Suffering childhood abuse, it’s a topic that is in the news every day. Especially now with all of the celebrities that are speaking out about the events that happened in their lives when they were first starting out.
On social media, people are asking, “why wait 20, 25, or 30 years to talk about it?” It’s simple really. For most, it boils down to shame. For others, fear. I think, for celebrities, it would include their desire to continue to work in their chosen field.
How do I know?
I was abused for a period as a child. I don’t broadcast it from the roof tops, in fact, I rarely speak about it. When it happened, I disavowed anything happening to me at all. Talking about such a thing as a child is rarely done until the person is into adulthood and trying to figure out why their life is falling apart.
The fact is, it happened. I can’t undo it. Does it affect me now? Yes, to an extent it does, even though I spent years in therapy dealing with the shame of the experience.
The difficult aspect of all of this is admitting that something happened in the first place. The fact is, I was raped when I was twelve years old. It wasn’t a family member. and in all honestly, who it is no longer matters. Pointing a finger at that person would gain no benefit. They have been gone from this world for more than 20 years.
I turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with this part of my childhood. Later as a teen, I got into a lot of fights, and turned to crime as a means of affirmation and because I didn’t think I was worthy.
Just before I was a senior in high school, my probation officer gave me two choices, I chose the path that didn’t lead to prison and had myself placed in a group home. There, I began to heal.
In life, there are periods when we can’t or won’t direct the events in our life appropriately. This happens especially during that transition from child to teen, when we are impressionable. Coming from a single parent home didn’t help; though, I give my mom credit for holding the family together, she did all she could using the tools that were available at the time.
In honesty, she has no idea I was raped. I couldn’t speak about this to her then. If she were to read it now, I am not sure how she would respond, and after all this time, that scares me. And really, I don’t know why. I am a grown man, telling my story to strangers, and can’t tell my own mom.
We become experts at deflecting people into those parts of our lives that we are most vulnerable. It’s a survival mechanism I think. Give these people a break for having the strength to bring to light such a horrible topic. It is difficult to speak of, it takes strength to point that finger and speak the words. #MeToo