‘Me too’: Millions of women share sexual assault stories as new ‘Him though’ hashtag urges men to take responsibility
‘How many women will it take to say #MeToo before men talk about #HimThough?’
The tales of the “Harvey Weinstein” is now a thread that has tangled its way through Hollywood, connecting women, mostly actresses, in a depressingly common way.
Women in general all seem to have a Harvey story, each one a little different but with essentially the same nauseating pattern and theme. Women were bullied, cajoled, manipulated, and worse, and then punished. My hope is that Hollywood makes itself an example and decides to enact real change, change that would allow women of all ages and ethnicities the freedom to tell their stories—to write them and direct them and trust that people care.
I wrote and posted this article almost a year ago (07/19/15). Due to the strong contents and thoughtful thinking of other’s feelings I pulled it off immediately; being scared of rejection, unheard and misunderstood. In recent weeks (back two years ago), I had given it some serious thoughts and realized in order to help others I need to help myself first.
…dedicated to all Adult Victims of Child Abuse…
To my friend Rose Discroll, who has given me the courage, confident and inner strength to express myself freely and to love myself again.
If you’re an adult who experienced sexual abuse as a child, know that you’re not alone. In the U.S. alone, 44% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 14, and 93% know their perpetrator. No matter what, the abuse was not your fault. It’s never too late to start healing from this experience.
Exposing Truth, those that have faith vary in their intensity of belief. Some are so convinced of the goodness of what they have faith in that, no matter what happens to cast doubt on their beliefs, they are determined to hold onto their faith for as long as they live. For them there is no alternative, they have faith that what they believe to be true is, if truth exists at all, true. Others have a faith that may be weakened by the conflicting beliefs of friends, or by the influence of unexpected events.
You cannot have faith in something or someone simply because there is nothing better to believe in. Faith cannot be based on negative choices, but must be based on a real, strong, and sometimes total; desire that what you believe should be true actually is true. You must want what you have faith in to be true. Since nothing can be fully proved or disproved, unless truth has been somehow revealed, that which people have faith in is, for them, that which is true…
This past 18 months my life has taken many twists and turns that I cannot keep up with; there are chapters in my life that are closing and opening both at the same time; people are coming into and out of life so fast that I can’t even catch a break. This past month has been the hardest for me, my family and dear friends who know me could relate to all my endures of many years seeking the truth and the answers that were never available to me; the admission of guilt from another that I long awaited for which will never happen; and the final resting of confirmation of shame. But today, as I rested and watched a film called Simon Birch, about a young boy with a stunted growth is convinced that God has a great purpose for him and heroic aspiration decides to seek out his destiny with the help of his best friend, but soon begins to doubt his faith after his long journey. I began to realize the story line was so much related to me. Do I have a purpose for God and what is it? When will I know or has it happen already. The movie interprets what is our faith in life, the truth and what you strongly believe in.
For 50 years of my life I have kept a hidden secret in fear that I thought I was responsible for and that I would suffer dearly with my life. Some changes and current events in my life in the past 18 months I’ve come to realize the only way I can help myself is to speak the truth. I am a survivor of childhood abuse. My story is my own and not my siblings (for they have their own story to tell).
Why now? Many reasons which I truly believe God has a plan. Maybe from the very first day it all started. I don’t know, but whatever it is, it has taken me on a journey doubting my Faith and why I was left behind by God (so I thought). I need to share this because the world has to realize that children are born totally innocent. Children are not property; they are not objects. The damage done to them is not imagined by the child and it is not and well ever be forgotten by the child. Even if the child blocks it out, the damage is there, lurking and festering and causing all sorts of problems and struggle for the person that it happened to.
It is not okay because it happened “in the past”, it is not excusable. The abusers are the ones who are accountable for that damage; the guilt and shame belong to them and the only way for an adult child who grew up with abuse to overcome the belief system that manifested because of that mistreatment is to realize that first of all, it really happened no matter how many times or years gone by. Those two things set me on the right road to emotional healing.
And I needed to talk about it. I needed to be heard, but not by the abusers.
