12th October

    Aurele,

    Me too! 🙂

    kd

  4. By: kylie Posted: 12th October

    Hey Payne,

    Thanks! So glad you are here!
    I appreciate the cheers (I’m a Leo, lol)…

    Much Love,

    Kylie

  5. By: kylie Posted: 12th October

    Viga,

    Thanks for sharing, I’m really moved by the support you are getting from your family members. That is profound…

    I will definitely come and visit your group. Thanks for the info!

    I appreciate everything you shared with me. Thank you for your encouragement, for taking the time to read my story and for being real.

    Much Love,

    Kylie

  6. By: kylie Posted: 12th October

    Thanks Chris! That’s so great that you are here, that you have found truth and support and that you are loving yourself. 🙂

    Kylie

  7. By: Aurele Posted: 12th October

    I like what you said Viga.

    Hugs

  8. By: Payne Within Posted: 12th October

    You are one of my new heroines, Kylie!!! Stay strong and know there are so many out here cheering you on!!

  9. By: Viga Boland Posted: 11th October

    Kylie, I found this blog via a Facebook link provided the group, Surviving Abuse. What a pleasure to meet you, if only in print. You have done what I am doing and what I’m almost desperate to have members of my own Facebook group and page do ie. COME OUT FROM UNDER. I feel healing can only happen if you face the past full on, and share your story with all who will listen and understand. There are far too many of us being abused. The victims need to know they are not alone. By sharing our stories, in our Facebook groups, our blogs, our books, we are helping who knows how many others heal. Maybe therapy works for some. I didn’t use it but today live a full, productive and happy life after 11 years of sexual abuse by my own biological father. But I never told anyone in my immediate family about it until he was finally off this earth. And even then, I waited another 10 years or so. Fortunately, my daughters, while shocked and saddened by my disclosure .. this was their grandfather I was telling them about … encouraged me to write my book. They are proud of me for coming out from under. So is my dear husband. It’s sad that so many of us don’t get that kind of support, but we have to talk and to hell with the abusers if they’re still around and threatened by what we reveal: did they care about the person or child they abused or raped? Why should we care about them now. We owe it to ourselves to take back the life they stole from us. Kudos to you Kylie for what you have achieved and the work you are now doing. I will be sharing your blog link too. Hope you’ll stop by and visit me at Vigaland: Coming Out From Under.

  10. By: kylie Posted: 11th October

    Christina,

    Thanks! I also love the EFB and OSA communities and how much I have personally benefitted not only from reading what you, Darlene, Patty and others have to say, as well as actively contributing. We don’t heal by hanging out in the shadows, right? It’s awesome 🙂

    Yes, one day the threats stop working! I am glad you can laugh about it today, and that you are taking a powerful stand for yourself and others.

    I also love how when your Mom wrote to you publicly on your birthday, an entire community of people came together to say that they know you are NOT lying. That was really moving for me to see and it helped me to feel more courageous, knowing that we are not alone and that others are wiling to show support.

    You rock!

    Much Love,

    Kylie

  11. By: Chris Stewart Posted: 11th October

    Kylie,
    WOW you strong person. After 50 plus years of living with the abuse I suffered as a child, locked up in my innermost. I wonder if I had read about people like you I would have been able to heal quicker. I have only just started to read stories like yours and feel a common identity. Keep on blogging your honest truth. Living as a victim is so cruel, you have broken free of your evil perpetrators. It took me 5 long painful years to relive and write about my abuse. Then another 12 months before I let Kindle publish it. I could only have done it with the love showered on my by my wife of 6 years, Rachel. Wherever you go on your journey I am shouting for you and right behind you. I also am emerging from broken.
    Chris Stewart, Author ‘A bird in a cage and a tin of paint’

  12. By: Christina Enevoldsen Posted: 11th October

    Kylie,
    I’m SO happy for you that you’re confronting those lies and those people who have been so invalidating! I’m thrilled that my blog post was instrumental in that process. I love the EFB and OSA communities where we can share our journeys with each other and be inspired by each other.

    The thing that stands out to me in your story and also in mine is that our abuser’s threats actually backfired on them and worked to our advantage. In my case, my mother’s letter led to me reporting my father for the sexual abuse. I don’t know if I EVER would have done that if she hadn’t threatened me. Her threats triggered those old fears, which showed me clearly exactly where the lies were coming from. Once I confronted those lies within myself, I became much more bold in standing up for myself and speaking the truth. That makes me laugh!

    I’m excited about your journey and where it’s taking you. Let your voice ring out!

    Love,
    Christina

  13. By: kylie Posted: 10th October

    Hey Pam! Thanks for bringing that up. Personal boundaries in the healing process are so important. For me, it’s really about being “at choice” about my healing process and who I share it with. In some relationships it feels better to keep things professional or even surfacy, and in others it feels really empowering to connect on a deep level and be raw and real and engaged and proactive.

