This week has been emotionally draining for me. I debated about continuing to write about the qualities I’m still working to cultivate; self control, and patience, since I touched on them in my last post. When I decided to start writing on this website I wanted to keep it all positive, but in order for others to understand how far I’ve come, I think it would be helpful to touch on a subject not so often talked about.
One of the biggest fears a parent can have is that of their child being sexually abused. I had a nightmare a week ago that set off a panic attack that woke me up. Without going into too much detail, in the dream, I went from thinking, “this person wants to molest my child”, to, “oh no, he’s already done it”. I felt powerless and I felt rage, and I didn’t know what to do with those feelings. The people standing around me didn’t believe me when I shared this with them, so I asked them, “what do I have to do? Does the harm have to be visible, like a cut on the throat, in order for you to take it seriously?!”
I told my therapist how unusual it is for me to awaken with a panic attack, so she asked me if I had had a nightmare. I hadn’t linked the two together! When I shared the details of the dream, she helped me to see it from a different perspective. The focus for me was of my son being harmed, and wanting others to understand the seriousness of it. She brought out that it’s probably me seeking validation for what happened to me when I was a child.
My first memory of abuse happened when I was three, maybe four years old. My son is three, and I see a lot of my personality in him, quirks and all. Maybe that’s why in this dream he was the victim. In trying to get me to heal this wound, my mind used something I love and put it through something painful. I got the message, “it’s time to fix this”.
At this point, though, I don’t feel like I’m seeking validation from others. The validation I’m seeking now is from myself. It’s like the abused little girl in me, wants, and needs me to acknowledge her feelings; feelings I had buried. It’s time to face them and let them go, but in a healthy way, because the way I was dealing with them before was by resorting to self destructive behavior. The result of this? More guilt and shame. That wasn’t what I wanted. What I desperately sought, was to heal the emotional pain.
I told my husband this week that I was ready to face whatever memory came up, that the worse had already happened, and the work of dealing with the emotions had to begin. I wouldn’t have the strength for this if I still hated myself! A good foundation is needed in order not to crumble. I didn’t appreciate the importance of this before, but it is so necessary to get through such trauma.
I know the topic of child sexual abuse is a sensitive subject, but the times we live in call for us to do so. I think not talking about it gives the abusers power (which they don’t deserve), and they become more brazen, so they continue in their conduct of hurting children in the most humiliating way, sexually. In not discussing it, victims also fall into a seemingly endless cycle of shame and guilt. It’s time to break that cycle!
I refuse to continue giving power to those who don’t deserve it!
Love you guys :’)