In a recent article in TIME magazine, Lyz Lenz wrote a brilliant article “Shouting Into the Void: How many personal stories must women share to convince others of their humanity?” I am moved by this article, so I want to share some of it with you, and then a few comments from me.
“Women have long been compelled to share their most private moments in order to convince others of their humanity.”
“As more men, including the President of the United States, have been publicly accused of assault and misconduct, and more states have passed laws that restrict our abilities to make decisions about our own health care, women have been repeatedly reminded of this country’s disregard for our bodily autonomy [independence] and indifference to the reality of our lives.”
I came out publicly years ago stating that I was sexually, physically, and emotionally abused by my father. I’m not the only one in our family, but I’ve chosen to let these siblings tell their own stories, yet, I needed to let go of this painful secret because it was causing my health and wellness to disintegrate. Yes, I became ill time after time because my mind, body, and spirit were overwhelmingly stressed due to the memories of my father and his abuse.
How many women must come forth and tell their stories until the world acknowledges that women are often abused and degraded every day by men? And it is not just in the U.S., women are harshly treated all over the globe. With online media, stories and stories of abuse are appearing daily, yet it does not seem like action is being taken to keep women safe.
I want to be safe in this life, and that means I do not want men to assume “I like” being abused and raped, because I do not!
“The President, who been accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women, still sits in the White House, still overseeing a political system, still nominating judges to lifetime roles, stripping away our control over our own bodies. He’s denied all allegations, and the nation, by and large, has shrugged them off too.”
When powerful, rich men decide women are equal humans, we can get the dark secrets out in the open without feeling ashamed and start healing.
Thank you, Lyz Lenz, for your superb but sad article. Never Give Up, Lyz!!!
did not ask men to violate the bodies of women, nor did we ask men to create laws to punish us for our beliefs and constitution-given rights.
We the People . . .
are human beings with minds, bodies, and beating hearts. The laws of this nation need to validate gender equality, and void male domination over females in every area of a woman’s life.
We the People . . .
means, as women, we deserve identical respect as men and must never be treated as subservient.
We the People . . .
are wives, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, children, friends, aunts, partners and spouses, regardless of what genes we possess and do not have, or what status we have attained or not.
We the People . . .
are women who have been traumatized for centuries by men who seek the power to dominate and rule our lives with pain, punishment, and suffering.
We the People . . .
are millions of women who want to be heard.
Men, why aren’t you listening?
I recently wrote this piece out of frustration for the way the rights of women are being violated. I may be frustrated, but I’ll NEVER GIVE UP! Are you bothered by the latest news on women rights? Let me know.
I’m creating a healing program for trauma survivors. It’s intense work but I know it will bring lots of healing to those of us who want to live healthier lives. In my research, I can’t believe how often I’m reminded of the No. 1 Abuse Myth: Forgive and Forget. I’m amazed at the number of articles, written by professionals, who state that “survivors should just forget their traumas and go on with their lives.”
If it were only that simple!
Surviving from trauma of all kinds is not easy. Whether the trauma is from abuse, attacks, war, illness, or divorce, traumatic events take up residence in our bones, cells, skin, muscles, and memory. You CAN’T just forget something because it’s awful. In fact, forgetting the trauma is impossible. We remember things that happen to us because it’s our body’s way of reminding us NOT to walk down dark alleys, give a stranger a ride, or trust someone we don’t know. Our bodies do warn us but if we don’t listen we’re apt to find ourselves in trouble – repeatedly.
When it comes to healing from trauma, the first thing to do is to forgive yourself and REMEMBER! Yes, I said forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for trauma you didn’t cause. You didn’t ask a tornado to hit your house, you didn’t ask for a relative to physically harm you, nor did you ask for cancer to take root in your breasts. Trauma like this is not your fault or responsibility. Your only responsibility is to heal from the trauma – trauma you didn’t cause!
