Abuse, Incest, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rape

WE MUST STOP HIDING

Its been a long while since I have written in my blog and there was a good reason for it; at least that is what I thought. My intention for writing my blog was to share my story freely for the first time. I knew it would stir emotions in my family, and so it did. I watched my family react to my “coming out” like a bunch of chickens running around with their heads cut off. Everyone was suddenly communicating with each other on social media, trying their hardest to calm the situation. But as usual, when my grandfather’s issue of being a pedophile arises, everyone talks about it until I “shut up”; then it dies, unit I bring it up again. I knew if I stopped making entries in my blog, everyone would slowly crawl back into their corners and hope that it stays that way. However, the real reason that I quit writing in my blog was this: I did communicate with a few family members and was told that the elders were concerned that my grandmother is very sick and (as if I need another burden on my mind) news of the abuse arising again may just kill her. So as you can imagine, I decided to shut up once again. The thought of being responsible for the possible death of my grandmother was to much to bare. Besides, everyone is quiet again, continuing to live their lives. Me, well….I am still dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, trying not to think about how invisible I am to my family…I tried really hard to go away, I really did. BUT THIS MORNING I WAS SENT A LINK TO READ AN ARTICLE THAT WAS PRINTED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES. IT WAS ABOUT DYLAN FARROW AND HER ABUSE BY HER FATHER WOODY ALLEN.

After reading her letter, I was inspired. 20 years later, and she too has PTSD. 20 years later and she too feels the need to share her story again with the world. 20 years later and she still has questions that will never be answered. 20 years later and she wonders why the adults in her life did nothing to support her once the abuse was revealed. 20 years later and she cannot look at a toy train without being re-traumatized over and over again, a feeling I know too well. And to think that some people want her to shut up and go away; yet we cannot go away. We cannot go away because our trauma does not go away. The feeling of numbness does not go away when we are constantly triggered by things that remind us of our sick relationship with our abuser. The fears that arise when we are parenting our children, does not go away. The battle of being in a state of peace against remaining in a state of anger, does not go away. The horrible memories and flashbacks do not go away. We do not choose to dwell on the issue, the issue dwells with us. It takes on a life of its own and we have to learn how to live with this life and care for it….be with it….move with it. We cannot pack it away; it goes where ever we go. The issue follows us to work or to school. It follows us to the bathroom and our bedroom. It follows us to the grocery store, so much so that I have walked out of a grocery store because a man resembled my grandfather and I could not stand to be in a room with someone who even looks like him.

As a survivor of incest, the word “family” becomes a trigger because it was “family” that violated us; so our concept of “family” and what that means is very twisted. It is twisted because what happened to us is twisted. And when your family does nothing to support your healing…..that is twisted even more. The adults are the ones who cover the pedophile; the adults are the ones who decide to press charges or not, usually because the victims are too young to make such a decision. Yet it is the victims who must become survivors. We survive by working very hard to live. We survive in absence of support by the ones who claim to love us the most. We survive because we want to help others…….come out of the darkness.

It is in sharing our stories that we heal, grow and help others. THANK YOU DYLAN FARROW, THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME TO STOP HIDING. I am not going away and I will not shut up; nor will I be blamed for any circumstance or situation that takes place due to my speaking out. I will not carry that guilt. I am sorry for the pain that my story may cause but Dylan Farrow showed me that while some may feel pain, others will be inspired. It feels great to know that others are dealing with similar situations. It feels great because the feeling of loneliness becomes too familiar. I know every feeling that Dylan Farrow is feeling and I stand with her because it is what I would want for myself. I was very inspired by her letter to continue sharing my story…and that, I will surely do.

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