Dear friend, co-worker, boss, sibling.
I’d like to open my heart for just a bit and share with you all what it’s like to be a victim of abuse and molestation. I’m not here to scare you or dramatize what our lives are about. I’m simply putting pen to paper, describing what we go through on a daily and many a time on an hourly basis. Hopefully it will help you understand why I don’t always show up at work, a party or synagogue.
Imagine for a moment, taking a road trip down a road. Lining the street on both sides of you, are the most beautiful trees, boasting their beautiful autumn leaves. You marvel at the majestic beauty of the colors of the leaves. In the background, is soft music playing, blending into this beautiful moment of pure beauty and serenity.
As you turn a corner, you begin to smell the horrible odor of a dead carcass. Looking ahead, you see a dead deer, torn apart from a collision. Although by now, you’ve closed the windows, it’s too late as the smell already permeated the air. While holding your nose closed, the light turns red, thereby forcing you to stay at the exact spot of the animal. It’s awful. The scenery that awed you, just a few minutes before became non existent. The music that just a short while ago was so soothing, now became a nuisance. It’s suddenly too loud and annoying.
Suppose I ask you to park your car and sit beside that carcass. You can even put your hand on it and caress it’s mutilated body. Do it for just five minutes. Or perhaps an hour. Or a day. A month. A year. A lifetime. If it gets too much, the simple remedy would be to look up at the beautiful scenery above and focus on that instead of the dead animal.
This, and more, is how we feel about ourselves. This and more is what abuse does to our soul. Our body. Our inner core and very essence. We feel this self disgust, self hatred and body shame. It’s not for a few minutes, nor a day or a month. It’s for eternity. It’s our very existence. Our life.
The shame. The self blame and guilt. The constant bombardment of negative feelings and emotions towards ourselves are all very real. It’s our reality and like I said, it’s not just for a few minutes.
I know you’re thinking that I belong in therapy. Taking meds. Doing self healing work. My response to that is, that yes I have been in therapy for many years. Have been on meds for many years as well. I’ve worked and continue to work with every fiber of strength that I own, to heal and move on. To enjoy my family. To make meaning out of my past and move on. I’ve tried and tried and will continue to try but the sad and brutal truth stares at me in the face.
Sexual abuse and molestation is a lifetime verdict. It’s something that’s impossible to fully heal from and although I have been doing better and I hope to get better every day, it’s a lifetime of work and money and takes an enormous amounts of energy to do the work.
It effects us in more ways than you can ever imagine. Our own life. Our married life. Our work life. Our religious life and so much more. There are so many areas that are so challenging for us while coming so easily to everyone else. It is the root behind so many of our external issues such as physical pain, eating disorders, addiction and so much more.
If our inner pain would present itself as outer pain, we would be damaged beyond recognition. We would perhaps be attached to life support. However being that it’s all internal, the support we get is close to nothing and we therefore need to fight alone. Alone with our extreme triggers, flashbacks and intense nightmares. Alone with our extreme physical pain as a result. Alone with our racing brains that we can’t always control. Alone with our urges of self harm and worse.
I plead with you, like I mentioned previously. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not overdoing it. I’m simply being real and honest. I’m stating the truth of our existence. The makeup of our heart and soul.
Please believe that I’m trying my best. Please believe me that I’m on a journey and I have my ups and downs. Please trust in me that I’ll get further along my route, because although it’s really hard, I believe it myself. I do believe that I’ll be able to climb the ladder higher and higher. When I start doubting it, I simply look down and see how many rungs I’ve already climbed!