Reasons I Didn’t Tell Anyone I was Being Sexually Abused
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Reasons I Didn’t Tell Anyone I was Being Sexually Abused

That’s why when people approach me with ideas for how to prevent childhood sexual abuse, the only two things I focus on are education and honesty. I didn’t even know I was being abused because I lacked any education, and I didn’t talk to anyone because there were no safe adults for me to talk to. 

If you want to prevent abuse, do those things. Talk to kids about sex, abuse, rape, violence, and LGBTQ issues. Please give them the vocabulary to talk about what is happening to them, to define what is right and wrong, and a place to get their questions answered honestly, get good information on the topic, and have open conversations without judgment. 

If you aren’t willing to provide that for kids, I guarantee you there is a predator out there who will be more than happy to fill in the spaces for the kids around you and teach them about sex. You’re not going to like what they teach them. 

Some Conversations Are Easier Online

Some Conversations Are Easier Online

I have understood this for a long time. I can write here and don’t have to see anyone react immediately when they read it. I can see their reaction when I tell someone about being abused in person. I can watch their facial expressions and body language. I can see every bit of their discomfort, and their signs of dismissal cut me. If you don’t think telling someone in person that you need their help isn’t scary, I can only assume that is because you’ve never done it.

So when you see someone share something on social media about their mental health, and your response is to wonder why they didn’t just talk to you about it, remember how much harder that is. Maybe they aren’t ready yet, or you just haven’t done enough to earn that trust. Consider how many people in your life may be dealing with very difficult things they just haven’t told anyone about yet.

Let’s Talk About Your Friend with Social Anxiety
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Let’s Talk About Your Friend with Social Anxiety

Someone you know is likely struggling with anxiety. Likely, many of you are, too, just like I am. With general anxiety running rampant across society right now, we can also assume that a large portion of social anxiety is going around too. If you have a friend who has struggled to keep plans or stay in touch, be kind. Recognize their anxiety and take a small action that sends the message that you are happy to see them. For me, it’s been a sincere hug or smile upon seeing me. It’s an immediate reminder that this person wants to be with me. There is an undeniable feeling that seeing me makes them happy.

They probably have no idea how much they have done by expressing that to me, but it makes all the difference in the world. I can immediately go from being all in my insecurities to all in the acceptance and warmth of long-time friends. It might not seem like much, but it is.

To Create Change, You Have to Move
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To Create Change, You Have to Move

Over the weekend, we spent some time in New Orleans, and stopped by the sculpture garden in City Park. One particular installation grabbed my attention as a metaphor for childhood abuse and trauma. Often, when speaking to survivors, I hear them describe being “stuck”. I understand this, as it is common for many of us…

In Order to Learn, We Need to Unlearn
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In Order to Learn, We Need to Unlearn

“What is the first business of one who practices philosophy? To get rid of self-conceit. For it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn that which he thinks he already knows.” -Epictetus, Discourses, Book II, ch. 17 A couple of years back, I shared an article about learning based on this quote. I shared…