Being a survivor of childhood abuse had left an experience an array of overwhelming and intense feelings of fear, guilt, and shame which I had suffered for the past 50 years. It made me a lonely woman for many years, not trusting in anyone and very little hope Faith in God. My head was never the same, I was careless, and cold hearted and strayed away from my other siblings for years. I just didn’t care about anyone or anything!
My abuser was known to tell me that it was my own fault at that time and almost twenty-one years ago my abuser said it never ever happened and I just made it all up while he laid in death bed. Typical shifting the blame away from him, where it belongs and placing it on me; along with this, my abuser made many threats to me into not speaking up; convincing me that he will bring harm and even death to my other siblings if I ever spoke about it.
“Child abuse damages a person for life and that damage is in no way diminished by the ignorance of the perpetrator. It is only with the uncovering of the complete truth as it affects all those involved that a genuinely viable solution can be found to the dangers of child abuse”.
When I was “in the fog” for many years which means not understanding exactly why some of the details about these situations were wrong, but having this “feeling” or suspicion that they were wrong, I could never put all these “facts” together and therefore I was never able to see the real truth. When I first started this blog I was afraid to share too much, I thought it would turn people off. Don’t get me wrong, the opening of my blog does mention there would be allot of interesting blogs but I was afraid that I would be seen as a “another victim story”, that I would be seen as someone who was “stuck in the past” and unable to “get over it” and that I was somehow deficient in putting the past behind me, even though I already knew that the way that I recovered was by facing the past, realizing the lies verses the truth and changing my false belief system, I was still scared of rejection and of being unheard and misunderstood. I was afraid that I was “wrong” even though this truth was what set me free.
I was also afraid that people would write comments sticking up for the abusers. I lived in a world for such a long time where the abusers were protected and the victims were to blame, that it took a long time to sort it all out. I could not go against that deeply ingrained teaching especially when it came to my parents. I still feared the same consequences that I feared when I was a child. I was pretty confused. It isn’t that we don’t live in that same world now but the difference is that I no longer believe that abusers should be protected and I no longer discount myself. I do not acknowledge that false system anymore. There is no excuse for devaluing a child; there is no excuse for mistreatment, there is no excuse for abuse. I don’t want to live in that insanity anymore.
The final outcome: Presently I am face to face once again with my abuser, after many years since we last spoke I was told I need to make amends with him and try to forgive him for his sins because he has terminal cancer! I have Faith in God, and pray everyday that my abuser will tell me to forgive him, I highly doubt it!
I have written this passage on one of my pass blogs, I just wanted to re-share again, I feel no matter what happened in the past I need to keep strong and focus.
“Peace and Mind”, more often than not, being an older woman I’ve faced my insecurities and fears head on, and have dealt with them to the best of my abilities. I have had enough life experiences to know what matters and what doesn’t. Consequently, I am above the petty nonsense. I have figured out what makes me look and feel good in the inside and out, and knows enough about relationships to not bother with feminine trivialities. I am self-confidence that could only come from experience and the knowledge whatever life has given me.
I realized that what I had been missing all of these years was a meaningful relationship with people. I re-connected with my family again; I made more time for my friends. Life was and is great. People notice this; they can see when you are happy on the inside because it shines through on the outside, this all comes from having inner strength and you can only achieve this by going within yourself and adopting strong values”.
Please, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and feelings, because someone out there is going through the same thing.
If you are an adult dealing with the effects of childhood sexual abuse, please remember that you are not responsible for the abuse and that you are not alone. You can overcome the effects the abuse may have on your life. Please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) or visit the Online Hotline. It’s never too late to get help.
Latest Update: 10/19/17 No acknowledgements; no apologizes
This moment is about you and your need to talk, your listener can wait until you are ready for some answers. Telling others about your abuse is a difficult but courageous task. It can be as much empowering to you as it seems frightening. Best of all, telling a safe person allows you to get your experience out into the open and not still bottled up inside of you. Silence is a dangerous thing, it is a stumbling block in the healing process. With courage and hard work, you too can remove all the stumbling blocks on the path of healing and reclaim your life.