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Shame and Telling

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#16 NancyPS

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 10:21 PM

Too many women feel this Collective Shame, because of the silence.

I am going to ask people a favor. Don't be silenced.

Thanks for this post from long ago, and thanks for reminding me/us not to be silent. We should NOT feel shame for something we didn't cause.

I just returned home last night from out of state...where my abuser was finally sentenced, for victims he abused after me. The statute of limitations had run out for me to charge him although I passed a polygraph test and TRIED to bring charges against him on my own behalf.

His abuse of me occurred when I was age 8 to 11 or so, over a 3 year period...... I am now 45. There are at least 6 other victims of his abuse...and we fear many more.

His charges were for 3 of those 6 that we know of..... 2 are his daughters, and one his grandchild.....
He is a sick person.... and while I feel huge relief he can't hurt another little girl.... I still feel a void in my heart for the me that was lost....and for what the other victims have lost.... things we can never get back.... lost innocence... ability to trust others or ourselves.... it's gone... all gone...

The abusers don't get it..... the damage they do to us....not that they care....
It's like tossing a stone in a very still lake..... the ripples keep affecting.... others.....forever....and ever....

Keep up the fight..... believe in yourselves....
Living well is the best revenge.... they may have stolen your past... or present...don't let them steal your future.
You owe it to yourself to go on.....
Don't waste another minute on dwelling on them.... take care of YOU!

#17 ladyshen92

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 08:58 AM

Thank you jes, I turely am in awe of this post and its something which I really needed to know and has encouraged me to talk about my story. Although many victims will highly benifit from speaking to others, shame is sometimes just to overpowerful as I have found.


#18 bronte

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 03:03 PM

Thanks jes.
That's very well written.
sorry reese about those that don't ask and then about your aunt. :rolleyes:
Even though they deny, blame, run, manipulate, scheme and try and control, if you tell, the truth is out there.

love bronte.

Edited by bronte, 03 December 2009 - 04:27 PM.

#19 raspberrysar

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 11:36 AM

Thank you, for this. It's really helped me.

#20 by.the.ocean

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 06:11 AM

Thank you Jes. Thank you so much. I feel stronger after reading your words.


#21 Greeneyedmexi

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:09 PM

I wrote this a long time ago, and noticed the thread it was in is distorted, so I thought it was worth a repost :)

Rape. Molested. Incest. Abuse. Sexual Assualt.

These have words have such power. From us, they have taken control, safety and power. In replacement, we have been given hurt, anger and shame and we are silenced by it. They have power over our families, our friends, our peers and co-workers, too. These words have the power to them say things like "Are you sure?" or "Why didn't you do this, that or the other thing?" They make them call us liars. They make people we know and trust physically recoil from us, look away or just blush. It's all hurtful, so hurtful that it silences us.

Why do we feel shame? Before we even tell, we are ashamed. This is a society in which sex crimes are unspeakable. When we tell, our feelings about the rape, molestation or incest are influenced by the way the person we trusted enough to tell reacts to us. To those of you who told and received no support, I applaud you. Your search to heal is just heroic, and shows unwavering bravery. To tell takes untold courage. Again, I applaud you in your search to heal despite the shame given you. Rape is not the unspeakable crime; What your friends and families did by silencing you with shame is.

So why DO these people we trust so much look away?

Fear. Thinking that, "Well, rape happens to other people. Not to people I know. If it happened to someone I know, then it can happen to me, and it can't." Therefore, my friend, my daughter, my sister, wasn't raped."

Ignorant. Just fucking ignorant.

Control. Blame is a way to control. We blame our own selves, too don't we? By saying, "Why didn't you, run, scream, fight harder, etc...." our friends, families and peers put the control into our hands. They think..."If she had fought harder she would have gotten away. If she had yelled, someone would have heard her. I would have yelled. I would have gotten away. I would have been heard. This can't happen to me." It's a way for non-survivors to think they actually control their own environments. "The survivor, she didn't. But this can't happen to me." When we blame ourselves, we give control back to ourselves. I should have fought harder. I should have yelled. It's a way to protect our own mistaken belief that we control our own lives. We don't. Shit just happens. Us survivors, we learned that, in one heartbreaking minute.

