AWARENESS? What is it? it is the education of the uninformed and misinformed.

hpcaThe pain! A woman tried to take her own life last night. I’ve been sitting here reminded of the pain I so desperately once felt. Thank God, she failed. I once tried to take my own life, the first time I was 9 or 10. Every time I failed I felt like more of a failure. As an adult my life became unbearable. I was so desperately unhappy and didn’t know why, just like she doesn’t know why. I told her to stay strong because of the legacy her death would leave for her children, she said she is not a fit mother for them. I told her she failed because the strong little girl inside her wants to live. All she could say is why…

I’ve been listening to her story and it’s gruesome. Sad. Desperate. When you are sexually abused as a child part of you stops growing. When it is violent, lots of parts stop growing. That child gets stuck in those emotions.

I have never met her in person, BUT, I know her as I know who I used to be. She hasn’t the means for formal therapy. She is in a very rural area making it even more difficult to find resources. She is in groups, secret groups online where people much like me try to hold her together long enough to find a program somewhere near her. I send her words of encouragement and the suicide hotline number on a regular basis, imploring her to use it. I worry every day that she will not.

She can’t talk to her family, they want her to pretend it didn’t happen. She sees her abuser (child rapist) on a regular basis. She can’t get the counseling help she desperately needs because she lacks the resources. She has no friends because she never learned to trust anyone and she thinks she is unworthy of love and friendship.

It is a tragedy that in the month of April, the most important month in the year for survivors, she can’t talk about this heinous event in her life. She couldn’t talk about it when she was 8 and now she is 42 she still can’t talk about it. The aftermath of child rape is daintily swept under the carpet. No one is exempt from the risk. Nothing but open conversation will save your children. Not money, neighborhood, culture, race or religion.

I was once told, “Nice people do not talk about these sorts of things.” I talked.
I was once told, “This will never happen in my family.” It did.
I was once told, “I can’t imagine this happening to my child.” I said, that is dangerous.
I was once told, “This wouldn’t happen in my church.” They arrested the pastor.

I dream and pray that there will come a day when we shine the light of the universe in all the dark places and children can be taught to talk freely about what is happening to them. They won’t have secrets to keep, lives to hide, and broken hearts to mend. Maybe someday we wont have pin wheel gardens in the month of April. Maybe… Let it begin with me and with you… Annie

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