Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, April 07, 2006

Kudos to Teri Hatcher for coming forward

Teri Hatcher's Molestation Revelation - Mar 08, 2006 - E! Online News

Being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse is a difficult thing. Coming forward and publically acknowledging it--especially if you are already in the public spotlight, is going a step further.

There's very much a sense, when you have been victimised, that it is somehow your fault. That's ludicrous, of course, but for a child with limited experiences, that's how it seems, especially if you liked the special attention, or liked the feel of a touch, or thought that you were loved more because of your experience. Yet somehow it seems wrong, even if you don't understand how, and so there's a sense of shame. And you find yourself thinking, did I encourage it by wanting to be loved? That's the saddest thing of all. You take a child's capacity for love and twist it, so he or she doesn't know what love is anymore, what innocent touch is, what should be permitted and what shouldn't. The child loses a sense of boundaries, because his or hers have been shattered by the molester, who crashes through the most private aspects of our lives. And no matter how fleeting or persistent the experience, a child's life is changed forever by the actions of a sick adult who has no business being in that position of trust.

Those of us who have survived such abuse need to find our voices, to find an inner strength. They say that which does not kill us makes us strong. There's truth to that. Humans can survive the most horrendous of conditions, and it can either make them break or can strengthen them.

I've lived with guilt all my life over a series of molestations that I've tried to repress, tried to dismiss, tried to purge my entire childhood rather than remember. There comes a time, though, when too much of your life has been shut away by that effort, and you find that you are broken and twisted inside, and will never be whole until you come to terms with what happened, and how you felt, and forgive yourself. I'm still learning to do that. But until I do, I'll never really be whole and functional. I think I'm closer to a more healthy outlook than I ever have before.

Note I don't mention forgiveness for the molester. I don't think that's really necessary for healing. There are some who would argue that it's the only way to let go of the power the molester has on you. But I don't believe in turning the other cheek in this case, and quite frankly, I hope there's a special circle of hell for them, because nothing that we as humans can do by way of punishment really fits the crime of preying on a child.

Just my two cents' worth, anyway.

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