We don't want that control, do we? Not when the shame comes with it. But people give that control to us, unasked for. And it makes us really ashamed. And silent.

Discomfort-People are generally uncomfortable with discussions about genitals, and when we tell them that our genitals were so horribly abused, they become uncomfortable.

I was mugged, two years ago. Total control was taken from me, by a man with a gun to my face, and I reached into the back pocket of my jeans and gave him money. He walked away. Was I ashamed? No. Did people treat me differently? No. I found sympathy. "What can I do for you?" "Are you okay?" "That must have been scary." This is how people reacted.

Rape is the unspeakable crime because it involves the control of our genitals. Our genitals to be treasured. They are to be worshipped. We do not speak of them.

Seven weeks ago, penis was put into my vagina without my consent.

The reluctance to speak about a crime involving genitals makes what is essentially a horrible mugging more awful for me. I am horrified that this happened and people don't want to hear about it, even though I desperately need to talk about it with those who can help me make sense out of this world. However, people don't talk about these things, so I am quickly and effectively silenced.

I am silent, because their words hurt, because I am afraid of more abuse, because I am afraid of their pain and their reactions.

For those of you, especially those of you who have been more effectively silenced than I have; I am in awe of you. To heal must be incredibly difficult.

Too many women are raped, molested, abused and assaulted because of the silence.

Too many women feel this Collective Shame, because of the silence.

I am going to ask people a favor. Don't be silenced.

Stepping out can be so frightening, but so much can be gained. Sometimes statistics jump into my head and I can't help but think about what would happen if every victim of sexual assault were to simultaneously scream. People would begin, and those who had hadn't been able to acknowledge what has been done to them, would hear, look around, realize that they were not alone and join in. It would be the scream heard across the world and it would be the scream to change the world. No place would be silent, no person on this earth would not hear that scream and the effects of sexual assault would be frighteningly audible and thus undeniable.

That is an unrealistic vision right now, but it is not unrealistic to break the silence on a smaller scale. End the silence at your own pace. Any step is a good step, no matter what it is. These steps are acts of bravery. Stay safe when you take steps. If just reading this was the biggest step you can take, then good for you. You have something to be proud of. If you can, write it. If you can say your word to yourself, say it. If you can say rape, incest molestation to a friend, try it on for size. If you can yell it, like I did last night, yell it. If you can speak out, then do so.

Any step you take, is a step in ending this collective shame and silence, that we all feel. Now that is empowering, to us, the survivors, and to all women.

This is so true. I have been in therapy for Depression since I was 20 and I am 30 now. Therapists have asked "Has anyone ever abused you?" I feel my face get hot and I feel like a bug under the microscope.
"Can I tell? Can the words even come out of my mouth?" I would always say no. The first time I told anyone was when I attempted suicide and spent time in a mental facility. I had to talk to Social Worker Therapist. That was her first question! OMG! Somehow I just starting telling her everything, sobbing all the while. Telling someone makes it become true and it makes me feel embaressed like I am some sort of outcast. My Dad was a Sadistic Monster who beat the living daylights out of my sister and me everyday until Mom and Dad got divorced at the age of almost 13 for me. Mom moved us to NC. I see it was for the best now but it was hard to leave San Diego. We had to visit my Dad every summer and things were a little better. Dad had a wife who was a Harpee. My sister sassed her and she told my Dad. My Dad began choking her so hard her feet were coming off the ground. I remember screaming and begging him to stop it! OMG! I wanted to kill him!!! I have had puzzling dreams of where I was raped over the years that I can't account for. I feel all the feelings I would if I was raped. I also have terrible nightmares of my Dad coming for me. Sometimes I am a child, sometimes I am my age now. Lately I have been screaming and letting the hatred fly back into his face.
I confronted my Dad this year and he denys he did anything to us. Because I have Bipolarism, he also implies I haven't taken my meds or something. How do you get past the anger and resentment? How do you stop the person who hurt you go on acting like he has had a loving relationship all along and he has a right to see my son this summer.

