by Wendy Keller
Jerry Sandusky may finally get what he deserves, but like most people, my heart goes out to the kids. I think most normal, healthy adults wonder how in the heck this could be perpetrated on a child. But Sandusky is not the only brute out there. CNN reported that ONE out of SIX BOYS and ONE out of THREE GIRLS is sexually abused during childhood!
Chances are high that SOME of the people reading this blog post have sexually abused a child, maybe even their own child! Chances are even higher that MANY of the people reading this have been the victims of abuse. It makes me ill to think of it.
Years ago in New York, I had dinner with a dear client who told me (while shaking and sobbing) that for FOUR years his big sister’s boyfriend had anally raped him every chance he got! The client told me he’d only told one other person this awful story in his whole life. From the intensity of his re-telling, for this grown man, a successful, married businessman, the pain was as fresh as it was when he was actually being abused in his own mother’s house. The older boy had told my client that he’d kill his sister if he told anyone, so for all those years – starting when he was just seven – he didn’t. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER IN SILENCE!
Here’s a surprise: the second largest percentage of people who respond to my work are adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse! (The largest group is people in grief.)
There’s no shortcut to healing from this trauma. Keeping it buried inside you will only cause it to fester, to come out in weird ways and to distort your relationships, including the one with yourself. Denying it happened, blaming yourself, perpetrating the same act on other children, or looking the other way while someone abuses your children won’t heal you and won’t stop the cycle. It WILL damage your relationships, it WILL damage your own children – unless you get it handled as best you can.
To be an adult, we have to take full responsibility for our lives. That includes the bad and the good things that have happened to us so far. You have a moral responsibility TO YOURSELF to get this handled. Imagining that you “can handle it alone” or “that was long ago” or “maybe I deserved it” is the exact same thing as saying, “I don’t really care about my life now.” Unresolved past issues cause depression, inappropriate behaviors, anger, paranoia, neuroses, psychological problems of every type. If you’re taking drugs to try to deal with adult life, it’s time to resolve this issue from your childhood.
Please, take care of yourself. If someone hurt you when you were small, seek professional help today. You cannot make your full contribution to society if part of you is still egregiously wounded. You’d get a cast if you broke a bone. Do this. Help yourself. It’s not your fault that someone hurt you like that but it IS your fault if you choose to stay a victim and not even try to heal from the awful thing that was done to you. I’m sorry for what you went through, but now it’s time to get this handled. Please. Please do this for yourself.
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU DO TO HELP YOURSELF to start off with. But DO SOMETHING!
Don’t live the rest of your life with that pain and shame!
Find great resources for healing from severe emotional pain at www.WendyKeller.com