How many of you realized it was child abuse awareness month. I know I did not until I read a blog on the topic. Seems sad that it is almost the end of the month before I read something highlighting it. As a person that was abused I almost feel guilty for not being more aware and metaphorically shouting about it sooner. I have so little on my plate these days, with all the spa days and pedicures. Oh, wait that’s what I do in my short lived hours of dreams. Reality is Deployment, children, chores, girl scouts, dance classes, bills, and chores. I guess I already said chores, but those silly things never seem to go away. I guess I will not beat myself up to much!
I don’t speak much of the abuse I went through, first off its not a very fun topic. Who wants to sit around have cocktails and talk about child abuse. Oh pick me, pick me, no not really. I’ll take the cocktail and pass on the depressing conversation. Talking about it means I have to think about it and lets be honest who wants to sit around and focus on the negativity in their past. There is a lot of my story that my husband after years of marriage still does not know. Its hard for him to hear the things that happened to me and its not easy or fun for me to talk about.
I of course will not tell my whole story on here. That would be a book not a blog. But, I would be remiss if I did not try to remind people to be aware. If you suspect it, report it! My life was changed by people reporting what they suspected. I know a lot of us worry about falsely accusing someone or about the repercussions of reporting something and the person finding out we did it. I think sometimes we need to remember the repercussions for NOT reporting it could be worse or even deadly for that child.
All anyone had until I finally talked were suspicions. No one could prove a thing. Lets start by saying I was born with the deck stacked against me. My mother was continuing the cycle of abuse she was brought up in. I really wish I had more sympathy for this but as an adult that has broken the cycle. That makes it had to accept her bad choices as that of a victim. By the time I was 12 my mother had been married and divorced more times then people generally change cars in a life time. By the time I was 12 years old I had been molested or worse by five different men.
My mother would always get angry when I admitted to what was happening and toss the guy out. But, she would not just get angry with the guys. She would get angry at me, like I had ruined another one of her relationships. By the time the last abuser rolled into my mothers life. I was scared to talk, not only out of fear of him but fear of my mothers reaction.
The abuse of this last man was worse then any that had come before. He was abusive in all areas mentally, physically and sexually. My stories range from living in a van and eating only cold hot dogs and maybe bread in limited amounts. Not being allowed to pick out my own clothing or interact with other children. Having him hide in our home just to watch me and see what I would do, then scare me into never knowing if he was hiding around the next corner. It took me many years to overcome my need to leave a light on to be sure he was not hiding somewhere. To more dramatic events of being smacked around, or used like a blow up doll.
In school I was the quite kid the well behaved kid. I never caused trouble always did what was asked of me. I knew the consequences at home for drawing attention to myself. I also knew if I behaved maybe tonight I would be ignored and be able to delve into a book where there were happy people and happy endings.
There are two sides to this blog! Please please if you suspect something report it! You never know maybe your report will be the one that gets that child removed or “saved.” The other side is if you were abused there is life after abuse. I great life, don’t let your past define your future.
End note: This man ended up with a 30 year prison sentence. After psychological testing they found he had no mental compass to tell right from wrong and no ability to have remorse. He is/was one scary individual. Did you know that offenders can change there name while they are in prison? Me neither, years ago when I was a young single woman and could not find him listed in the prison data base it freaked me out a bit. I then found out he had legally changed his name.
Here is a link that shows you warning signs of child abuse! Please be aware!