Posted by: Judy | November 28, 2011

I am an Abuse Survivor 1

I posted this at another blog, and realized it belonged here.

My heroes… Abuse Survivors….

Abuse survivors who choose to be chain breakers, to not pass the abuse along to another victim.

This post could/will be triggering for some readers, as it addresses issues of sexual abuse. Do I think someone’s child could read it? With an adult. It won’t contain much that hasn’t been in the news recently. It would be a good opportunity to talk about boundaries and respect for self and others. If you haven’t been abused yourself, you know someone who has been, even if you don’t realize it. When I was growing up the statistics stated that 1 in 4 to 1 in 3 girls and boys do not make it out of their teen years without being sexually abused. I’ve heard more recent statistics that suggest that the number is greatly underestimated, because so much is unreported. Particularly when you consider that in society, there is such a double standard, the other direction. It’s abuse for girls but “atta boy” for boys, dismissing that sexual experience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The diseases alone ought to be enough warning of both the external and internal dangers to deter anyone with half a brain. It doesn’t impact the body alone, but the mind, heart, and spirit as well. Worse, for far too many, the abuse is not a one-time event but repeated.

Many of the following thoughts have been hanging around in a rough draft for a long time, waiting until I felt ready to share them. It’s ugly, and it’s painful. There comes a time when you have to stop pretending like that elephant isn’t in the living room. It’s there, and I’m willing to talk about, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Tell the truth, no matter how uncomfortable… was the original title of this post. I didn’t want to use a heroes type of post; I don’t see myself that way. I’ve fretted and waffled and squirmed, then decided to post this for the first time on a day and a weekend when it would see little traffic. It belongs here. So starting the week with the tough stuff. This is not pretty or fun. I debated with myself. I know some people will see me differently. I know that this will burn some bridges. And yet how do I know I need to follow through, no matter how difficult? It lays on my heart like a weight, making it near impossible to concentrate on anything else. So, I pray God will be able to use what I write here to help someone step onto the path of healing or turn a stumbling block into a stepping stone.

Never underestimate the power of telling the truth. That being said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.” – Barry Stevens, born Mildred Fox.

The trigger for me: What’s been going on with Penn State started it. An expose on a different incident aired on the news. And then a place I enjoy visiting shared a picture for the picture itself, without taking into account the words on the picture. I could have simply stopped going, saying nothing. But I couldn’t remain silent and stated that being a sexual abuse survivor, the implications made me cry. The picture was removed with an apology. There are plenty of things that don’t appeal to me, and I have the right not to look. And have done so on numerous occasions, without a problem. Not this time. It triggered flashbacks. I was trembling, and crying, and felt crushed and betrayed. And it wasn’t about them. It was me recognizing that I had established boundaries that were violated, however unwittingly, and I had to take hold of my courage with both hands and stand up for me without being nasty about it. I don’t know how successful I was. I still feel out of sorts. I want to feel proud of myself for standing up for me, but I simply feel tired and sad about the whole unfortunate event.

I know, I’ve left out a lot of information. The details don’t actually matter, because if it hadn’t been this, it would have been something else. And to be honest, this post is more for me than anyone else. I needed to know how far I’ve come in my journey to healing.

What I learned from the experience: I have a line that I will not cross, not for any reason. And that line isn’t where I thought it was. I now know the defining difference between my no-go areas as opposed to my prefer-not-to-go areas. I will not remain silent anymore. I am willing to be vulnerable, and making that choice strengthens me even as it scares me. Others may be embarrassed or uncomfortable with my decision to speak out, but I will not be ashamed anymore. I never should have been in the first place, but it’s a difficult lie to overcome.

I read an article that questioned whether or not sexual abuse really was abuse. It is, but it isn’t about sex; it’s about power. Disgusting, despicable, evil. EVIL. The sex is used to humiliate and control. Something good and sacred is turned to filth and evil. It’s the final violation of all boundaries, because it is inflicted on the body and the mind and the spirit. It’s a brutal attack on trust. There is no excuse. These degenerate, depraved individuals that violate others in such a depraved manner need psychological help, and if they still aren’t able to grow a conscience, then they need to be put in jail in order to protect society from their perverted insanity.

