by Patty Hite, Jennifer Stuck & Christina Enevoldsen Patty: Thirty years ago, when I started to heal from sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, there were no support groups for survivors. No one talked openly about abuse, especially not about sexual
by Patty Hite The day we got married, Bill greeted me in our kitchen with a slap across the face that was so hard it knocked me to the floor. He grabbed my hair and dragged me into the bedroom
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 always
by Christina Enevoldsen In the first few years of healing from childhood sexual abuse and separating from my abusive parents, I approached each holiday feeling a little anxious. Holidays used to be times for gathering with family but they became
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 Christina Enevoldsen “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfill it.” George Santayana Recently, I warned a close family friend that his children weren’t safe around my dad, who molested me for most of my childhood. The
by Christina Enevoldsen When my two-year-old grandson accomplishes anything—big or small—he celebrates. Benjamin gets a huge grin on his face and claps his hands vigorously when he goes potty on the toilet. When he puts all his toys away, he
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 effects
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 my
by Christina Enevoldsen Blame has a bad reputation. People say it’s useless and unproductive. It’s been accused of preventing people from moving forward. It’s been blamed for keeping people in victim mentality. I was one of those people who blamed