Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Is Why Parents Don't Get Told

There are a lot of things that go through a person's mind when they've been raped or sexually assaulted. I wish I could say that these things get easier with time. To an extent, they do, but life never returns to 'normal,' whatever that is. The hesitation to tell someone about the assault can definitely grow over time.

As a child, I really didn't have a huge idea that other people weren't going through what I was experiencing. I thought that it could just be a part of life and growing up. I slowly learned that what was happening to me was not alright, not normal, and not something that should be happening. I couldn't bring myself to tell my mom until sometime in the last year or so.

I was so afraid that my mom would react like this family did, that she would be ashamed of or mad at me. I cannot even express how many times I tried to talk about what was happening, what had happened to me. I'd open my mouth to start to talk about it, but then would change the subject or conveniently 'forget' what I was saying. My mom did everything when I was younger to try and make sure that these things she went through as a young girl did not happen to my sister and me, but even all of her careful questions and explanations of good touch/bad touch couldn't overcome the feelings of being abused.

It's only really been within the last year that I've been able to talk more openly about the things that happened to me as a little girl. Even then, I still feel so vulnerable that when people ask me questions about what happened, I can't answer them. Many times, I do want to answer these questions, but the power that these abusers hold over us silence even the most talkative tongues. Other times, I can't describe things I've experienced or even remember what happened. These, of course, end up being the things that people I've spoken to about my abuse want to know about.

If anyone in your life has been sexually abused or assaulted, the most important thing to do is to be supportive and understanding. No one knows exactly what happened to me and, in all likelihood, no one will. It is not that I don't trust the people in my life enough to speak about these things, but there's a pain that exists that can't really be described, even to myself.


RMJ said...

Brave post. How did your mom react, in the end?

KirBir said...

Thanks :)

She was in shock. She had been a victim of molestation and sexual abuse growing up as well, so she handled it better than most would I imagine. She still blames herself for not noticing the signs. Occasionally she will try to ask things about the abuse - not in a pushy way - but I try to not bring it up that much. One of the abusers was an ex-boyfriend of hers and that took a little longer to reveal and explain than the rest of it.

erin said...

As a mom I find this article very interesting and disturbing. I did find it difficult to read b/c the green on black was really difficult to see. I had to make the font huge to see it.

KirBir said...

Erin, can you talk more about your feelings? I'd like to know more about what you thought and felt.

Oh, and sorry about the font. I am a political activist and it is a way for me to show solidarity with the people of Iran, fighting for their basic rights.