Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dear Whoever You Are That Wants Me To Shut Up About Child Abuse - It Ain't Happening. So Deal With It.

Dear __________ (Whoever you are that wants me to shut up about child abuse and my incest issues - it ain't happening. So deal with it or leave.)

If you don't like what you read here or on my Facebook page or my Tweets on Twitter, you don't have to stay.  You can unsubscribe from here.  You can unfriend me on Facebook.  You can unfollow me on Twitter.  I hope that you stay.  If my topic of incest and child abuse bothers you, look at yourself to see why.  It really has nothing to do with me and everything to do with you.

I had someone on Twitter unfollow me today because "what I tweet isn't healthy."  I told the person that I tweet my conscience and not someone else's.  Incest and child abuse is not healthy.  The struggle to get healthy isn't pleasant for anyone who lives it or reads about it.  Letting go of being a victim and becoming a survivor isn't easy.  It certainly isn't fun.  Struggling with a past of incest and child abuse takes courage.   You all have that courage inside of you.  You just have to look for it.  Facing is fears is terrifying.  You can do it.

Here on my blog, I share my life story, not anybody else's.  I share my healing journey - what has worked or not worked for me.  That doesn't mean the same things will or won't work for you.  I am an expert on my life, not anybody else's.  Sometimes my words may act as triggers if you are a survivor too.  I feel sad for that but it isn't something that I can control.  If the triggers are too much, you can leave at any time.  There have been lots of times that I wished I could just leave it all behind.  The only way to do that is to do the work of healing.  That is what my blog is a chronical of - my work of healing from incest.

I know that some of you are well meaning and just want me to have a better life, have a little joy in my life, not make you feel so bad by sharing all of my stuff online, in the public eye.  I do have joy and love and a better life because I have spent years writing about incest and talking about it.  If what I write about makes you feel bad, do something about it.  Do your own healing work if that is what is needed.  Look to see if there are any children in your life that are being abused and may need your help.  Help that child by being responsible.  Stop child abuse so that no one else needs to feel what I feel about my past.  You all can take responsibility for stopping child abuse in whatever form it comes to you as.  Child abuse and incest won't stop without all of us doing our part to stop it.

Blogging is just a more public venue for doing healing and stopping child abuse.  By blogging, I am reaching out to other survivors who may have less time healing to share my story of healing with them so that they know they are not alone.  By blogging, I am reaching out to other survivors who are where I am in healing.  We can share our strength and hope with each other and other survivors who aren't there yet.  I am also reaching out to find survivors who are further along on the path of healing than I am so that they can encourage me when I am down and need a friend to help pick me up.  The blogging community of survivors of child abuse is a wonderful, caring, compassionate world of people who understand what it means to be a victim and a survivor.  My blog allows me to discover that the world isn't always bleak and dangerous.  The world should be a safe place for all children.

My next step is to write my own memoir about my journey as an incest victim, survivor and thriver.  I have always known that I would write this book.  The book is inside me waiting for the right time to come out.  I am letting people know that the time has finally come.  I have been telling others online for the past few weeks that the time is near for me to write my memoir.  Other than that, I have done nothing to make that a reality.  I haven't written the first word yet. 

By telling you that I am writing this memoir, I am making myself accountable for sitting down and writing it.  Each time that I take a step toward telling more people about incest, I meet with internal resistance.  That is part of my process.  I am facing the fears that cause that resistance.  I will write my book.

Why do I insist upon telling people my story?  Why won't I just shut up about incest already?  Why won't I just be quiet and let it remain in the past?  Why is talking about incest and how it affects me so important? 

Good questions.  All questions that I have been asked in the past and probably will be asked again in the future.  I will not shut up about abuse for several reasons. 

1.  Other survivors need to know that they are not alone, that healing is possible.  If I, and other survivors, shut up about our experiences then victims and survivors are back to doing it alone.  I won't let that happen.  I was alone in the beginning (late 1970's).  Today with all of the books on the subject and the internet, survivors can connect with other survivors.  We can help each other.