    This sentence particularly struck me:

    “I couldn’t talk about it for decades because I didn’t understand it well enough to talk about it.”

    That’s how I felt for a lot of my life too.

    And then one day the damn just burst.

    Thank God!

    Much love,

    kylie

  14. By: Pam Posted: 10th October

    Kylie,
    I agree (in your comment to Dave)that there are times when it makes more sense not to talk about the abuse we experienced. That was something that I learned in being able to set personal boundaries(that ability was taken from me, as a result the sexual abuse)that I could choose when to talk about my life and when not to. That was really the beginning of my breaking the silence. It’s like I was waiting for permission to talk about it. Waiting for some counselor or psychiatrist to ask me what my life was like as a teenager on the streets, alone. However, no one did. All they wanted to do was give me drugs. Of course, my family of origin never really, asked either. Their response was to do nothing when it was happening and then keep it covered in silence because of their negligent response. It was also, used as a means of controling me because I totally, saw it as all my fault, my deficit, my character flaws. I couldn’t talk about it for decades because I didn’t understand it well enough to talk about it. I had all the wrong labels for everything and it didn’t make sense because of that. I couldn’t understand my own behavior for decades because I buried it with a young girl’s understanding and no one asked or tried to talk to me about it. That kind of silence still brings up pain that I can’t express. It’s like the emotional neglect that I lived with as a small child. Silence, neglect, a big ‘nothing’, a black hole that destroys everything that comes near to it. It’s the worst part of my abuse and the hardest to talk about.

    Pam

  15. By: Pam Posted: 10th October

    Dave, I’m really happy that you found a support group. I think being heard by people who can relate to what you’ve been through will be wonderful for you. You’re brave for sharing what you do with all of us ladies. I think about how hard that must be and I’m really glad you’ve found a group of men to work with. I’m encouraged for you!:0)

    Pam

  16. By: kylie Posted: 9th October

    Hi Tricia,

    People can be immensely cruel. I am sorry you continue to experience the result of human ignorance in the form of ignorant action and abuse.

    You are strong and powerful and I really look forward to reading your book.

    I am so grateful that you have experienced some comfort in my sharing on Darlene’s blog.

    K:)

  17. By: Tricia Johnson Posted: 9th October

    I relate. Oh, my word, I relate. I was abused as a child and wrote a book about it – available on Amazon – (Victory Over Violence). One thing I promised myself is that I will never, ever be silent about abuse. Now I am a pastor’s wife…….and let me tell you, abuse has abounded in this role in my life.

    People think they can shun me, withhold their giving, ostracize and harass my children – even in public places – and even assault me in the foyer at church! While I live in victory over the abuse I received at the hands of my dad and brothers, I now deal with this awful abusive reality again, right in church. Their goal is to silence me so they can continue treating their pastor’s wife like she is a nobody. They want to keep using any pastor’s wife as a target and their stance is, she’d better get used to it and keep silent.

    They bully. They gossip. They shun. They ostracize. They lie. They use cyber-bullying. The list goes on.

    Your essay comforted me and assured me that I am not alone in wanting to be very vocal about my abuse, no matter what form it takes and no matter who is doing this to me.

    Thanks for the opp to say something here.

    Tricia

  18. By: kylie Posted: 9th October

    Tara,

    And that is SO what they want you to be afraid of! It’s not our job to protect anyone who abused us. That was SO hard for me to understand. But I finally did. And it led to all of this. I feel so much better now. It may have disrupted their lives and they may hate me, but I AM FREE.

    You rock!

    Kylie

  19. By: kylie Posted: 9th October

    Hey Dave, thanks for writing!

    One of my favorite performance pieces is by a spoken word artist is by a man called Saul Williams called “A Penny For Your Thoughts”

    he says: “Fuck it. Ima keep speaking til my throat sores…” And I feel like that too.

    For me though, its not something I would run around talking about to everyone (even though anyone with a internet connection can read this)… I speak because I have to but I dont bother speaking to people who dont or wont get it. It doesnt appeal to me. I have always sought out community, and healing based community at that. And that helps.

    I am glad you are feeling again, and while I probably shoudnt say this because I am not a doctor, congrats on getting off the meds.

    (maybe some people should take them, but if you want off and you got off successfully, than to that I say Rock on!)

    Thanks for the book referral, I will check it out!

    peas,

    kylie

  20. By: kylie Posted: 9th October

    Kathi,

    Yay on sparking that desire to finish your book! I can’t wait to read it!!!

