Tuesday, 18 August 2015 11:00 AM
Wow, you expressed the feelings of so many survivors in your eloquent and moving post,
As a survivor of repeated sexual, physical and emotional abuse, I can relate so well to the complexities of disclosure and the negative consequences. While it seems to be OK for victims of institutional abuse, as an individual, disclosure about either the abuse or about the impact of complex trauma has inevitably resulted in a slow steady fading of the relationship. But it is part of who I am, so if people don't know about it they can never really know ME, which makes me very sad.
I also relate to your difficulty in believing that you are a victim of violence, and your "at least I'm not dead" comment (a favourite of mine!). It takes so much effort to keep putting on a brave face that I feel tired all the time, and rarely socialise because it takes so much out of me.
I am fortunate to be working, but I'm a lot older than 25!! Keep at it, and remember that you have many advantages as well as disadvantages resulting from your experiences - empathy, tolerance, strength and determination to name a few.
As a victim of intra-familial abuse, I too have the feeling that I don't really fit in to any group, and that in terms of police reporting, this group of victims is often put into the "too hard basket". But I can't see how it is possible for this to change when victims are all so scattered...
I wrote a poem (I find poetry very therapeutic - whatever floats your boat, hey!) about victims of intra-familial abuse that I think you will relate to called "An Ode to the Unacknowledged Majority" which I have included at the end of this post.
Wishing you all the very best for the future, and thank-you for expressing so well what so many of us feel :)
AN ODE TO THE UNACKNOWLEDGED MAJORITY:
With the current focus quite appropriately
On the issue of institutional abuse
Please spare a thought for those excluded
The unacknowledged majority of the sexually abused
The Unacknowledged Majority of the sexually abused
Are those for whom the abuse that occurred
Was not institutional but intra-familial
Their ordeals took place in family homes
So they don’t belong to any kind of group
This unacknowledged majority
Left to bear their burden alone
Scattered throughout the community
Disclosure is a solo process
Pitting victims against family members
With often no way to positively prove
That anything ever happened
So the veil of secrecy remains firmly in place
And unspeakable deeds remain uncorroborated
Perpetrators remain unpunished
And their victims alone in their struggle
With no chance of apologies or retribution
No promise of recognition for their suffering
Nothing in place for future prevention
No pathways for compensation
But if they are the majority then it doesn’t make sense
Making me feel we are missing the whole point
Because surely we should be empowering all children
And teaching all of us to reach out to a child in distress
So this is my ode to the Unacknowledged Majority
Those whose abuse occurred within the family
No matter how alone you might feel
There are many of you, albeit spread widely