by Jennifer Stuck When I first started opening up about my childhood sexual abuse, I felt like I was carrying a deep dark secret that made me different from other survivors. It was the part of my story I alwaysRead more
by Jennifer Stuck
Still to this day, anytime I hear the phrases “playing doctor” or “show-and-tell,” I feel a shiver run down my spine.
Only recently have I realized that this is because my mother used those phrases to make light of my abuse from an older neighbor boy. She would even speak to other people casually about it right in front of me, like it was no big deal, saying things like, “I caught Jenny playing doctor with the neighbor boy again.”
I think using playful terms like those helped ease her own guilty conscience for not protecting me. If I was just “playing doctor” she could tell herself it was normal childhood exploring instead of seeing the reality that I was being sexually abused by an older child.
by Penny Smith I had admitted to myself that I had been abused. I reached the point that I was tired of the way I was living. I wanted something more. I knew I had to deal with the effectsRead more
by Bethany I grew up watching Disney movies, dreaming that one day I could be the heroine of the story or wed a handsome prince. I yearned to live out an epic romance, where I would be swept off myRead more
by Linda Pittman People used to tell me I was pretty but I never believed it. I always felt like they had an ulterior motive. I thought they said those things so that they could use me or because theyRead more
by Jennifer Stuck My childhood sexual abuse used to be something I rarely thought about. In fact, most of my time was spent finding ways to stuff my memories and feelings, doing anything I could to distract myself. I compulsivelyRead more
by Patty Hite Sometimes I feel like I am an advocate for anger. I don’t want others to think that I am an angry old woman, full of bitterness and mad at the world. That is not who I am. Read more
by Patty Hite Have you ever thought how ridiculous these three words are? “Forget About It!” I have been told to do this so many times over the years, especially about my abuse. I’ve spent so much time and energyRead more
by Linda Pittman Throughout my healing journey from childhood sexual abuse, I have heard a lot about the need for “healthy boundaries”. How do I know if my boundaries are healthy? What are they and how do I measure mine?Read more
by Jennifer Stuck
I’ve been bombarded with the idea of unconditional love for as long as I can remember. Everywhere from home, to church, to Valentine’s Day commercials, people have pushed the concept that I should show love with no strings attached and expect nothing in return. People throw around phrases like “Blood is thicker than water”, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, and “Love means never having to say I’m sorry.” But what does this type of thinking do to my personal boundaries? And more importantly, why SHOULDN’T my love have conditions?
I’ve recently become aware that the belief in unconditional love has interfered with my healing from childhood sexual abuse. In the past, I found it difficult to express anger towards the people who hurt me. My abusers weren’t my family and I never loved them, but I did care deeply about the people in my family who failed to protect me. The positive feelings I felt for my family coupled with the anger I felt about them neglecting me was confusing.