    I hear you on all the rollercoaster rides with therapists and counselors. I have to say, I have had better luck with “coaches” as for some reason I have found people in the coaching world are also doing the work on themselves, though that is my experience…

    Denial runs very deep and thick. I am glad you are not willing to be a part of that. Thanks for sharing yourself here!!!

    kyliedevi

  21. By: Kathi Trostad Posted: 9th October

    Kylie, So sorry for all you have been through. Some of my relatives to quote them “don’t believe a word of it”! Others were lied to that we were just out for attention and money and I am crazy. Funny when my sweet aunt and her daughter turned on Sally Jessy Raphael one morning and the Kathi on the show was their Kathi and she was talking about child sexual abuse and INCEST!!!!!!! Guess my old lady forgot to mention it or that dad was in jail and not Florida on vacation!
    As for mental health providers the first one I had was a relapsing alcoholic who hated his mother and his wife! He wrote all kinds of stuff in my file that I did not tell him, but he testified against be at a civil trial (guess the pay was better), another therapist billed the crime victims, our insurance and us and our child. When I called her on it she zeroed our balance but made no offer to refund the thousands she got from us and it never occurred to me to ask. Another therapist my child was sent too was the creepiest guy I ever met and said if I didn’t leave her there and leave the building he would report me, her boy friend sat on the floor outside the door as the creep had no leverage with him. A sibling of mine had a th4erapist who said they would grow old together. She was making her mercedes paymants more than likely form how much she charges. When she finally got brave enough to quit after 10 years of therapy, and walked out she knows the large phone book was thrown at the door! Another creep was videoing females using his restroom and then watching the videos and masturbating to them. He caught caught when his office and home were raided and he committed suicide before they could charge him!!! I finally decided that when someone wants to really help me they do not charge $125 an hour! Child sexual abuse in Kitsap County WA as well as INCEST is rampant and not much it done! But we have to speak out about it and get a voice! I will never be as screwed up as any of them, EVER! I did spend 2 /12 weeks with a Clinical Psychologist from the UK and she gave me a clean bill of health and said I was a lovely very well adjusted person! You have inspired me to finish my book and I am 64 years old!!!!! Thanks!

  22. By: Dave Posted: 9th October

    Kylie – welcome back :). I am not on facebook anymore so you wont find me there again but i am still here ! Props to you for confronting your abusers. I know its not easy because I did it to my mother in person many years ago..she pretty much denied doing anything wrong of course and went right back into the victim role that she has played so well her whole life. She ended up blaming me for all of the problems in her marriage and told a caretaker that. I realized after that i would never get an apology from either of my parents or the cousin who sexually abused me because he “has a disease” according to his parents.

    Its good to hear you are working on your book again. we need books from survivors. Former boxing champ Sugar Ray Leonard came out with a book about his experience from surviving sexual abuse by one of his trainers, when he was a teenager. He said he wrote the book for himself to help himself through the healing process.

    Healing is an incredibly hard journey. Some days it consumes me. Some days i can barely get out of bed from the immense hurt and pain.

    You are so right about the medical community not wanting us to get well. I am off anti-depressants for the first time in 4 1/2 years..I actually found a nurse practitioner who was in favor of me getting off of them. She helped get me off of Effexor over the summer and go on Prozac and then i came off Prozac about a month ago with no side effects ! I still take something to help me sleep at night but now i feel everything that i held frozen for so long. The feeling part is very hard but i know its necessary to heal. I finally found a support group for men who were sexually abused as children that starts next month and i am now working with a counselor who specializes in treating sexual abuse survivors, for the first time ever.

    One of the hardest things for me is knowing “how much do i need do share. What do i need to share. ” No one wants to listen to my story. Almost none of my friends and none of my wife’s family want to hear anything i have to say about being abused. No one encourages me to share anything. No one asks “how’s it going” or “how is your healing coming along.” Many people know but no one asks…so i dont share because no one ever wants to know. No one ever seems to care. I learned to be quiet as a little boy because i was terrified all the time. I lived in constant fear of both my parents, who were like atomic bombs that could explode anytime. So i just kept quiet and hid in my room or in the closet hoping no one would find me…there was no one to turn to. There was no one else around. No one ever asked how things were at home…no one ever cared that i was being abused pretty much every day…we live in a very conservative city where its taboo to talk about any of this stuff…none of the churches that we have gone to have offered any support at all. they have all ignored my requests for help…so we just ended up leaving…now we dont go anywhere. Its hard but i persevere.

    anyway – thanks again for sharing your story Kylie ! I look forward to reading your book one day !!

    hugs !

    Dave

  23. By: Tara Posted: 9th October

    I think you are very brave, and it inspires me to be brave too. I’ve long wanted to write a blog about my abuse and experiences, but have wondered (feared) what it would do to my family. Thank you.

  24. By: kylie Posted: 9th October

    Tricia! I love you too. You rock. You inspire me all the time. I am so glad we have shared our journeys with each other. Keep shining!!

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