overcoming sexual abuse

The Lie of “Letting It Go”

Letting it go

My lifetime of abuse gave me the feeling of being the constant target of a nameless, faceless bully. Unable to conceal my terror or prevent whimpers from escaping, every sign of protest fed his lust for more suffering. He was never satisfied; the more he saw the pain he inflicted, the greater his appetite for more.

My hope for relief seemed to be in pretending I didn’t notice. I desperately wanted to be someone who could say, “Is that all you got?”

I couldn’t have conceived of chasing off my attacker or of defending myself. The only thing I could imagine was coping better by developing tougher skin.

It’s not a mystery to me where I learned to cope. While I was growing up being sexually abused by my dad and emotionally abused by both my parents, I had no voice, no impact. There was no escape from the bullies in my own home and it was unthinkable for my child self to say, “Mom and Dad, the way you treat me really hurts me and I deserve to be valued and respected. If you don’t change, I’m moving out on my own.”

Why It’s Important to Heal My Own Way

by Patty Hite

When I started on my healing journey, I wanted someone to just give me the answers, show me the way and tell me what to do. I wanted to be taken care of because I didn’t have the confidence to take care of myself.

There wasn’t anyone to talk to or to show me how so I turned to books. There were only a few library books on abuse, and even fewer books about healing. Most of what I found were stories from survivors. In their stories, they wrote about what they did to heal.

Most of them went to therapists and I felt defeated because I couldn’t go to one. I came from a very small town and there were no therapists or counselors. Even if there had been, I wouldn’t have been able to afford it and I honestly don’t think I would have told anyone else…

I Blamed Myself For My Abuse Since I Didn’t Tell

shame for not telling about my sexual abuseby Christina Enevoldsen

When my daughter was nineteen and her father and I were in the middle of a divorce, she shared the horrible truth about what her dad had been doing to her for most of her life. As I tried to wrap my head around the fact that I had been completely blind all those years, a few words slipped from my mouth, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

I know now how painful those words can be. They communicate that all would have been well if only she would have come to me. That question might have also meant, “If that’s really true, then why are you only telling me now?” But I never doubted the truth and I didn’t blame her. My reaction came from feeling like a fool for being deceived by my husband all those years.