This is a topic that is terribly sensitive to me, as I am sure any other person who has went through a similar circumstance.
I wonder…Why do we share such intimate details of our lives? Is is because we do not want people to feel as though they are suffering something like this, alone? Do we want to make people feel as though they are not the only ones going through something so horrific? Or maybe it is US who doesn’t want to feel alone. Maybe we are wanting to know that there are others out there like us that have faced evil directly. But then again, isn’t that sad? Sad to want to know that others have been put through trauma. It sounds pretty bad that we are wanting to relate with others, over something that has taken part of our soul.
Sadly, it is what it is. It happens. It happens every single day. Every second, every hour….There are thousands of children, innocent children, even adults, who are having to feel dirty from sexual abuse, or unloved from physical and mental abuse.
Is any of these abuses, worse than the other?
Being a victim of all kinds of abuse, I feel as though, no….No abuse is worse than the other. Abuse is abuse. It hurts on the inside as well as the outside, and for a long period of time, if not indefinite.
Sexual abuse is definitely traumatizing. Some people NEVER get over it. Unfortunately it can be brought into a relationship with your spouse, or partner. It is always in the back of your mind. When someone touches you in certain way, it can bring back those memories full force. It takes away the pleasure that was intended between two consenting people. It minimizes the trust that should be part of relationship. Deep within, we know our partner would never hurt us, or at least we should feel confident in that fact, but we still feel reserved. We are afraid that a touch, or a motion, will make us feel dirty or make us feel as though we are doing something wrong. In the end that is what sexual abuse does to a person. Makes them feel as though THEY are the ones that done something wrong..Not the perpetrator, but the victim. The older we get the worse it gets, because we could have said NO. We could have told someone that this friend or family member was doing things to us that we knew should not have taken place. So the older we get the worse we feel about OUR actions. Not the fact that the abuser was doing something wrong. When we focus on OUR fault in the situation then it gives us more determination to NEVER tell anyone what happened.
The biggest mistake of abuse of any kind is Not speaking out. Let’s face it, if we had of said something in the beginning then it could have stopped with us. Children do not think about the fact, that if they had of told someone it could have very well saved someone else from going through the same thing.
In my personal experience, I never thought about this fact until I was an adult, and someone came to me and said, ” If you had of said something when it happened to you, then my girls would not have had to go through this.”
In my opinion, that was just a hurtful way of blaming me for what happened to their children.
But truth be told, they needed someone to blame for their lack of parenting. With that being said, I am not blaming all parents for their children’s abuse. But in this particular case, it was in fact the parents lack of watchful eye, that caused these incidences to take place with all their children over years of time. Just as it was with my parents.
In a perpetrators mind, If they got away with it once, why not do it again? So it keeps going and going. Sadly some cases, A victim becomes a pedophile. Never-ending Cycle.
I am not writing this blog to call out anybody, nor am I trying to make people feel bad. What I am doing is bringing this topic to the surface of every parents mind.
Speak with your child on a regular basis. Ask them each and every time they go to a friends house, or even a relatives house if anything happened that they may want to talk about. Some days just out of the blue, sit down with them and discuss the chances of these things happening to them or someone that they know, are great. Be sure to make them feel comfortable in knowing they can come to you or someone in the event they feel uncomfortable. To think that it will NEVER happen to our children is being ignorant. That is why it does happen, because parents trust that their children would not let it happen or would come to them if it did. These pedophiles have more control over their little minds than one might think. They tell them things to make them afraid to speak up.
My personal fear was that If I told my parents, my dad would kill this man and be put in prison. So in my young mind, I was protecting my dad.
That was 30 years ago exactly. The experience taught me to be aware; to have the knowledge that this evil exists in our world; to be protective of my children. So in that perspective, I am grateful. Without the experience, I may sadly be one of those closed minded parents that think it will Never happen to their child(ren).
One might thing this specific type of abuse would be worse than physical or mental. Being a victim of all three, I honestly can say, for me, they are equally as effective in molding who you become as an adult.
The mental and physical abuse of a child, brings that child’s self esteem and self worth to Zero. When we are beat down enough, we start to believe that is all that we deserve. We grow into an adult that will accept any type of person in our life. We do not feel worthy of anything but what we get. This type of behavior becomes a cycle. Our parents learned it from their parents, and we are taught it by ours, therefore the chance of us passing this way of life to our own children is very high.
To discipline a child, one may think that a smack across the face will get through to them better than sitting down and communicating about the wrong deed. We may find that a good ole’ belt whipping gets through to them quicker than a discussion. Maybe it does. Maybe the fear of being beaten will keep a child under control. Maybe that belt, the back of your hand, or even your fist, will make your child respect you. Or, maybe……It is fear.
I wonder if parents feel good about making their child fear them? Is it some sort of power trip? Do they need to be the boss of someone so badly that they take that abuse that authority.
The thought of my child fearing me as a parent sickens me. My child should never want to crawl inside a shell out of harms way when it comes to me. I do in fact raise my voice from time to time, and I have been known to put my child over my knee and smack their rear ends a time or two, but to hit a child out of anger, or because I think they will learn better if I hurt them, is nonsense. I want my children to know that I am here to protect them from that harm. I want them to know that I am more intelligent when it comes to experience, and I am willing to share those experiences with them so that they may learn from my mistakes. I want to be their parent, but I also want to be their ‘go to person’ when they need me, not run from me out of fear of abuse. When young people do things wrong, accidentally or purposely, it is all a learning experience. They need someone to guide them during AND after these mess ups.
I would like to think that my abusive situations was a weird blessing to me. It taught me to think first and speak later, never discipline with an angry heart, and to always give the child in question of a wrong doing, the chance for explanation. It showed me the pain of abuse and how it can affect every aspect of my life. As an adult, I am able to cipher the difference in abuse, manipulation, trick psychology, with the difference in someone actually being loving and sincere. I do not do third chances with adults. If I feel threatened or abused, I will over look it once, but the second time would be ignorance on my part.
If a person has an abuse problem, then they need to seek council, or in my own personal opinion, Jesus. If they do that and still have an abuse problem, then unfortunately for them it is not our problem to deal with. We were not intended to be someones punching bag, mentally or physically.
If our children are abused, or even see abuse between us and our partners, then the chance they will repeat the cycle is near definite. Thankfully there are some, such as myself that it affected on a different level, and come out of it saying, ” That was not for me, and I am leaving it behind.”
Make sure that your children KNOW that you love them even when they mess up. It is okay to show your disappointment. It is okay to discipline….It is NOT okay to abuse.
Mental thought: Be the person Now, that you needed when you were younger.