MY FANTASY FAMILY

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Families do it all wrong. It is not just the victim who needs to speak of the attacks in the nights, and who did them, but so does the aggressor. Families remain quiet and take every measure to silence the child. Whatever it takes, because of their own shame and fear of what others will say or think about the family if others found about sexual abuse within the family system.

If that means killing the life essence of the little girl to silence her, so be it. The damage this causes for a child is a death sentence for life. I still struggle with those voices that silence me, that make me hate myself. Because how can I learn love if I knew that love came only with my silence over the crimes and heinous acts committed on my young body?

I learned that I am hated, unloved, and unworthy, no matter how much lip service is given otherwise. The original crimes went unpunished and I ate them. Literally. 

And does the offender get a chance at a life? Not really. If we make mistakes we want to correct them, apologize, learn better, and go on as a whole person living a full life and feeling accepted. With secrets and sorrows and debilitating shame over past crimes or horrible acts, how does one build a life?

Families keeping secrets out of their own shame, and fear of soiling their reputation, is not fair— first for the victim, the child, but also not fair for the attacker, the aggressor. All of it needs to come out. Out in the open. It’s done, it happened.

Love, support, attention and compassion is showered on the child, and the family rallies around her taking a stand against aggression. The aggressor must show true regret to be welcomed back into the pack. All are on watch to insure that the aggressor never be left alone with the child again and protecting her from further attacks becomes a permanent priority.

These are the things that must happen. This is what stops the death of the child. This allows her to lick her wounds and heal right then when the wounds are incurred. She can grow strong, solid, whole and know she is loved in every fiber of her being.

And the aggressor, whether Dad, Grandpa, brother, Uncle Ned or a family friend, has a chance to remain part of the family if he does the work to change and make amends. He must show true sorrow.

The aggressor has a chance at a real life too. One where he can work at being better, having made a mistake but been forgiven and accepted back into the fold with exceptions, but given a chance. And if he works hard enough at making amends, he too can have a full life and be a better person.

The way families deal with it, and have since the beginning of time, ruins not just one life, not two, but the entire family’s. These secrets pull everyone down into a blurry purgatory, no one rising to the surface where clear air revives and makes new. No one.  

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11 thoughts on “MY FANTASY FAMILY

  1. I wish that families reacted I. The way that you describe. No one ever talked about my abuse, nothing happened to my brother and I eventually got kicked out of the family because of my bad behavior. My brother on the other hand was the good one. Smart, good family, wife and kids. Little did they know he was the sex addict, adulterer, child beater and raped his own daughter. He makes me sick!

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  2. This is a great post. Very few people seem to understand the dangers of staying silent or sweeping abuse under the rug. It will have devastating effects on not only the victim, but the abuser, and possibly, future victims. Thank you for sharing this.

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  3. My father lived for over 60 years after the ‘incest, and he never once had a single, positive word to say. Healing has made it more difficult for myself, in that there are wounds, that no matter how much therapy I get, will never really heal. My family is spread around the country, one who isn’t speaking to any of us. My father carried his guilt til he died in 2004, at the age of 74. I am now approaching my 60’s and it has been a long, difficult and lonely life.

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    1. I know Karen. Thank you for your eloquent heart-felt response. I just wish things had been easier for you. You’re a fighter though and have accomplished a lot and also you have a great smile… : ) in spite of all the challenges and struggles…

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  4. Families do it all wrong. No kidding. Its painful to imagine what we should have had, but it’s also healing in some ways. I’m sorry this is all weighing so heavily on you these days. Sending you hugs if you want them and support. Xx

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    1. Sure I want them.. Seth’s rejection has affected me much more deeply than I had imagined. But there is a learning involved in the process, a very important one. I’m just trying to figure out what it is. I’m thinking it has A LOT to do with really learning what self-love is about.

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        1. It is very hard getting over the cloying feeling of having done something wrong. How could I have done it better, with no thought of how could he have. And continuing to work on the love thyself work in the face of rejection is a task, but maybe it is one that finally needs doing. Is it possible? Those old family requirements of quietly taking in other’s scorn and rejection is hard to buck.
          Thank you. Support is welcomed…

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