Isn’t this dancing girl precious? When we see photos like this, we assume that all little girls are loved and cherished. We assume her parents perceive her to be a gift from God.
But, is she?
Yesterday, I shared in my Journey to Joy post the fact that I had been sexually molested by my Uncle Johnny with help from my Aunt Ruth, who was my father’s sister. I revealed information I’ve never shared with anyone ~ not even my therapists.
During my hypnotherapy with Kate, I strongly suspect we will discover this wasn’t my first incest experience. I don’t recall the experience which could have taken place when I was an infant. But, I do know that I was way more sexually aware than is normal for a toddler. There is other evidence that I lost my virginity at a far earlier age than I thought. I’m not ready to explore this yet.
As a Saggitarius, I’m big on telling the truth. Yet, omission can allow a lie to perpetuate. Sometimes it flat out isn’t safe to tell the truth.
Yet, when we fail to tell the whole truth, the person who abused us remains in control of our lives. People wonder why we behave strangely. We can’t get valid feedback about destructive behavior patterns because those who might help us don’t have the full picture.
We Can’t Heal Until We Tell the Truth
I got this message from Tyler Perry’s movie I Can Do Bad All By Myself and from yesterday’s horoscope:
Although you may be facing the same stresses as everyone else. . .beneath your everything-is-beautiful veneer, tensions at work might be finally getting to you. Instead of putting energy into making your life appear happy, just tell it like it is. When others see you have problems too, they will be able to better relate to you on an individual basis. Showing vulnerability can be tough, but it opens the door for a truly honest relationship.
WOW! I read Rick Levine’s horoscope predictions mostly for daily amusement, but every once in awhile he nails it with advice I really need to hear.
I started to cry. OK. We’re telling the truth. I got hysterical. During the wee hours of the morning yesterday, I had told the truth about something I had keep secret for almost 50 years. And, I read a post by a pro-life blogger that caused me to finally come out swinging about another truth that absolutely breaks my heart.
Then, I got one of those chain e-mail messages from my friend Julie. When each of us looks at the photo of that little girl, we make assumptions about her life. Our assumptions have absolutely nothing to do with her reality and everything to do with our own reality. If we were cherished, we will see an adorable child we assume is much loved. If we were sexually molested, we will have concern for her safety. If our parents exploited us, we will wonder if she was the model for the statue. We each could be right. We all could be wrong.
What we perceive reflects more who we are than what’s actually happening. And, so many of us have been so thoroughly conditioned to maintain a facade that folks are shocked to learn what has gone on behind the closed doors of our seemingly idyllic lives.
This isn’t going to be the whole truth, because it isn’t safe for me to say some things. But, y’all are smart enough to read between the lines and fill in the blanks.
The “Life” Sentence of Unwanted Kids
Pro-life advocate Rev. Katherine at KeepLifeLegal wrote a post about PTSD and abortion, “Is the Past Really in the Past?” I wrote a comment which she opted not to post. In fairness to her, she did e-mail me privately and share that she would not post it because I had requested anonymity.
I wrote in my comment what I’d love to say to every person with a pro-life bumper sticker on their cars:
While I can appreciate your angst about abortion, I hope sometime you will visit my own web site to read what happens to those of us who were unmercifully NOT aborted.
Hell on earth is being an unwanted child. . .a child who is not protected from incest and child abuse or dating abuse or domestic violence or stalking and sexual harassment. . .because the parents never wanted the child in the first place. . .never wanted to accept the responsibility of rearing that child and giving that child a proper foundation for life.
I am like a feral cat lost in the wilderness wondering why I am cold and alone while all the other kitties have loving homes.
I urge you to go to custody court and juvenile court to see what happens to these unwanted kids. The foster care system is loaded with them. Many of these kids are beaten and murdered by their parents.
I passionately believe that unless people want to personnally assume responsibility for rearing these unawanted kids ~ with all the psychological issues that are attendant to being unwanted ~ that y’all ought to mind your own damned business.
I am 60 years old, devoutly religious, and I wish to God every day of my life that I had never been born to my parents. I am certain that if God needed my special talents that I would have been born instead into a loving home where my talents would have been nurtured, and I would have entered the adult world prepared to thrive and find joy.
I am profoundly disabled due to Complex-PTSD and suicidal depression. I have a 165 IQ and three degrees that mean nothing.
This is what happens to those kids you demand be born. You are sentencing them to a life in hell.
If you are offended by this, I am sorry. But, I think you need to consider the consequences of your passionate guilt. [My hunch is that Rev. Katherine is attempting to atone for having an abortion in her zealous pro-life crusade.]
If you want to make a difference that means something in our world, help those unwanted kids. There are way too many of them out there who will never get a solid foundation for their lives because their parents wish they didn’t exist.
How many times could you be reminded that you were unwanted and unloved before YOU lost your mind?
“Life’s” Expendable Pawns
Unwanted children are conditioned to play the role of expendable pawn. We don’t expect to receive protection because we’ve never had this experience. As Whitney Houston revealed on Oprah, people who are backed up by fiercely protective family and friends tend not to experience domestic violence. Abusers know there will be consequences.
Abusers look for the proverbial vulnerable lamb lacking a protective guardian. It is the lamb that is not embraced by the flock that is easy prey for the wolf.
My father had a booming, intimidating voice. He could cut someone down with a five second look. His high school students were all male. His children were all female. I learned at his memorial service that he had told the boys in our small, rural high school that it was better to get a girl pregnant than to crash a car ~ there were fewer consequences.
On Halloween he loved to dress up in a costume designed to terrorize kids. He carried a huge club with a spike in the end of it.
But, that club didn’t come out to protect me from my uncle or from an abusive judge who had pointed a loaded gun at me and threatened to kill me. I wouldn’t need to be in an Address Confidentiality Program if my father had used his intimidating voice to tell the judge to find a new and more healthy hobby. The club didn’t come out to protect me from the weekly sexual advances from my father’s best friend, who was a retired Methodist minister.
I was an expendable pawn in my family long before I became an expendable pawn in the high-stakes political arena of a judge who was elected to his state’s supreme court on the platform that he had “extensive experience in family and child abuse.” Right. Hands-on.
Gifts from God or Burdens?
Children who are perceived as gifts from God by their parents can overcome horrific abuse. Children who get repeated messages that they are perceived as burdens, however, never have a chance to make profitable lemonade from life’s lemons because their little stand lacks a solid foundation. These kids never thrive and find joy. They spend their entire lives barely subsisting and surviving.
If an Enlightened Witness never shows up for them, they end up murdered, commit suicide, and/or are imprisoned for life (with or without bars). Some join the military, become “bullet-catchers,” and/or return home with horrific Complex-PTSD. These are the kids who commit mass and serial murders. They never get their parents’ blessing or redemption. Nobody ever protects them. They are life’s expendable pawns.
Adoption Alternative to Pro-Life
If you are stridently pro-life, I encourage you to find just one kid in the foster system and bring that child into your home. Embrace that child with everything you’ve got. You may not ever completely repair the damage that’s already been done to that child’s soul, but your unconditional love will at least give the kid a chance to thrive and find joy.
If you aren’t able to adopt, put your energies into a mentoring program.
Alice Miller’s research proves that by being an enlightened witness for a child that you can make the difference between that kid having a chance and that kid becoming destructive.