Ok, here goes. I was abused badly through out my child hood and teenage years. I won’t go into too many specifics just yet, as I’m still concerned about potential consequences, so I’m waiting until after I talk to a therapist. However, as I said yesterday, I cannot stay silent on this issue any longer.
Among the many abuses I suffered as a child, sexual abuse is at the forefront. I don’t have any memory of being sexually abused, but my mom told me that of everyone involved I got it the worst. The sexual abuse didn’t end when I became a teenager, however, the thing that changed was that my abusers were ones that I chose for myself, and they didn’t always know that they were hurting me. In a way, I became my own abuser, putting myself in situations where I was likely to be hurt in that way, because I didn’t feel like I deserved better.
I also suffered through a lot of emotional and psychological abuse, both at home and at school. I had bladder control issues, I sucked my thumb, and I got braces when I was fairly young, and the kids at school were relentless in their ridicule. At home my parents used shame as a weapon in the fight to raise righteous, well mannered children, a practice that was still fairly common back then. Complaining was unacceptable, and was often met with biting remarks about the world not being a fair place, so you better “suck it up.”
Of every thing that I went through, probably the least of these was the physical abuse. It was never bad enough to land me in the hospital, to this day I have never had a single broken bone, but the threat of violence was always present. My parents both had short fuses, a trait which I sadly inherited, and they were under a great deal of pressure. I’m not trying to make excuses for them, they know what they did was wrong, and they work every day to try and make amends for their parts in my not so happy upbringing.
On that note, I’d like to switch gears a little here, and bring a little light to these shadows of my past. I did not have the worst childhood imaginable. In fact, there was a lot of good there, right along side the bad. I did not have it as bad as some people I know, and there are probably people out there that have even darker stories to tell. My parents may not have always been the best, but one thing I always knew was that in their own way they loved me, and that love was fierce, unbridled, and protective.
Even though I have a great many issues with self esteem, I like who I am. I truly love who I am on the inside, and all of my issues with worth are only skin deep. Don’t get me wrong, they still hurt. I can’t look myself in the mirror and say, “I love you,” with out crying bitter tears of inadequacy, but my mind, and my artistic soul are beautiful things that I would never change. I love my morbid sense of humor, and my warm heart. With out the trauma I went through, I wouldn’t be such a wonderfully diverse human being, so I wouldn’t take any of it back if I could.
Having said that, I want to make it perfectly clear that I don’t support, condone, or promote child abuse. If you are abusing your child, please stop and get both you and your child the help you need to move past it. If you are currently being hurt by someone you love, try to understand that you don’t deserve it, no matter what you did, whether you ar seven or seventy, and tell someone who can help you to get out. If you see someone behaving inappropriately with a child, don’t be afraid to say something, and don’t blow it off because it’s none of your business. It’s everybody’s business, because children are our future, and that child could grow up to have a huge impact on the world, for good or for bad. It is the responsibility of every human on this earth to make sure that they have that opportunity, and that we steer them toward good.
If you have any questions, or if you have your own story about abuse, and you are ready to share, please feel free to leave a comment, or contact me directly by clicking here. I know being abused can make you feel isolated and alone, but there are so many of us out there, and we are not alone. Our stories may be as diverse as the stars in the sky, but we can all join together and help each other, if we try.