Speak out

Bring Abuse Out From Under The Rugs!!!
Angel Femia

One of the most asked questions I have been asked over the years is:
I think my family member or friend is being abused. He/She seems to always have unexplained bruises on their arms and legs {maybe more that I can’t see}. I don’t know how to approach the subject with them or even if I should.
What should I do?

I believe there is only one way to deal with abuse and that is straight up and verbal.
Of course one must be gentle at times and tough at others, but communications is the only answer to this type of question.

For many generations this problem has been stuffed into closets, under rugs and inside our bodies and minds so far that when it comes out we are like ticking time bombs and destroy all within our grasp.
We all need to see that hiding this ugly beast is not an answer for the problem.
We all need to learn what abuse actually is, the damage that has already been done, the damage that will be done if we don’t stop and how to get ourselves and each other to stop.
We all need to come face to face with one of the ugliest beasts inside ourselves and every human being, help each other see it clearly, see the repercussions of abuse and learn together to stop it.

By openly communicating these issues we will begin to open doors that need to be open in get abuse under control and eventually stopped.

Below are many reasons I believe that we need to communicate until the problem is solved:

Should We Talk?

At the age of three, I approached my mother, one morning, and tried to tell her that I had been sexually molested. As a three year old could, I described, in my own words, what my perpetrator had done to me. Of course I had no idea what sexual molestation was, therefore I was trying to tell her someone had hurt me, and what this person had done.
My mother got angry with me, slapped my face, told me that it must have been a nightmare and sent me to bed for telling her such a lie. I hid in the back of my closet crying my heart out.
Later Mom came and told me that what I had told her must have just been a nightmare. She brainwashed me into believing her story of events. I remember Mom telling me over and over that it was just a nightmare and it would just disappear. With this, my memory was blocked tight.

It was years later, after my sister had graduated from Social Work and Abuse Counseling at Ryerson, she explained to me what the experience was all about, that it was abuse and the damage it had done to me that had to be attended to.
I was, by this time addicted to several different medications for many illnesses, later found due to surprising my secrets of abuse.
Now, well into my twenties, and had made more mistakes then I care to remember, as well as having endured test after test in order to figure out why I was so ill and suicidal.

It took over ten years of pushing, on my sisters’ part to get me to consider counseling at all. "I was just going to fix this on my own," I kept telling her and myself. That was a joke. I had learned a very bad habit from my Mom and that was self -brainwashing and hiding behind false pride.
I found myself in major denial of how distorted my thinking truly was. How taken over by pain, anger, resentment, self hatred, negative thinking and guilt I was, and how important it was to, put away my false pride and see all of this clearly, and change it. I like many others believed I could do the imposable, without saying a word to anyone else.

Twenty-five years later the perpetrator, my Uncle, {I mentioned in the first paragraph} had been suspected, by the guidance councilor at his grandchildren’s school, of molesting both of his grandchildren. The kids were both attending the same school in Cornwall, Ontario.

My Uncle was charged and put in jail. He was not relieved of his Nitro Glycerin pills, when arrested. The police and other family members did not truly want to believe he had done such a horrid thing to his own grandchildren, but there was too much evidence against him not to have arrested him. He swallowed all his pills and died before they could get him to the hospital.

The moment I was told of his death, my mind began to race. Thoughts, completely out of control, flashed repeatedly through my head. The pain dragged me to the floor in terror. My block exploded. I remembered the entire incident of the molestation in vivid detail. Now, I had not at this point, been told the manner of his death. I did not show up for the funeral. To say the least, the family was angry for that move.

A few months later I received another call of death. One of the children whom my uncle had molested killed her self. She, barley thirteen years old, had been hospitalized, since our uncle, her grandfather had committed suicide.

About one month after his death, this child was aloud to go home for a weekend, she was aloud to visit home and spent a weekend with her family. Of course she was sent with enough medication to get through this visit.

This child took all of her medication at once, pored lighter fluid all over the basement floor, stood in the middle of the gas soaked room, and lit the match that took her to her death.

When Chris told me that my uncle had died she left out a large part of the story. This time my sister told me the entire story. It was the first I had herd that these kids had experienced the hell I lived within, and guilt, painfully filled my head and guts like a knife was ripping me apart. My mind was stuck flashing the fact that I had not told anyone, what had happened to me, and this child, my cousin, was dead. Immediately followed with a nagging rip through my heart, telling me that if I had have told someone, my secret, she {my cousin} may be alive today.

Nothing had ever been so horridly painful as that moment.

I spent the next few years in counseling and therapy, and am a much better person for this. No longer do I suffer from the torments I had been living with.

During the therapy process I found that the pain was changed into joy, the anger into strength, the resentment into forgiveness, the negative thinking into faith, the guilt into wisdom and the self-hatred into self-love.

Not perfect by far, but much better then the ball of horrid energies I had been. To this day, I have a few therapists; I can and do call, whenever I feel the need.

I see and talk to many people, who have been abused, some know and some don’t yet understand that there are problems due to unattended issues. Anyone that has been abused and does not get proper help for, it may some time find that they have made the same mistake as I had. Today I use my abuse issues in hopes that someone reading or hearing them will come out of denial and speak out.

Talking about it could save your life and someone else.

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