Saturday, December 17, 2011


You know, I have a bit of sexual abuse in my past, from when I was a kid.  It wasn't anything spectacularly horrible, but as anyone who has been there can tell you, it isn't the "amount" of abuse that makes a difference, it's that it happened and you can't go back and undo it.  You have to deal with it, even though it's not your fault.  There was a time when that abuse and my struggles to heal were overwhelming, and I went through several years of therapy.   

But I don't think about it very often anymore.  About 6-7 years ago when I suddenly realized one day that it had been weeks since I'd thought about it, I was so happy.  You can't ever get to the point where it didn't happen, but you can get to the point where it is firmly, safely in your past, not sneaking around and wreaking havoc in your present.  I don't avoid thinking about it, and I don't want to repress thinking about it because the years that I spent repressing it were far worse than the ones that I spent dealing with it.  It just doesn't come up. 

Unless something brings it up.  Which is why it's so difficult that this mess at Penn State is everywhere you turn.  I hate that--mostly for the victims' sake, of course, but also for my own, and for everyone else who has ever been there.

So when I walk in the room and Dean is listening to ESPN and someone is describing exactly what the graduate assistant saw and heard when he walked in that locker room, I have no good choices-- avoid it, or let it in. I don't like either one of them.  Avoiding it's no good, but I don't want to dwell on it either.  I don't want to remember that sick feeling, that twisted, perverted energy from the person that abused me that was in some ways worse than the actual actions that happened.

I don't have any wisdom here.  I just think it's better to acknowledge it than to not say anything.  So this one is for everyone who's been there.  We're strong.  We survived.  And for the victims that are still dealing with it.  Stay strong.  You will survive, too.


  1. This was so beautifully, and lovingly, written.

    Thank you.
    (and thank you)

  2. thanks, Julie and Carol. It occurred to me when I looked at this that "sad story" isn't the right title for it. At the moment, I can't remember why in the world I picked it. But it's probably not worth changing and moving it back to top of feeds-- it is sad when child abuse occurs.

  3. What Julie and Carol said. (((hugs)))