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Ok, it is time to come out of the closet. I didn’t want to share this with you. I mean, after all, I didn’t want to be labeled.
Ready for it? I am an abuse victim. No, wait… >> I am a SURVIVOR!
Oh, I cringe, I didn’t want to have to tell you that! Do you have any idea how many people have asked me how it is that I am able to reach them, deep to the soul, with my music @ deborah.info? Do you know how many people have asked me to tell them about my case studies in my practice as a psychologist? They assume, based on my blogging and advice @ PositivePersistence.com that I have a psychology degree! Where do you think that empathy and understanding came from? It came from BEING THERE!
It is simple, really. I am well acquainted with the pain. You see, my companion, Pain, is the offspring of abuse. Pain is not what you feel when you stub your toe. She really has a personality all her own, intricate, complicated, but ever weaving through every capillary and fiber of my being. Oh, she will never leave me entirely, for she has been my constant companion since before I could speak. She understood my language when no one else understood me. I suppose I have become quite accustomed to her existence and found that she has taught me how to cry over others’ pain, to feel it as if it is my own. I thought everyone knew Pain. I mean, I sure hear her name mentioned often enough! It seems everyone knows her! But, I have found that she is only the companion of those who have been introduced to her through such vehicles as abuse. She is never chosen as a friend, but she does remain as companion, not withstanding the fact that she had never been invited or welcomed in the first place. I have come to terms to living with Pain. I have learned how to use her to help others. I have learned to draw on her in my music. I have learned that the sun really does come up tomorrow, in spite of her existence in my life.
Pain has taught me to have a deep empathy for those who have gone before me and a great desire, correction, passion, to stop the abuse of others! And, to stand along-side my brothers and sisters who have been pained, ready for a hug when they need some love (See also 5 Hugs A Day), a shoulder when they need a good cry, and a fortitude-filled passion to lean on when they need shoring up in their road to recovery and facing the flak that comes their way with the ugly word of “victim.” I say, victim no more! We are survivors, and I have come out of the closet to say, I will acknowledge the label. What kind of support am I for you, if I do not offer to wear that label with you, my friend!
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But, there really is a deeper meaning to the word “closet.” You see, I have spent countless hours upon hours hiding in the closet, crying and crying… Oh, the crying was silent. It was in the dark. God forbid anyone should hear me! Thanks to my dear husband and the dear friends that I have made in my adulthood, I no longer require that closet, as I have found that love and acceptance does exist. Oh, I still have the temptation to go find that closet, to hide and never be found, never wanting to feel the pain again. I am still hyper-vigilant enough to hear a pin drop a mile away. Oh, I can’t stand sleeping at night and God help the person that tries to creep up on me! I could make you a list… but I am finally starting to melt from the inside, learning to trust again, learning that there are people who care, really care. Not that fake, religious stuff, or pasted on smiles, but really care. They are not afraid to show who they really are!
Wait! You are probably wondering where all this babbling is coming from, all of a sudden. I mean, didn’t I just tell you that I wasn’t going to write a “Mommy Dearest” book, just yet, in my post, “When Should I Write A “Mommy Dearest” Book?” Well, I also mentioned, in that post, that I would write it if it helped others in their recovery.
Two Watershed Moments
This past week, two things happened. My dear, dear, aunt passed away. My aunt was like a mother to me. She picked up where my grandmother left off when my grandmother preceded her in death. She filled the void that cried out for a mama, the cry of a preverbal child seeking to be loved and accepted, and protected from fear, to nestle into the bosom of a loving mama, safe from all alarm.
My grandmother stood up for truth and would have taken a stand against this abuse (see below), no matter what the cost. She is no longer here. My aunt stood up for truth and would have been on the phone this week, demanding truth. She is gone, now, too. I have to do what is right, and stand for truth, just like these women before me, if not for other survivors like myself, then because my grandmother and aunt trusted me to carry on what they started. After all, I am my grandmother’s granddaughter and I am not going to shy away from it now!
The requirement for truth negates the closet hiding, not only me hiding in fear, but also the abusers who think that they can share the closet with me!
The other thing that happened was (finally!) the revelation that there was sexual abuse at Prairie Bible Institute (actually Prairie Bible College). Hey, some of us have known that, already, but couldn’t get anyone to listen, or were met with threats when we tried to reveal it. See More Sex Abuse Allegations Surface at Three Hills Bible College. Whoa, did that just slap you in the face?! It did when I read it to my husband, just now. Oh, not because he wasn’t fully aware of the abuse, but because I actually put it in this article! Well, it’s time.
You see, this particular education facility provided an education for me. Oh, I wasn’t old enough for college. I wasn’t old enough for high school. I wasn’t even old enough for grade school. But, I was old enough to be traumatized. That trauma is what showed me the door that opens to the closet.
This Post Doesn’t Come Without Cost!
Why have I been so silent? Because I was hiding in my closet, afraid of the label of victim, afraid that I would get death threats (again), afraid that family would try to kill me (again), afraid of being maligned and my credibility attacked (again). Well, heck, if I am going to be maligned and threatened, then I might as well stand up for the victims and survivors and really give “them” more reason to malign me and threaten me! Oh, don’t worry, there is a method to my madness. You see, there are only two choices for those who stand against what I write here. They can admit it and we can move toward reconciliation, or, they can malign me and threaten me, which only serves to wreck their own reputation. You see, I have already come out of the closet and accepted my label with pride!