2.  A big part of my healing came from speaking about incest and the family disease of alcoholism.  I did this in counseling some but more so in 12-Step meetings (Al-Anon & Adult Children of Alcoholics & Co-dependency meetings).

3.  My main reason for speaking out about incest is to break the code of silence that my abusers ingrained in me to shut up.  Unless we break that code of silence, we cannot stop child abuse from happening.  Women have been speaking out as survivors for awhile now.  Finally men are in the beginning stages of stepping up and breaking their own silence of child sexual abuse.  As women who have been through this, I hope that other women will reach out to these men and let them know they are not alone in this.  We can and should support each other in our struggles and our healing.

4.  If I am silent about child abuse and incest, then I am condoning it happening to the next generation of our children and I will not do that.  Will you?  Silence doesn't stop child abuse.  Silence is what kept me in the role of incest victim for too long.  I have broken the code of silence and I know that you can do it too.  Until this silence is broken more children will be abused.  Speak out.  Take actions to break the silence and to save our children.

Sometimes it is a family member that wants me to quit talking.  I am grateful that I have the support of my husband, son, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, sister-in-law and mother-in-law.  They respect my need to talk about this topic of child abuse and incest.  With their support, I can do anything.  Build yourself a support system of family and friends who understand your need to talk and share your feelings about your abuse.  Holding these feelings in, staying silent because of fear of rejection just keeps the abuse happening.  People who ask you to stop don't understand.  They don't know how hard it was to speak up the first time and every time after that.  They don't have a clue about the pain and grief that you have felt.

An online friend just yesterday asked me to write a blog post about incest as the number one form of child abuse today.  I told her that I would.  I don't know any statistics on incest being number one but I know that it does happen a lot in all types of families all over the world.  I will see what I can find and keep you updated.
Patricia

Related Articles:

Inspiration, Denial and Incest @
http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2010/01/inspiration-denial-and-incest.html

Dysfunctional Family Systems @
http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2010/04/dysfunctional-family-systems.html

Out Of My Comfort Zone---The Third Floor Window @
http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2009/09/out-of-my-comfort-zone-third-floor.html

"Freedom's Just Another Word" Book Review @
http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2010/04/freedoms-just-another-word-book-review.html

36 comments:

Just Be Real said...

Oh Pat I am sadden to read this. I am so very sorry that you were treated this way. You have every right to share your story, feelings as many times as you want, in any way you care to. Here supporting you dear one.

Patricia Singleton said...

JBR, thank you so much. This is written partly for me but it came out of my reaction when an online friend was told that she was revealing too much by putting it out there for the Universe to see. I wrote this one more for her than for me. When people say these things they do hurt.

Colleen said...

Wow. great post. Glad you wrote it. I am sorry that you and others have been hurt. I know how that is.
But I agree with all that you said. I know I can no longer shut up about it because others are uncomfortable.
People like us have to bring the light into the darkness. Or it will stay dark forever.
Hugs.

Colleen said...

Forgot to say this - I took a few years to START writing my book from the first time I said I was going to. Then once I started, I couldnt stop. I just kept writing and writing until I was done.
You will start writing it when you are ready. Just don't pressure yourself.

dbrannem said...

Pat,

Your voice is a beacon of light to those walking through a terrible darkness. You need to be heard, must be heard, to restore others and protect those that cannot speak for themselves.

The funny thing is that you and I CHOOSE on a daily basis to continue to dwell and talk about these topics. We don't always want to - in fact many days it would be easier not too. Just move through life and forget the past.

But we do talk, write, tweet. We feel it helps us, and we hope that it helps others. By being silent we continue to support silence - something we know all too well can be far more destructive than making a few people uncomfortable.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, thank you. If we want child abuse and incest to stop, we have to do something about it. Speaking out gives others awareness. Without awareness abuse will never stop.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, again thank you for your support and encouragement. When the timing is right, the words will flow.

