I got a call the other night from a friend who had just finished reading my book. She lives on the mainland and I don’t see her very often but we share a camaraderie in one of my service organizations. We’ve talked lots of times but never about what she shared with me that night.
Several of the “tales” I share deal with sexual abuse and one, in particular deals with familial sex abuse of young children. It’s a tough subject on all sides – and the ones who suffer the most, for years to come, and maybe forever, are the children who experience continuous abuse at young ages. What happens to them?, my friend queried, Can they recover? Do they recover? Who speaks for them? What if they are not immediately believed? What happens to their relationships with their parents and family members? We talked at length, sharing a lot of thoughts and ideas until she revealed that a teen she know had committed suicide when the pain of the sex abuse he suffered as a child was more than he could bear. No one knew what he had suffered until he was gone – oh, there were suspicions, but no one really thought it could happen to their family. But, it did – it does -and you are not the only one who carries the burden. We cried for him and for the children in my “tale”.
I’m learning now that sharing these “tales” is having an impact – people are reading and realizing that they are not the only ones who have carried these trememdous burdens of grief and shame. It’s OK. If you have done your best with what you knew and understood – it’s ok,don’t beat yourself up any further. But, now that you know better, you will do better. Share your life – you may save a life while you are at it.