My Leap List

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Childhood Lost

     When someone you trust, sexually abuses you, it damages your soul.  It makes you believe you are inherently bad because this person you admire or love wants to hurt you.  When your abuser is a well-known or respected member of society, you feel crazy because you can't see the person everyone else sees.  When someone walks in on you, you feel relief, hoping it will finally be over.  When that person does nothing, you feel worthless in everyone's eyes.  You are never able to trust anyone because you know no one is going to help you.  You lose your faith in humanity.
     It's horrible to be abused at any age, but it is devastating as a child.  It takes years of emotional stress and hard work to overcome childhood abuse.  It damages our relationships as adults.  Many of us never recover and turn to drugs and alcohol to deaden the pain.  Others turn into abusers to gain back our power.  Others descend into mental illness or kill ourselves.  Memories haunt you, years later, and can come out of nowhere.  So many triggers bring nightmares and physical pain.  One of those triggers is stories of abuse.
     It is hard for me to hear people say they feel sorry for the coaches at Penn State for losing their jobs "when they did nothing wrong."  I have yet to hear anyone say they feel sorry for the children.  How can football or money or fame or prestige be more important than a child's future?  It is horrible for anyone to sexually abuse a child, but it is even worse to be the one who could have saved the child, and did nothing.  An abused child knows the person abusing them is wrong...until someone else lets it happen.  Then you know you deserve the abuse.  It is hard to recover from that kind of self-loathing.  Losing a career is nothing next to what they have done to the children they betrayed.   

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