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Why Tell?

That’s a question I asked myself for a long time.  After I told my mother about my father sexuallyabusing me, it would be a long time before I would talk about it again.  I didn’t say, it would be a long time before I thought about it again — just a long time before I would talk about it again.  And there would be good reason for that — or so I thought.  I was sort of under the delusion that if I talked about it one of two things would happen: I would be labeled _____ (fill in the blank with any number of negative or pejorative comments), or it would, simply by bringing it up, happen again.

So, though always ignored, why attempt to contact him over the years?  Why write and send him a letter (nearly five years ago), now.   And why post it online when he refused to accept the registered letter?  Why the desire to tell on him then — and still?

I believe that when a man continually abuses a little girl, he must face the consequences (legal, moral, societal, etc.).  And, yes, I want to add, I am a born again Christian… redeemed by the blood of  Jesus.  And, yes, vengeance does belong to the Lord.  —-Just wanted to be very clear on this.

I think I, like many I’ve talked to and/or corresponded with, finally had the courage to stand up and say: What you did was wrong.  What you did forever crippled ways I see, think, do things… destroyed part of my life.  And… finally, I mustered the strength and courage to stand up to you.  And… I can contradict you.  That wasn’t “our little secret.”  That was your big lie.

Drumming the phrase into my mind over and over again:  “Let’s not tell anyone about this… ” Well, no.  No more.  And so… finally I had the courage to TELL.    Somehow just telling my mom (who *fully* believed me, did and does stand by me),  just telling her only solved part of my problem.

That was actually (though it took three years of abuse to finally muster the courage to tell her what was going on), the easy part.  The hard part wouldn’t be  tackled for many, many years.   Finally gathering the courage to stand up to — and then to act on that decision to face — an abuser is the hardest part.   Telling someone — simply eases or spreads the pain and fear a bit.  Facing the abuser is terrifying.  At least for me (and for the many who’ve written or talked with me through the years).

Telling my story has been sort of cathartic — and retelling it makes it easier to bear.   All through this, I want to assure you, dear reader, that I didn’t face the worst treatment, abuse, trial, yada, yada, yada.  It was/has been, however, my worst ongoing experience.  I say this bcz it’s a ploy of the enemy to say:  well, heck, you didn’t go through what so ‘n so went through — so kwitcherwhinin’.  A sexuallyabused girl/woman sort of dies a little more with every thought like that.  She wrestles with the emotions, the fear, the broken way she deals with relationships and she still can’t make sense of it all.   Then when faced with the condemnation that she should just buck up and deal with it… well, she can’t — not easily, anyway.

She can’t bcz she knows deep down she must tell on him.    It’s only one part, or the first step, when she tells of being sexuallyabused.

She keeps knowing that one day… someday… she is going to tell on him.  And she’s going to let him know that the little secret ISN’T.  Anymore.

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3 comments to Why Tell?

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  • Pamela,
    thank for your courage. It is so true that the hardest part is telling and to face the person is unimaginable. It is only through Gods grace that I have found some peace.
    Blessings,
    Vikk

  • Debbie

    Pam,

    Thank you for this. There was sexual abuse in my family, too. Not me, another family member. So, so damaging. And the tragedy is that the victim was not believed by the important people. It is still unresolved. I am encouraged by your admonition to tell. Thank you.

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