This is for those who are surviving sexual abuse….alone.
Therapists and counselors will tell us as victims or survivors of sexual abuse that we are not alone when dealing with the trauma of the past. In a sense we aren’t along because it has happened to thousands of other people, so we get that. What about victims who don’t have support and are really alone?
I talk about how I have so much support from family and friends since I’ve faced my past of child sexual abuse. My awesome mom has been my number one supporter from day one. I’m thankful because even though it’s uncomfortable for her to talk to me about it, she still takes the time to check on me. I can only imagine how she feels when we talk about it. I’ve never blamed her or my father for what happened to me….and I do understand that they probably don’t know what to say or what to ask me. It’s almost like they have to treat me like a fragile piece of glass or just tread lightly anytime the subject comes up. While I do have family and friends who will listen, I can’t help but think about those who don’t have what I have. It saddens me that some victims’ family members still blame the victim for what happened, or they just push the victim away. We’re already hurting from the emotional and the internal pain. First of all, we didn’t ask to be raped, so now you want to hurt us even more? Blaming us and pushing us away is like saying “You don’t care that it happened” or “It just doesn’t matter that it happened.”
Check out this short story from “The Courage to Heal.”
“My mother and I went shopping for my wedding dress, and over lunch she asked me if I had ever been sexually abused. I think she was searching for a reason why I’d pulled back so much. So I told her, ‘Yes, I was sexually abused,’ and initially she believed me. But when I told her it had been my father, that’s when all the lights went out. I started getting threatening phone calls from my family. My father was FedExing me letters, saying, didn’t I remember the good times? The he said I’d been brainwashed and that my therapist had planted this idea I my head. My parents insisted that I was crazy. My brother threatened to come over and beat me up. My whole extended family—cousins, aunts uncles, everybody—went on the attack against me. None of them speak to me anymore.”
My heart goes out to you who have to deal with family blaming you for your abuse. Please believe me when I tell you, you are not the blame. Sometimes you have to separate from family in order to heal. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love them, but it means you love yourself enough to get better. Surround yourself around other survivors who understand what you’re going through. There are others out there who are going through the exact same thing. There are others who don’t have the support system. I know it hurts. It hurts because the people who you expected to support you don’t. The people who you expected to be concerned about your feelings aren’t. It hurts. When you hurt, I hurt because I honestly feel your pain. I know the emotions you are experiencing. I know the pain you’re feeling. Let me encourage you. Although your family may not support you right now, continue to seek help. Love yourself enough until you know that you are not worthless. YOU ARE VALUED. YOU MATTER. YOU TOO CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. YOU TOO HAVE A PURPOSE. YOU CAN MAKE IT. YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO ENDURE.