Patricia Singleton said...

dbrannem, you are so right. It is easier to not talk, write and tweet about abuse and being silent helps no one. It certainly doesn't help the people - men and women - who are just finding their voices and it doesn't help those who are still afraid and in the silence of abuse.

I am glad that we found each other on Twitter. You help me to see things from a little different angle and that is always good.

Lynda ~ Coming Out of the cRaZy Closet said...

I REALLY needed this post today, Pat. Thank you SO MUCH. All day I've been fighting the feeling of being SHAMED, for telling the truth about my life. But I NEED to speak out about the abuse that happened to me. I have been silent for more than 50 years, and it has been killing me inside.

Your writing is a God-send to me.

Lynda ~ Coming Out of the CrAzY Closet

Patricia Singleton said...

Lynda, you were the reason that I was guided to write this today. You have no reason to feel shame. Remember what Darlene said about the lies that we were told as abused children.

Shame was one of those lies. As adults today, we don't have to buy into it any more. There are too many others who are beginning to feel safe enough to speak out. We can be examples of light for them and for those that are still too afraid to speak out. We do have to be silent any more.

Those that can't stand the light can get out of our way. Ask your husband to speak to his daughter and tell her that he is proud of you for speaking out. From a few things that you have said about him, I assume that he is proud of you for standing up for yourself.

Unless your step-daughter has been abused, she has no idea what you have dealt with or how far you have come. There is no shame in what you are doing by speaking out for yourself and for others.

Alene said...

Patricia, don't ever stop telling your story. I want to see you write that book.

Patricia Singleton said...

Alene, thank you. I won't quit and I will write the book.

Vickie Linegar said...

Patricia - funny we were in the same head space this weekend. I wrote some thoughts on my own similar situation and struggle on What you see in here, stays in here. Maybe it's the time of year for spring cleaning to just tell naysayers to shut their own mouths for a change. Or at least respect your right to talk too. Stay strong and keep sharing :)

Patricia Singleton said...

Vickie, I think this topic is on the minds of a number of us who are meeting resistance to sharing our stories. Don't let them stop you from telling your story. If we want to stop child abuse we have to tell our stories so that others will tell theirs.

Edward Schline said...

I feel the same way that to be silent is to give the power back to the perp. Many people just would rather I say nothing than to contine to fight this abuse I wish no harm to them. My mission is bigger than Me and them. My mission is about so many who have been abused and their abusers. Thank you for puting this in words so eloquently.

Patricia Singleton said...

Edward, thank you for your comment. Each of us who refuses to be silenced has a mission to be heard in order to stop child abuse.

Anonymous said...

I know I've been unfriended or at least hidden by a few people on FB, but healing by writing and sharing with people who understand has more than made up for that.

Patricia Singleton said...

Anonymous, stopping child abuse only happens with awareness. Stopping child abuse is too important of a topic to let others silence us.

beautifuldreamer said...

Patricia,

I too am working on my memoir. It seems fitting that I tell the truth now that I know I have the right, and the ability, to do so.

Please let us know when yours gets published! As for me, I keep plugging along on mine, slow as molasses. But I'll get there. Nothing's going to shut me up ever again!

Patricia Singleton said...

Beautiful Dreamer, I will be sure to let everyone know when my memoir is published and you do the same. Same here, I will not be shut up ever again about incest. It took too many years to start to talk.

jannehelentommervag said...

Thank you for posting this Patricia <3 There is many that are met like this. "Aren't you finished with this?" Or "Move on in life"... Like they know what it's like?

I'll share this with my FB friends and make them read and learn something too. I have had enough of these telling me what to do or how to live my life.

Hugs from, Janne Helen
(Following your blog from Norway)

Patricia Singleton said...

Janne Helen, You are very welcome. I have been told to move on with my life. To forgive and forget is a favorite with a lot of people. I really wish it were that simple. Feel free to repost my blog post with a link back to here. I am glad that so many people are using this post to stand up to others.

Wow! Norway is a long way from Arkansas where I live in the United States. I love that the internet enables people from all over the world to talk to each other.

