Yes, I can’t go back to being a child again like I was before the abuse, and none of us can turn back time and do that. That shouldn’t be our definition of “healing”. But, maybe our definition of healing should include having a base, a life, or an identity, that is grounded in what we want from life, as opposed to just rearranging our identify in response to abuse.
The content of the article is pretty accurate, but if you saw the article shared on Twitter, for example, with just the headline, what would your take-away be? Oh, the headline? This is what it said:
“If this happened to you in childhood, you may have mental health problems”
That headline seems to imply the exact opposite of the content of the article. The study they are reporting on, actually says the opposite of that. It implies that we really don’t know or understand all of the causes of mental health issues. For some, it may be tied to childhood trauma, for another person it may be tied to something else, or someone with a lot of childhood trauma didn’t grow up with mental health issues.
Since we know many, many people only read the headline and then either move on, or share based on the headline alone. I can’t help but wonder how many people are sharing something, assuming that it says that childhood trauma causes mental health issues, when the article actually says it’s more complicated than that.
Am I sad that there are fewer child abuse advocacy groups on Facebook overall? Sure. But, what makes me sadder is how many legitimate advocacy groups fell massively short of their duty to tell the truth to their followers. How many continued to share these theories well after they were disproved in some bizarre effort to show how much more they cared about children, while diverting attention and resources from real victims and organizations trying to help them.
So no. I don’t feel sorry for you if your page was taken down by Facebook for violating their terms of service around spreading disinformation. You owed real survivors, and the people who followed you to learn more about true child abuse stories, more than that. You are right about one thing, child abuse and child trafficking is an incredibly important issue. Spreading lies doesn’t help that message, it provides the rest of the world an excuse to ignore it. If you truly want to advocate for children, stick to the truth, or suffer the consequences.
I had to follow my own advice yesterday, and do something that wasn’t easy, and made me feel weak. I had to admit that I’m not OK
I’ve talked often about the small things we can do for each other, that may make a much bigger difference than we know. Things like texting a friend, checking in on them, simply sitting with them when they’re struggling etc. I’ve talked about how these small acts keep people connected, let them know that they are not alone, and allow us to get outside of our own anxiety about everything going on in the world, and take control of one small thing we can do to make a positive difference.
Well, as we start of 2021, here’s something you can do that would help not only me, but potential people in your social circles who are feeling alone right now.
Would you share this website with them?
Recently, a friend on Facebook decided to ask us all to share one thing that happened this year that was a positive, to try and collect any and all good news in one place. It was a good idea, and as I thought about how I would respond to something like that, I thought of some of the good things that have happened this year. I’ve had some pretty nice successes at work. I’ve connected on a deeper level with my wife, and managed to stay connected to a close group of friends and family. Those were good things, but at the end of it all, I kept coming back to something I talked about at the end of 2019 on the Find Your Voice Podcast, and then again on this very blog on January 1 of 2020.
“I’m Still Here”