Sunday, August 12, 2007

Incest May Be A Part Of My Life---Part 2---Sadly Normal

Warning: Reading the following series may be injurious to your peace of mind. They are intended to be. Without knowledge, we cannot prevent child abuse from happening. Go beyond this point at your own risk. Join me for the painful, frightening, emotional, freeing journey.

For my second article in this series, I want you to read the first thing that I read when I went to With the author's permission, I want to share her poem with you. The poem is copyrighted by the author so if you choose to share it with others, please include her name as it is written at the end of the poem. As I have done, the author asks that you share a link back to Here it is:

"I am sadly normal
1 out of every 3 women and 1 out of every 5 men have been sexually
abused by someone they trust by the time they are 18 years old.

I am sadly normal
We feel unimportant, discounted, worthless, shameful, powerless,

I am sadly normal
We are forced to hide within ourselves by our abusers.

I am sadly normal
We are forced to keep our dirty little secrets.
It's easy to do because we believe it was our fault.

I am sadly normal
We learn not to trust anyone, including ourselves, and the adults who
were supposed to keep us protected.

I am sadly normal
We learn to survive by lying, pretending, manipulating, and stealing.

I am sadly normal
We learn to cope however we can. Drugs, alcohol and food are used to
numb us and provide the comfort we have missed out on.

I am sadly normal
We learn to find our way around it, while we struggle to find ourselves.

I am sadly normal
We think and learn and are told it doesn't matter.
We believe we don't matter either.

I am sadly normal
We think there are no effects of the abuse, while we can't figure out
why we are the way we are, and why we do the things we do.

I am sadly normal
We become experts at fooling others, and ourselves.

I am sadly normal
We become exhausted from hiding the truth, thinking we are responsible
for protecting those around us.
Some even protect the abuser.

I am sadly normal
We reach adulthood, and deal with it for as long as we can, until we can't
deal with it any longer.

I am sadly normal
We lose concentration and focus. We become more anxious and nervous.
We feel like we are going insane.

I am sadly normal
Emotions fill us. Craziness, sadness, anger, rage, irritation, frustration.

I am sadly normal
Sometimes we find a way to break our silence. We get help, and we learn to live, not just survive.
Some never get to that point.
Some just live with it.
Some die with it.
Some take their own life because of it.

I am sadly normal
Sometimes, we seek counseling, and the healing is finally allowed to begin. Many don't discover the help that is available until we are in our 30's and 40's.
Some never discover it.

Does this sound like you?
You are sadly normal too."
-Lisa Ritter
July, 2005

Copyrighted by Sadly Normal 2006

I have edited the original link out of this post because it was hacked and lead you to an x-rated site. I apologize to those of you who may have found it before I did. Thank you to a commenter who let me know that the link had changed.

Feel free to leave a comment on how this makes you feel. Feel free to talk about this with others. You may open a communication between yourself and someone else who is needing to talk to a compassionate person like you. If you are blessed with the opportunity to help someone else heal from their incest issues, don't make any judgments about the incest survivor. Believe me, we do enough of that ourselves, without any one else's help. If a survivor feels safe enough to share her/his experiences with you, just love them. They may not be in a spot that they can love themselves yet.

I wanted to share this poem with my readers because Sadly Normal is a true evaluation of what you feel and think about yourself as an incest survivor. I could not have said it any better.

Breaking the silence is the most frightening, courageous, freeing thing that a survivor can do for themselves.


Patricia Singleton said...

To Lisa Ritter: I owe you an apology. I used your poem, Sadly Normal, as the basis of this particular article and I didn't have the complete poem or your name attached to the poem. I didn't do that on purpose. I definitely want you to have the credit. I could not have written what you did nearly as effectively. That is why I chose to use your poem in my article.

I printed out the poem "Sadly Normal" to have on hand to copy into this article and for some reason the last half of the poem did not print out and neither did your name. So at first I attributed the poem to Sadly Normal with their 2006 copyright. Recently, I went back to the website and read the poem again and realized what I had done. Again, I apologize for the oversight on my part. The second time that I printed the poem it went from page 2 to page 3 and still left out the last half of the poem and your name as the author. Because I had page 2 and 3, I didn't realize that part of the poem and your name as author was missing.

The above poem, Sadly Normal, is written in full and the author is Lisa Ritter. She wrote the poem in July, 2006. Thank you Lisa for allowing the use of your poem.
Patricia Singleton

Lisa Ritter said...

No apologies are necessary, Patricia... not at all. I am honored that you would choose to use my writing as a basis for one of your own... I do only ask that a link is included when anyone uses it to help bring people to my site (which is in dire need of being worked on) in order to spread the word about our "normalcy" and to get help in changing the laws in the states. Patricia, please feel free to use anything on my site.
And please... no apologies ever needed.

Lisa Ritter

Patricia Singleton said...

This article has been included in the Carnival Against Sexual Violence #37 found at the following website:

I am honored to have my article with Lisa Ritter's poem Sadly Normal included in this Carnival. Sexual Abuse and Incest are two issues that I feel very strongly about. Please check out the informative articles.

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia, I just noticed that the link you have listed here for the site is linking through to an adult content site and not the site that used to be written by the poem's author. Just thought you'd like to know so that your readers don't get the same surprise I did! All the best, Amy.

Patricia Singleton said...

Anonymous, thank you so much for letting me know about the link being hacked and going to an adult content site. I edited the post and removed the link. I am so sorry that the link was bad. It wasn't that way when I posted it in 2007.