CSA = Tell Someone

It’s a tough topic – a tough thing to deal with, a tough thing to talk about.  And that’s why it isn’t. talked. about.  It’s also not talked about because of fear — a deep seated fear of reprisal.  It is deep and it is real.

I don’t talk about a lot of things specifically here on the blog… you know — it’s risky to share stuff.  Once you publicly share stuff, you run the risk of being pegged as something.  You know how you say to someone: I love teddybears and suddenly, every gift you receive from then on is a teddybear something.   Or, you share, you were once addicted to meth and you’re forever a meth-head.   Or, you share you battle depression… and, well,  you get the picture.

Well, it’s like that with sexualabuse.   You talk about it and suddenly that’s all you’re about — one note sally.  And none of us are a song of one note.  We’re all songs of many notes.  CSA is just a heavy note.

Women (and men) don’t talk much about CSA (childsexualabuse) because of the reaction of others.  Talking about past abuse always generates some reaction.  Some react with sympathy, some react with indifference and some react with smug rejection.  CSA survivors quickly find out the painful truth that for most people, unless something’s been personally experienced, it’s “not that big a deal.”  Or, worse, CSA survivors often deal with comparisons  or qualifiers.  They hear things like, O, yes, so-n-so was sexuallyabused by her father only it was much worse.  They hear things like, O, that’s not that bad, let me tell you what happened to me! The survivor is then left holding the bag of shame or guilt or a mixture of the two.  And she makes another personal pact with herself to never bring this up again.

But it does come up again.  It comes up again and again.  Sexualabuse is like that — because it so deeply scars the soul of a woman (or man) it never really goes away — it’s never really very far from the surface.

Just like with most every topic or experience — the advent of technology is making it much easier to get things out in the open.  The more something is talked about, the easier it is to talk about it.  There are up-sides and down-sides to this, of course.

The up-side to talking about current or past sexualabuse is that, among many things, the reality can be dealt with — and that’s the first part of healing: the revelation of the truth.  The down-side of talking about sexualabuse is that the “victim,” in choosing  to be vulnerable, risks questions of doubt or denial by others and/or retaliation by the abuser.

Knowing my own story, my mom’s friend sent her an article she’d clipped from the Orange County Register last week.  The article’s about a young girl and mom’s fight to end CSA.   Their message is the same as mine:  Tell Someone.  The name of their site is: I am gonna tell.

I have two pages on A Christian Home website that deal with CSA.  Here and here.

This, from one of my pages:
Why do so many sites and organizations have a similar message or name?  Why do you read over and over “slogans” like: Stop the Silence, Silent No More!, Just Tell, I am gonna tell and my own site and story: I’m Telling On You.

Because, it’s like this:  We all were told virtually the same thing by our abuser:  Don’t tell. Don’t tell anyone… This will be our little secret.  We don’t want to hurt anyone. We don’t want to tell anyone else about this, okay, sweetie?  You’d better not tell anyone about this little incident.  Nothing really happened.  We’re not going to make a big deal about this, okay?  Don’t tell…

And we grew up with the lie.  We lived with the lie: “Don’t tell.”
And most of us wanted to die with, or because of, the  bondage of the “Don’t tell” lie.

We all have the same story and because somewhere along the way we mustered up the courage to tell someone… Our message, collectively, is: Don’t remain silent ANY longer.

TELL someone!!

5 thoughts on “CSA = Tell Someone

  1. I read your post last night and wanted to comment on it but couldn’t. Everything I wanted to say is coming from what has happened in the last few months with my own mother. She wrote me a couple letters and stated that I never was abused by her or my father (and then at the end of one of the letters said “Oh, I remember xxx molesting you” – as if it just popped in her head at that moment). She claims to never have beat me or taken my innocence. It has left a wound in my spirit that is as raw as if the abuse happened yesterday. My personality is to ignore bad things when they happen but these days it is constantly in the back of my head, tormenting me. I sometimes don’t know how I can move on as a Christian because some days I absolutely hate my mother. My father abused me but my mother tormented me to no end. What is horrible is that I told people as I was growing up. No one wanted to listen. One of them was my aunt and she gets angry when I bring up that I told her I was being molested. No one takes responsibility for what happened and I think that is one of the hardest things to deal with. I am refusing to have contact with my family now. We are going to shut off our internet, cable and phone. Hopefully next year we will move and when we do, we plan on doing it so my family can not find us again. I figure even if everyone else does not accept responsibility for what happened then I can take control of my life. They don’t get to control me any longer.

    Ouida Gabriel

  2. Pamela,
    thank you for your courage! As a someone who had this happen…there are indeed scars…and they really never go away. If it were not for my husband who listened and the Lord; I don’t know where I would be.

  3. Oh Pam! This topic drives me crazy! The reality of it, the secrecy, the prevalence, the inability to really trust ANYONE, EVER with your kids! I heard about it the most while doing midwifery, since we were supposed to ask each woman about her history. But I’ve also been confided in by multiple friends – in families where you’d NEVER expect it. I suppose that’s the problem.
    I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to keep my own children safe. It’s not like we leave them often – I definitely want to be a full-time mom and not be always trying to farm them off on someone else, but what about date nights? What about parties in our home when someone volunteers to play with Logan in his room while I participate in a game? It has me pretty paranoid and a bit stressed! I would welcome any advice you have, and I will look at your other posts on it too.

  4. Grace, I completely understand what you’re saying and so deeply empathize with you.

    I pray the LORD will continue to cradle you in His loving hands and direct your thoughts and steps. I pray your husband will continue to have wisdom, grace and understanding for the difficult days and have loving encouragement to help you press on in the resolve to trust the Lord will continue to work in and through the disappointments, the hard reality of estranged family, their disbelief and hurtful words.

    I pray one day they will all come to saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Without Him, they will forever be in bondage to the lies they’ve held to and truths they’ve denied.

    with love for you, Grace. God bless you.

  5. I told but it hasn’t really helped. I am now the outcast in my family and many will not even talk to me anymore. My parents say I’m lying, my aunt and uncle say I’m lying and my Grandparents just don’t talk about it and tell me I need to forgive and make everything nice. Well it’s not nice. I don’t like being the outcast. I didn’t do anything wrong! It’s horrible and awful and the truth is that I will be depressed beyond all reason if I think about it too much. I have given it to God and moved on with my life and just don’t really think about it much because the truth is that it would ruin me if I did.

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