Things have been a little crazy....just the way I like it. But this last 2 months have been interesting. I have re-connected with many friends from years past... During those reconnections I realized during our conversations how many people didn't or don't know what happened back in the day. I had reactions from "OH MY GOD!", "OH I AM SO SORRY", then "Wow, so what's the weather like in Washington", and "I am so glad you shared that with me....I have never told anyone, but......".
The one thing I realized during all of these moments with many different friends and acquaintances over the past 2 months is that I need to speak about this more. Not because I want attention or pity, but because there are so many out there that have yet to find their voice.
One in particluar I referenced above, hasn't ever spoken of the abuse she experieinced at the hands of a grandfather, but the abuse is real and she is torn on what to do even to this day. Her grandfather is dead, but she is carrying guilt, hate, embarassment, anger, the inability to love, and many other emotions and problems in her life day after day.
She mentioned to me that if I hadn't said anyting to her or shared this with her, she wouldn't have ever spoke the words outloud. That made me sad. All these years.....38 years later....she is still carrying this horrible burden. What a terrible way to live or exist in your life. I didn't have the answers for her, I am not smart enough nor educated enough to fix this or guide her in the right thing to do. The only thing that came to mind at that moment to say was: "Speak your mind -- even if your voice shakes."
There are times when we want to say something, be something, stand for something, fight for something, love someone, etc......we all have it within us. "Speak your mind -- even if your voice shakes." And I promise you your voice will shake, and your stomach will be in knots, and you will struggle to get the words out....but DO IT!
I honestly, have to be careful now---> I have a tendency to over-share. Sometimes my stories of abuse really make people uncomfortable. I have had some people ask me to stop talking about, some turn beet-red, some just leave, and other ask for me to share more and how I have changed. But unless you FIND YOUR VOICE and share your experiences---you can't heal, forgive, or change the lives of those around you.
First step in forgiveness....."FIND YOUR VOICE.....Speak your mind -- even if your voice shakes."
Praying for lives to be changed. Love you all!
A quote that really hit me today that I wanted to share with you all--Thank you to all those that have touched my life and those that are impacting my life now. The bits and morsels and large impacts that each of you have are tremendous and invaluable!
"There are those whose lives affect all others around them. Quietly touching one heart, who in turn,
touches another. Reaching out to ends further than they would ever know."
Some stats about reporting child abuse vs. how many victims there are:
In North America, approximately 15 percent to 25 percent of women and 5 percent
to 15 percent of men report being sexually abused as children. And these numbers
are low, because the number of reported cases is much lower than the number of
actual cases. Annually there are more than 2 million cases of child abuse and
neglect reported in the United States. Of these 2 million cases, approximately
150,000 to 200,000 are new cases of sexual abuse.