#22 mayt

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 08:30 AM

I've read two of your posts within the hour of actively participating (I'm new) and am incredibly touched and motivated by your words. Thank you.

P.S. have you ever considered writing a book? Maybe a memoir? Just had to ask. :)

#23 Aurora325

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 07:08 PM

Thank you Jes!!!

In my family I so far have only been able to tell my mother about my SA she brushed it off like it meant nothing so I never have had the courage to tell ANYONE in my family and only two friends about the rape. I know telling my parents about the rape is out of the picture, same with most of my other family, but hopefully not my cousins, one day if they need help themselves. I'm the oldest and they all look up to me so I will make it clear to them that they can tell me anything. As far as relationships and and friends go you are helping me build up the courage to know that its okay to say. So thank you thank you so much!!!


Edited by Aurora325, 05 January 2012 - 07:10 PM.

#24 silverstar415850

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 12:07 AM

This was beautifully written. Its like you took the words right out of my mouth. I am so sad that this happen to you but Im happy you are speaking out. Giving other women who remain silent a voice. Thank you for writing. Yesterday i decided to finally speak up and didn't just tell a friend. I made a video and posted it on Youtube. It feels good that its released. Even if no one watch's it.( but if an one does want to the link is below) Now i wanna keep talking about it until its all out and wont eat ate me from the inside anymore!

#25 tweb

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:21 AM

This was beautifully written. Now i wanna keep talking about it until its all out and wont eat ate me from the inside anymore!


#26 J725c

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:12 PM

Thank you for sharing. You are amazingly strong! I don't know if I am brave enough yet to break the silence, but you've given me lots to think about.

#27 Kate

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:07 PM

This was beautifully written. Its like you took the words right out of my mouth. I am so sad that this happen to you but Im happy you are speaking out. Giving other women who remain silent a voice. Thank you for writing. Yesterday i decided to finally speak up and didn't just tell a friend. I made a video and posted it on Youtube. It feels good that its released. Even if no one watch's it.( but if an one does want to the link is below) Now i wanna keep talking about it until its all out and wont eat ate me from the inside anymore!

Silverstar, thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful face and positivity with us. You really are strong, a survivor! :hug:

#28 silverstar415850

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:26 PM

aww thank you :D

#29 ScorpioJen

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:31 PM

When I was 6 my mom married my step dad, immediately he began molesting me, and the abuse continued into my teenage years. I've only told one other person, and I dont even know him anymore. Im trying very hard to come out to my family and friends with the truth of what happened, to find professional help, but like everyone on this site has said, voicing it is difficult. Im terrified that my family will be ripped apart(My mom is still married to the man that did this to me), that I will be disowned for "lying" that my boyfriend will change the way he acts around me, that I will loose my shakey support system. Thank you all for giving me more courage, and explaining some of the issues I've been dealing with my entire life. Reading other's stories is incredibly helpful, and the advice and support on this site is amazing. Hopefully soon, I'll overcome my fears, and take the first step.

#30 LivFree

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 08:34 PM

That was a great post. I recently spoke out to the police after 12 years of keeping it a secret. I am still waiting to do the main interview with a detective. (the policy here is to tell a uniformed officer first.) Though I was terrified of speaking about it before now I just want to get it out into the open and release all this poison that has been living inside me. I don't expect a conviction, but I do want my story on the record in case I might be able to prevent him from hurting anyone else ever again.


It feels good. Like a huge weight has been taken off my chest. I feel calmer and more clear headed. And now I just want to get it out as quickly as possible.



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