Ritual abuse is real and is usually wrapped up in church rituals, to glean trust and respectability, though there are other forms of it as well. You only have to see the face of evil once to know how real it is. This is not spirituality as the abusers like to claim; this is evil all dressed up in pretty clothes to make it more palatable. These liars go hand-in-hand with those who declare that sex between adults and children is perfectly normal and causes the children no harm, because it’s all love. How Evil must laugh with glee for cloaking itself so cleverly.

Incest isn’t only between parents and children. It’s often between siblings, or close relatives. Family is supposed to be the relationship of trust on which we build all others. Someone who is trusted and loved violates their power and authority over someone who should be protected. Again, they will call it love, but an honest lover does not destroy the loved one. And that is what must be done for this behavior to continue. The victim must be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually crushed in order for the predator to maintain power and control. The predator will always blame the victim, and lie without compunction.

I saw a recent report about how victims are encouraged to call the police. I scoffed and shook my head at the ignorance regarding victims. Some will, but most will not. The victim is brutally taught that it is their fault, and that they are to blame.

The following quote was made in regards to a Washington scandal, but is an accurate statement regarding predators: Kirsten Powers wrote – “But even if I could see past the lying and extreme narcissism that is noteworthy even by Washington standards, there is the issue of his attitude toward women. What has emerged is a picture of a predator trolling the Internet for women—some half his age—with which to engage in cybersex…. This is not about sex. It’s about dominating and inflicting physical pain on a woman, a fantasy the hard-core porn industry makes billions of dollars on selling to men.”

Talking with my dear friend, the other day, we both realized that the problem with calling it sexual abuse is that it isn’t about sex. It’s about power. Power to control, manipulate, and destroy another human being for the predator’s own gratification. They can rename it, disguise it, try to normalize it all they want, calling it love or affection or obsession or irresistible, but it’s a lie all the same. It’s the attempted murder of a soul. And sometimes it succeeds, when you consider how many abuse victims commit suicide, because they can’t live with what happened.

Penn State certainly isn’t the first time this kind of thing has happened, and it won’t be the last. How does this evil continue to perpetuate? “It’s a secret.” It’s shameful. It’s horrific. It’s someone else. It couldn’t possibly be true. Excuse me? Why not? But go ahead and choose your excuse of the day. Maybe if we pretend it isn’t there, it will go away. It won’t.

The only way to end this evil is to drag it into the light, and not allow it to crawl back into the safety of darkness.

Sunlight is a great sanitizer, and the Son’s Light is the perfect sanitizer.


  1. Great post. The more that the evil is exposed and talked about, the more people will be aware of it and talk about it, and the cycle will continue. I think sexual abuse/power abuse is being talked about more and more, but clearly there is still a very long way to go, since the Penn State thing has just happened, and they were looking the other way for years.
    Thanks for having the courage to post this. I am sure it will help others, as it is already helping you now. Healing happens slowly, but it happens, thank God.
    C.S. Lewis states that everything Satan does is essentially a good or pleasurable thing– gifts from God, such as eating, sexual intimacy, etc.– turned inside out. Sometimes it is turned inside out(ruined) by excess in general — moderation in all things is healthier, better, even moral– but sometimes the good gift is turned inside out by perverting it, as happens with sexual abuse/power abuse.

    Keep up the good work. Slow and steady wins the race. (Not car racing, though. 🙂 )

    • Love C.S. Lewis! Thanks ((Mary)) 🙂

  2. Excellent post. Thoughts swirl through my mind. I am always mystified why people have implied that I should be ashamed for being a sexual/power abuse survivor. I am not the one that should be ashamed. They also imply that the victim ‘wants’ it. This to me is the ultimate projection with the victim suffering the consequences.

    • Yes, that last one is Evil having the last laugh. Until the victim becomes a thriving survivor. Then it reminds me of a forwarded email that still makes me smile: Be the kind of woman that when you roll out of bed in the morning, the devil thinks: Crap. She’s up. 😀

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