Saturday, June 4, 2016

Why Didn't I Know Better?

For a long time, I didn't let that little boy off the hook.  I kept thinking, why didn't I know better?  Why didn't I tell someone to help make the abuse to stop?  Why did I let it keep happening?

These questions are common among those of us who have been sexually abused as children.  They are questions that seem to haunt survivors with no end in sight.  Unfortunately, when we are adults, we see things differently than when we were young kids.  What seems normal and reasonable to an adult is anything but that to a child.

One of the things I've done to help orient my mind from looking at this in a detrimental way is trying to find a kid that is around the age I was when the abuse happened.  I try to reason in my mind if this kid is able to stop an adult or know what is right and wrong?  Is this kid able to stand up to the child molester and say enough is enough?  Is this kid able to stop everything from happening?

The answer is usually NO! 

There is no way that a kid has the ability to understand what is going on especially when it is someone they trust or look up to or that takes care of them.  Kids aren't built with adult minds of understanding at the age most of this abuse takes place.  They are kids.  They have the mind and experience of a kid.  The child molesters know that and take advantage of this.

I'm not 100% certain when the abuse started for me.  I can remember being raped at the age of 5 and left in my own pool of blood to clean up before my mom got home.  I had no clue what as happening at that age.  The threats if I told were not just idle warnings.  I had no one I could turn to and was afraid of what would happen if I even thought about doing telling anyone.  After all, I saw my pets killed for lesser crimes.  If you think watching your pets be killed doesn't send a strong message, please have a conversation with me.

Questioning will tear you apart...

Abuse survivors have to give themselves a break.  It will tear you apart questioning why you could not have stopped things or why you didn't do something different.  The only thing you can do once you are starting to put things together is take care of the person you have become and learn to care and forgive that little kid that had no choice.

Child molesters take away the most intimate and sacred parts of us as a child.  There is no choice by the kid.  There is no consent by the kid.  The child molesters know this and they exploit it past the limits of reasonable explanation.

The next time though you are being a little too hard on yourself as a survivor, do what I do.  Find a kid that is near that age that you are remembering and then see if you can picture that little kid stopping things.  I've got a feeling, you'll find that you see things more clearly.

Most of all, just be good to that part of yourself and work on forgiving YOURSELF.  I know that isn't easy and it definitely takes time and work, but its what I found that I had to do.

Here is a blog post to think about in regards to breaking the silence.  It is a quote by Ellen Bass who wrote, "The Courage To Heal" (one of the first books I ever read on the subject).  Click the following image below to read it.

If you've found other ways that work for you on this topic, please leave a comment below. 

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