It's paralyzing to carry any type of shame. It can eat a person alive. With child abuse, even though logic says that is isn't your fault, shame can be the reality. Feeling broken and damaged is normal. Being ashamed of what is happening behind closed doors, wether it be a parent or family member or someone else, is a given. It is a reality of how a child who is being abused feels. The grooming, the manipulation, the fear, the threats - we take shame with us throughout our lives. We fight and work hard to overcome the shame.
Empathy can drown out the shame. Being able to talk about the past, being heard and acknowledged - is what breaks down the shame. It is time to discuss child abuse, its time to talk about something that is tearing apart our children, silence can be no more.
One of the reasons that child sexual abuse thrives is because of the shame and fear associate with talking about it. The silence around child sexual abuse perpetuates the issue - TALKING ABOUT IT IS ONE OF THE BEST TOOLS WE HAVE TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN AND TO HELP SURVIVORS THRIVE.
“Owning our story can be hard, but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.” — Brené Brown
"When are you going to stop talking about the abuse that happened to you?" Question of the day. I am always taken aback with these types of comments. It was interesting, as yesterday I had just finished a podcast with Brené Brown discussing shame and showing up. This comment I received today was anonymous and something that Brené mentioned on the podcast really resonated with me.
She basically said that to receive anonymous comments is petty and cheap. That folks need to show up and come into the arena and then give their feedback. Of course I have heard it before, "Don't read the comments." But tshe is right, to receive feedback, hateful and mean comments and to not show up fully while giving that feedback, is cheap and unacceptable.
It is very hard to hate face to face. Show up and say what you need to say, but do it in person. Have the courage to stand behind what you are saying - if it is true and worthy of airtime - it will remain standing. But I have to say that I don't care what anyone thinks. I will take feedback from those that matter, but those that won't show up, those that are anonymous or are providing feedback from a distance - I am sorry but your opinion doesn't matter to me.
The reality is this. Until there is ZERO child abuse in our towns, in our cities, our counties, our state, our country, our world...I won't stop talking about the abuse that happened to me. I won't stop listening to others and hearing their story, I WILL NOT SHUT UP. It isn't going to happen. I am not here - going through my journey to make you comfortable, I am here to help make change. The truth always has legs and will always remain standing.
“Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”
— Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
I share these thoughts to help those who have and are struggling. You too can overcome the horrific impacts of child abuse. You are stronger than the abuse that you suffered. You will know the right time.
To the rest of you...Please - hear, see and listen - victims and survivors need us to change the world. #BeLoudCSA
"Being quiet and hidden is no longer an option." - Pennie Saum