It is a downer, it’s horrible, and no one wants to think about it, but imagine how much worse it is when it not only happens to you, but no one will believe you or keep you safe.
For abuse survivors, I’ve been on record talking about how so many of us are trying to somehow go back to the life timeline that we would have been on had the abuse not happened, and I’ve suggested that you can’t.
What you can be is something new, though. If you have the courage to try it.
It’s all forward-looking. It celebrates how far I’ve come without constantly constantly reminding myself of what I haven’t done. In Todd’s words, it allows me to simply be human, like every other adult. In the end, isn’t that what we all want, to not see ourselves as the freak abuse survivor, but as an adult like other adults? With strengths and weaknesses, with quirks, and with success alongside failures?
We need to let ourselves be human and create a life where we can feel safe to be human.
I’m willing to bet the reason this is true is that we’ve struggled to define verbal abuse: “Currently, four subtypes are used to categorize child maltreatment: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. Verbal abuse is noticeably absent. Of those four, a June 2023 study of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among U.S. adults found…
I know that I’ve talked before about survivors not coming forward for years, and how this is especially true for men, who typically don’t disclose to anyone until their 50s. In a recent interview with People, John Stamos briefly talks about his own experience with child abuse, and I want you to pay close attention to the reasons he didn’t tell anyone until now: