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.
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.
SILENT NO MORE.
Tell SOMEONE !