By making our voices heard and speaking out, we can begin to make a difference in this world. These comments reveal the shame survivors face every day.
Survivor #17: I am 56-years-old and in August last year, my elder brother, who is six years my senior, died from cancer. It was only after he was diagnosed that the psychological pain of the sexual abuse (rape) by him became part of my consciousness. Up until then, I had always known of it, but I had dissociated from the impact of it on my life and relationships. Just days before he died, he acknowledged that it had happened, and I believe he carried a lot of guilt and shame himself. I told him he would take our secret to his grave. I felt I had to because he has a wife and family and was very much loved by my other siblings. It is very clear to me that all my life, I have been a “rescuer” and felt compelled to carry the emotional burden for others because I had learned how to, and that was my job!
Survivor #18: My abuser passed away. I dealt with my mom about the bottled up emotions stemming from my childhood abuse that my mom claimed to have never known about. BUT, I still find myself at times in conflict with my adult children and others. I am suicidal at times in the sense that I am comfortable with being dead but desire to escape into the woods and pick flowers and drink and breathe in nature. But each time this occurs, it seems to get lengthier in time for me to recover from wanting to be dead. I feel as if I have lived in hell all my life and need some peace. It does not involve people—only animals and the earth.
Survivor #19: The next time Obama’s administration emails me about an update or asks for a donation, I think I’ll ask why he doesn’t seem too concerned for the impact child abuse has had on those that experienced it and are now adults.