Grateful for another chance to talk to fellow survivors on this week’s episode of the Blue Radio Show Podcast. Thanks to Helia for reaching out and asking me to share my story. You can listen to the audio on either the YouTube above, or on Spotify, and check out the other episodes where Helia has…
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.
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 feel fairly certain I have never read a worse example of how certain worldviews will have to end up blaming the victim for their own suffering than this quote from an article about how we can fetishize “surviving” during difficult times, often taking more interest in things like the Holocaust:
Recently, a textbook required for the UNC minicourse “21st Century Wellness” was skewered for suggesting—as a headline read—“Holocaust victims who died failed to find their inner strength.” The actual text included: “The people in the camps who did not tap into the strength that comes from their intrinsic worth succumbed to the brutality to which they were subjected.”
I realize that this seems shocking that anyone would believe this, but I have a different take on it. Why wouldn’t some people believe this?
Somehow, even though this is from 2016, I hadn’t seen it until last night. It’s a TEDx talk by survivor, and advocate Lauren Book. (https://laurenskids.org)
In it. she shares her own story, and some words about going from victim, to advocate and how we can all advocate for children, but the part that really caught my attention was the beginning, and no not just because she uses an air horn. It’s the description of our responses to trauma, and how they are just part of us, mostly outside of our control, especially as children. Lauren’s freeze response wasn’t just a one-time event either, it went on for years, and was tied to thinking that all of it was her own fault.
If this sound familiar, that’s because it is really common. We just don’t talk about it. We don’t talk about sexual abuse at all, and if we do, this kind of response is usually met with some nasty comments about why we waited to say anything. Those comments simply communicate that the person saying them, knows nothing about the brain and trauma response.
Don’t be that person. Watch and learn a thing or two.
These men will never get their day in court to read their victim statements, and be cheered on by the public, but given how uncomfortable we are with the subject matter, even if they did, would we welcome it the same way we did during the trial of Larry Nasser? If not, what does that say about us?