I recently moved and, like anyone else who has ever moved, I came a cross a box I had forgotten about. Before I knew it I was lost in the past; reading and reading and reading and remembering. I sat there a couple of hours later shaking my head at a past that should never have happened to me or to anyone else. This time though I am reading it as a mere observer and I give many, many thanks to many years of good counseling and therapist and hard work for the ability to do that. It was still painful. I still felt the loss of a childhood I never had. It was not the trigger it would have been a few years ago.
Therapy notes, letters, and many written words that never made it into my book, Can You Hear Me Now? made a surprise appearance in my garage that day! Just as the past makes its surprise appearance for survivors of child sexual abuse, physical abuse, and yes even war veterans everywhere. Post traumatic stress is for children too.
There are approximately 315 million people in the United States and approximately 95 MILLION of them are adults “abused” as children. There are an unspeakable number of children experiencing what you are about to read. Children live this for years. Can you really turn away because it is too difficult to see? Hear? Acknowledge and say… NO MORE! I guarantee you looked at a child this week who is living with sexual abuse. I guarantee you looked at an adult who is sexually abusing a child. Did you recognize them? You would be surprised at who they are.
This was written many years ago in counseling when I could not bring myself to talk aloud about my own life. I think it’s worth sharing.
I waited in the dark. I feign sleep terrified of what the darkness will bring to me. I waited for the hushed viciousness of a voice that is no longer human to my ears. I waited for the face that becomes grotesque and monstrous in the dark. I waited, for hands that will crawl over my body like the slime of snakes and worms and rot. I consider poking my eyes out so that I can’t see when it comes into my room. I know it will come. I waited in the dark like a hunted animal sweating and shivering. It’s not cold. It’s summer.
I can’t scream out for help as I hear more than see the door knob turn. I try but it dies, dry in my throat, not even a croak. And then, stealthy, it comes to me. I wait knowing there is no escape. I wait knowing there will be pain. I wait knowing no one cares. I wait knowing no one can stop this. I waited while it chuckles quietly at my compliance.
Now I wait for the screaming I hear in my head to stop.
We all wait for that.