LadyJtalks said...

well said. we write until we don't need to write anymore, we share until we don't feel the need to any more, and we live well once it's all out. I'm so proud to see so many writing their stories and being brave enough to share with the world no matter who wishes we wouldn't say another word. best lessons were learned by things that triggered. Having resources and support online is so great for others today

Patricia Singleton said...

Lady J Talks, Thank you. I am so glad to be a part of such a supportive community of survivors. We grow together in our healing. It is so good that men and women are both speaking out today.

From Tracie said...

I just seriously love everything about this post! It shows your strength and your passion.

Thank you for speaking out...for sharing your story....for standing strong in the face of adversity....for being a voice for people who do not have a voice....for facing the fears that cause resistance!

I believe that you will write your book, and that it will make a difference in many lives.

Thanks for sharing this with the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse and for all the support you give the carnival each month!

Patricia Singleton said...

Tracie, thank you and you are very welcome. I support the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse every month because it is written by other survivors reaching out and sharing their voices. As others see so many of us sharing it may give them courage to start speaking out too. (((Hugs))) to you and all those who speak out against child abuse and to all those who will in the future.

Gail O'Keeffe said...

Hi Pat,

In reading your post I could relate so well! Bravo and thank you for speaking your truth, so empowering and yet at times can also leave us feeling fearful and vulnerable...worth it...MY WORD!!

It was wonderful to read that you are going to write your memoir.

I know what a HUGE step this can be along the healing journey.

When I decided to write my memoir... Gosh I was SO consumed with fear initially I thought I would vomit! At times I felt very alone and grief stricken. The tears would spill down my cheeks and fear would often grip my fingers with each keystroke. I screamed, sobbed, raged, gave up, over and over again, but there was "The Remembering" (my memoir title @ http://www.theremembering.com.au ) within me that was relentless and wouldn't permit me to quit and be silent any longer!!

It took me a few years but in publishing my story in 2009 my truth set me free!

I applaud your decision and let me if I can support you in anyway and also when it's out, I will list it on my website.

Patricia Singleton said...

Gail, thank you for your encouragement and for sharing your fears and courage in writing your memoir. I will visit your website. Thank you for leaving the link to it.

Leslie said...

Patricia, thanks for this. I think you are so right...it does help for those of us who are new to this to read blogs and stories from others who are farther on the path.

And we do need to speak up to break the "code of silence".

Thanks for your post!

Patricia Singleton said...

Leslie, you are very welcome. Yes, as more of us speak out about child abuse, we can help others to move forward in their own healing and working together, I believe that we will stop child abuse.

Faith said...

Patricia, you said it so well. I too have those feelings of wondering "have I gone too far?" I think not and agree with you. Talking about it and spreading the word is what is needed in an effort to bring an end to the devastation and the lifelong emotional problems that accompanies it. I am so glad I found you and thank you so much for the RTs. I am making my way through your posts and am finding comfort. Thank you. I hope my sharing will help others as well.

Patricia Singleton said...

Faith, your sharing does help others a lot. Each of us survivors who share our stories open the door for others to share their stories as well. Together we will stop child abuse. Silence just hurts us all. I am glad that you find comfort in my blog posts. Thank you.

Marj aka Thriver said...

hooray, hooray...HOORAY! Kudos to you, Patricia! What a wonderful activist post. So perfect for the carnival. You go!

Patricia Singleton said...

Marj, thank you. I felt like an activist the day that I wrote this. Don't often think of myself that way. Have a glorious day.

opal said...

Only someone who was a child molester would want to shut people up

Patricia Singleton said...

Opal, some people who want me to shut up are hurting people who have their own incest issues that they are trying to pretend didn't happen to them. They don't want to come out of their own denial. They don't realize that under the denial they are still hurting and they will continue to hurt until they start to face their issues.

Yes, there are also abusers and molesters who want all survivors to shut up. We don't have to listen to any of them. When enough of us speak up, the molesters will no longer be able to hide the secrecy of their evil deeds.