Victims will ALWAYS end up doing the time…… One way or another… I’ll explain as I go along…. Just please bear with me… And know that we CAN and DESERVE to heal…….
There are a lot of things I have not talked about, as much as I like to dispel stigma, there are things in my past that I’ve not talked about. Such as being molested by a female babysitter when I was about 8 or 9, who lived across the street, from where I grew up. Or that I was “date” raped (of the “blind” date variety) , 6 years PRIOR to my gastric bypass, at almost my heaviest, at the age of 26, because we live in a society that while there are so many resources in place, there are still so many travesties that are put upon others, that are not talked about.
Because of stigma, of course. And because of the shame we carry and the secrets we feel we HAVE to keep and we shouldn’t have to….. We meaning, others and myself who have not come forward, yet.
It’s not difficult for me, to metaphorically, wear a hair shirt on the internet, so to speak, regarding the neglect that I so heartbreakingly and so unintentionally, put my children through when in I was in both a medical and mental health crisis from about 2006 to 2008. I accept that as my due. My hopes have always been, in talking about that horrible period of time in our lives, is that given the fact I can’t take it back, that to honor my children, I talk about it, in hopes of helping other families. And it has helped other families get the help they need, as well as support to stay strong until that help arrived.
As there was a lot of things and systems that failed my children and I, in making it much harder than it should’ve been, to get the help that I tried to get for my children, who I loved more than anything, and myself (who I didn’t love) when I saw that I was getting sicker both medically and psychologically. To the point it was too physically painful and emotionally excruciating to know that I was not the best person to take care of them, anymore.
However, I would’ve seriously hurt anyone who would have victimized my children in the way that I had been, humiliatingly and violently. If not killed anyone who would violently harmed, my children. Or I would’ve pressed charges against anyone who would do that to them, at the very least. I was their biggest advocate for the longest time for normal childhood things, though and I should’ve been. I was their Mother. And again, it does bear repeating that I did try to get help when I knew I was at my sickest, as the last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt them in any way.
BUT, it’s not so easy to talk about for me to talk about the times in my life where I’ve been victimized. I’ve mentioned briefly and on occasion on my blogs, the horrific bullying I went through as a fat child when I was very young (preschool) to adulthood. That’s what makes me an anti-bullying advocate.
So I’ve never really talked about, at any great length (actually, AT ALL) the time I was molested by a teenage female babysitter, to anyone or the time I was date raped but because I was fat and it was by a man who was respected in society, that I figured no one would’ve ever believed me. Even though I knew intellectually, that rape is not a sexual act, it’s an act of violence and it’s about humiliation, I just somehow filed it away. Only to briefly talk about it with friends, closest to me. Around the time it happened,which was about 6 years before my gastric bypass. And not to be mentioned again. It never came up in my psychiatric hospitalization pre and post suicide attempt. It never got brought up in therapy, before or after. Which I stopped going to, in 2011.
But SOMEHOW, in my digital universe, it’s being reinforced that it needs to be brought up. RIGHT NOW. Perhaps, in my bringing it up, maybe others who’ve experienced similar or any type violent trauma or victimization, will come forward in hopes of healing. As well as preventing these, if not any heinous act, being perpetrated, in the first place. Or preventing them from happening again to ourselves or to others.
The biggest shame I’ve carried around and have not dealt with up until now, is that it has ALWAYS haunted me, on an intellectual level as well as emotional, is that I could’ve, if not without a doubt, failed innocent others, by not reporting these crimes. Because, by not doing so, thinking no one would believed me, also left the door open for those who have victimized me, in a criminal way, to be able to do that to OTHERS. That is probably caused me more shame and hurt that I left others to potentially be harmed, than the harm that was brought to me.
The catalyst that made me decide to come forward with what happened to me, was based upon a heartbreaking situation of a young girl who was repeatedly raped by her brother but chose not to say anything. It was an Upworthy link, shared by one of my Facebook friends, tonight.
The last thing I want to do in a circumstance so tragic, because not only of the circumstances that tragically and repeatedly violated her, but that as a young woman, she’s actually dying from something else. But has chosen not to go public with her circumstances. I don’t want to take away the peace of mind that she’s fought so hard for. But I can’t help wonder, if her brother has horrifically victimized more innocent people. This is why I’m writing this.
(Note: Resource and support for victims is on the Upworthy link toward the bottom. Also note, in my case I’ve never hated those who’ve done harm to me, I’ve hated what they did. I, obviously am struggling with complete forgiveness, as a means to my healing, but it’s not for me to say that isn’t the best way for anyone else to heal .But I also absolutely believe that people can heal without forgiving those who’ve caused them such horrific harm.)
I remember running into my teenage female babysitter (who did have a drug problem at that time and I learned later was also abused sexually by her father prior ) who abused me, when I was an adult. She had a young daughter. I was with my son who was a toddler at the time and this was before the rape. It was at a local yogurt place and when she recognized me and introduced me to her young daughter, who was actually my age, when she abused me. As soon as she left, I had to go quickly to the bathroom and throw up.
I also did end up bizarrely also running into the person who raped me, on the internet, a year later, after the rape. It’s not going to help my healing or others to talk about what happened in that situation. But it makes sense now why I have such a lack of regard for myself and no self esteem for so long. When other people tell you or show you that you aren’t worth anything, it’s human nature to believe it. I say that as a survivor, but as an activist, I have bigger responsibility. But I have to obviously help myself in someway, to have credibility in helping others get help that they need to heal.
In NO way, would I want to do harm on people who’ve suffered horrific abuse of any kind by trying to shame them, in any way, to come forward if they just absolutely cannot. Or to press charges. I do want though to bring attention to the fact that perpetrators of horrific crime usually do NOT have just ONE victim. And ONE victim, is ONE victim too many.
I can’t be the one to tell you what is best for you, to heal. Only to caution you, as I’m learning that while I never deserved to be violated in the manner that I was, that my biggest regrets, as it applies to myself, SHOULD HAVE been TWOFOLD. That I SHOULD HAVE fought back out of respect to myself, to the fullest extent of the law. As well as forgiving myself for failing others who may have been spared being violated in the same way I was, because I chose not to act in fear and because of self loathing.
But at this point, I need to forgive myself and move on. And if you’ve been in similar circumstances and reacted the same way, you deserve peace and healing. And what you need for that to happen may require professional help. And sadly I can only bring attention as an activist. I don’t have the qualifications that are necessary to help others in circumstances like this other than trying to remove the stigma and make you see that the secrecy and shame we carry is not ours to bear.
IF this helps one person, to get the help they need to heal, it was worth the heartache and humiliation that I hope to let go, from going public with this…