When we remember the bad events in our lives, we are less likely to make the same mistake twice. We all make mistakes, it’s human nature, but when we ask survivors to forget we are asking them to be superhuman. Our bodies remember. Our minds remember. Our spirits remember. Healing comes from remembering the trauma and doing what we can to avoid repeat occurrences. We take self-defense courses, we go to therapy, we relocate, and/or we just get out of harm’s way. The words forgetting and repeating have a relationship since forgetting leads to the act of repeating.
So, if anyone asks you why you can’t just forgive and forget, ask them why they ask insensitive, dumb questions.
As a child I made snow angels below my bedroom window to keep me protected. I needed to do this because Dad would sometimes come into my bedroom and do bad things to me. When morning came I was always comforted to see my snow angel right where I made her.
But one winter morning, I looked out the window and my snow angel was gone.
Dad had come into the bedroom the night before and hurt me. I so needed the comfort of my snow angel but there was no sign of her. “I’m a bad girl,” I remembered saying to myself. I must have failed my snow angel because she left.
Children sexually and physically abused by a parent think they are responsible for what they believe is punishment for “being bad.” Their minds are too young to call it “sex” — or, more correctly, “rape.” The only reason I could think of when my Dad abused me was that I was bad. I told lies because he threatened to hurt my Mom if I revealed “our secret.” As I grew, I told a lot of lies to cover up the truth. The simple truth was that I didn’t want my Dad to hurt my Mom. I loved her so much and the thought of her being hurt — deeply and horribly haunted me.
I told lies to protect myself never imagining I was harming myself more by lying. It was a cruel cycle and it continued for decades. At one point I realized that nobody believed my lies BUT, they didn’t want to believe the truth either.
I had to learn to forgive myself for the lies and this in no way was easy. I now know that telling the truth is healthier than telling lies. I continue to tell the truth in all my relationships.
My snow angel didn’t fail me. The wind whisked her off to protect other children in my town.
Snow angels never give up!
If you have a comment about this blog, please do so in the space provided. Healing from child abuse is one of the best ways to strengthen your immune system. Don’t let secrets make you sick!!!
He was regularly beaten by his father and his mother told him a million times how worthless he was. At 10 years old he knew what hunger was and fear. His life was filled with disappointments and arguments while he slept on an old mattress in a broken down house. He had one wish – a death wish.
His anger grew with every insult and his hatred soared out of control. He was going to get revenge for his suffering and he knew just how he’d do it. He worked on his plan for years and he named his victims. Other people would get in the way but he didn’t care. The truth was nobody cared for him. He’d show them what they did to him.
He had one wish – a death wish.
He shot his parents in the heart while they drank their beers in front of the pt. They never heard him come in, but even if they had, they wouldn’t have noticed the assault rifle he held in his hands. He headed for the door to further work his plan but was stopped by a squad car out on the street. Rifles were pointed at him. He didn’t care as he aimed his rifle at the officers. He yelled at Allah but was dead before he completed his plea.
He was called a terrorist because of his assault rifle and his heritage.
Nobody protected him from his father’s abuse nor his mother’s neglect. Nobody cared to ask him how he was feeling or listened to his painful story. Nobody called him a victim – a victim of child abuse and neglect.
Terror starts in the home for many children. A father hits his son, a mother doesn’t feed her daughter, and an uncle rapes his nephew. Child abuse starts in families, sometimes innocently but most of the time with an edge. Sometimes the bruises show but most of the time they don’t. A broken leg is blamed on a fall rather than a push down a stairway. An ugly cut on the arm may seem like self-abuse. Don’t buy these excuses. Look for the true cause and help children who suffer from chronic and prolonged abuse.
Do it today.
Please share Part 1 and 2 blogs with your friends and family. It’s time to expose the secret of child abuse. The abuse of kids is killing our future. If you believe in children, then believe that you have the right and the commitment to correct this wrong. Do it today! In the five minutes you’ve been reading this blog 30 reports of child abuse have been made. Isn’t this terrorism?