Jennifer Stuck

Child-on-Child Sexual Abuse: It’s No Game

child on child abuse

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.

Grieving & Celebrating Father’s Day

Grieving Father's DayBethany: Father’s Day feels so empty to me–like one of those holidays like Flag Day or Secretary’s Day. Why should I pay attention to those? I don’t have a flag, a secretary or a father. My dad is in prison for sexually abusing me for most of my childhood.

Father’s Day for me has always been about going through the motions. Why should I honor a man who doesn’t deserve honor? He contributed a seed, but after that everything he for me was destructive.

Christina: I remember writing Father’s Day cards that really gushed about what a great dad I had, but it was always what I thought I should have felt about him. I felt guilty for not being more sincere. I thought something was wrong with me for not feeling closer or more loving. I tried to work myself up to appreciation and admiration but writing those cards always felt hollow and like a lie.

The Myth of Unconditional Love

Myth of Unconditional Love

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.