America has a sickness. Not just America. All over the world there are children keeping secrets. Secrets too horrible to confess to anyone. Secrets that influence a lifetime. Secrets for which too many children and adults believe they are responsible. That secret festers like a virus slowly suffocating hope, killing our ability to love or trust and blinding us to our dreams. It cripples us at the deepest, most sacred part of our being.
The people we love the most hurt us the deepest. The people charged with protecting us from harm injure us the worst. The people who should be shaping our future steal it from us. Instead of pulling us up to be our best they tear us down to believe the worst. Abuse, whether emotional or physical is an incomprehensible betrayal devoid of conscience.
Some people will pay a psychologist to chip away the years of suppression in an attempt to piecemeal their psyche into some recognizable pattern. Some spend their entire life denying such a thing could happen while perpetuating it upon their sons and daughters. Some will wear ribbons to raise awareness without ever admitting to it until a six figure book deal with movie rights tied to a big name actor band aids the wound long enough to collect the check. Too many never speak their secret; ever. Too many never heal.
Please remember for every violator there are more people who do not violate. For every abuser there are more people who care. For every moment of misery there is a moment of hope.
Tear off those ribbons that tether us to inaction and in a loving, embracing, compassionate voice call out to every child and adult with a secret “You are still you. You never asked for it to happen. It is not your fault. You are not to blame. You need not keep your secret.”
I don’t remember ever being sexually molested. I don’t recall that my father was a hitter. He raised his voice like a fist, then pummeled me every time. Later in life you learn that names can never hurt you, but I assure you that as a child his actions scarred as deeply as the breaking of bone.
I know the hopelessness of neglect; the emotional scars of abuse; the toll it takes on your every relationship. I’m not the only one. Too many know.
I know something else; something every one need know. The circumstances forced upon you do not define you; nor does the a user. You do; only you. That’s the start.
Do not accept that the sins of the father are visited upon the son or the daughter. Do not accept the hopelessness that comes with unimaginable experience. Do not accept the theoretical of an inevitable future. Set aside the secret shame owed to no one especially yourself.
For every person of neglect or abuse, please find and embrace your moment of hope. Do not accept the inevitability of any situation. While there is life there is hope. Maximize the strength of your convictions to minimize the soul destroying influence of abuse.
There is hope. Do not look to the past and say ‘so has it been and so shall it always be.’ Look to the future and says ‘No more. Today, it ends. Today, I heal .’