The very best reward
Literally, the best reward I get from keeping up this site are emails like this one:
It’s been a week since I made the call to Survivors UK, the London-based child abuse organisation. Then I found your site, no.2 when I googled. I get a date for my therapy to start in a few weeks. I’m not brave enough to maintain a blog or site like you though I’m sure I’ll comment on anything I find interesting when I catch up with all of it…..
Right now I am happy that I’m not alone even though you are in a different country.
That makes all the writing, thinking about writing and site maintenance worth it right there.
In a further email, this same reader posed an interesting question that I wanted to share with all of you, and solicit your feed back on.
How did you select which friends to tell first?
That’s a tough question for me, because I think the first few people I told were people I already knew were survivors themselves. Then, when I had a very public breakdown, well, everyone already knew!
Now, as to who I tell now, it tends to fall into two groups. One is people who are going to be deeply involved in my life, on more than an acquaintance level, because the abuse is an important part of understanding who I am, so they need to know, and the second are people who I feel would benefit from know that they aren’t alone.
I am interested in hearing what other survivors did in terms of telling people when they were first starting on the path to healing. What advice would you give to someone in this regard, what pitfalls would you steer them away from? What was your experience like?
Happy New Year, Mike. I hope 2007 is a good one for you. Keep up the blog, as it is very valuable.
Finally Typekey has let me on!
On the friends thing for anyone else who wanted to know see Mike’s general views see “Final Word on Friendship” the August 30th 2006 entry, but the “Friendship series” began with the July 26 entry, in the archives – go read.
In the end the first friend I told emigrated to Australia, so I told him via MSN. His response? “You’re not the first person I know who’s been abused” and gave me the basics on the other. So I was able to have a really good chat with him. Next up, I’ll tell the friend in Ireland who is an abuse survivor. At some point I will tell one of my London-based friends but it’s nice to have some degree of removal by geography with the first few people. That protects me – none of these people will get on planes and start shouting my business from the rooftops.
But like Em says, the blog was another very big help to me so I guess I’m saying keep it for selfish reasons in 2007 Mike.
I am a rape survivor of several rapes in my life. Today, I am a recovered rape survivor, all because I received the help I needed.
My help came from a man (who became my husband) who introduced me to a counselor who was very good but I was not comfortable telling her all the details once a week. In my case, I had so much built inside me that I had to be able to let it out almost on a nightly basis. My new husband to be became my counselor. He had no experience, yet he seemed to know exactly what to do and how to lead me through the healing process. My story is way too involved to keep going on about it here.
What advice would I give someone? Find someone who will listen. Even though I did not use a professional, I was lucky. I would strongly suggest you use a professional counselor. A professional will not judge you, blame you or become emotionally wrapped up in your personal ordeal. My husband never judged me, nor did he blame me. He listened, probed and just let me get it out. What did happen was as I was letting it out, he absorbed my hurt. The result was he taking several years to purge the rage within him to the point that he no longer wanted to take revenge on those who hurt me.
Today, he has forgiveness and joins me in giving lectures and seminars. A professional will stay disconnected. A loved one may not. If you have a loved one who is or willing to help you through this, make sure they do not build up hurt and anger within them.
If you are having trouble finding the right avenue, you are welcome to visit us online and use our site for your information or to contact us to see if we can help you find the right professionals to get you started on your road to recovery. The sooner you get help, the sooner you put your life back together. We love you, Rita (firstname.lastname@example.org)