The real elephant in the room might be childhood sexual abuse. I intuit it is the most repressed and ignored abuse there is. The reason why it’s so ignored might be because it’s just too painful.
The stats on childhood molestation are dishonest. I suggest most sexual abuse happens to little boys and little girls who cannot defend themselves behind closed doors in their home. They are victimized by those they love and trust the most. It is not a gender-based crime.
Regarding stats: Who is going to report their abuse so that it gets included in stats that the state records? Babies and kids cannot report and they can get so conditioned by the abuse that they could normalize it. Stats are a joke. Kids have no voice and when they DO voice, they get gaslighted, shamed, blamed or punished. Same happens to us adults.
It happened in my home and everyone thought my family was the best. I had the best mother (she made everyone laugh and feel comfortable), the best father, the best brothers, a nice sweet Catholic middle-class polite smiling family…..
We cannot know who was ever victimized by this. We look at our families and say “It couldn’t have happened to us”. We look at our children and say “it couldn’t have happened to them”… or we look at our friend’s families and say “It would have never happened to them — look how happy they seem”. You cannot go by how much money and fame and smiles a family has. You cannot go by pretenses. You can’t go by how down-to-earth and fun they are. You cannot go by politically motivated statistics that try to convince us it happens to little girls more often. You go by common sense. If it happened to me in my home and nobody did anything about it, I extrapolate….. and I wonder….. how many other homes had a pretty face with dark secrets in the closet? I have been reading on this for years. The homes with the greatest facades of success, religion, happiness, riches and love are not uncommonly the ones with ritual sex abuse going on when the doors are closed at night. If you are prepared to be shocked, read the book, “Miss America By Day” by Marilyn Van Derbur, an excellent honest book for sex abuse survivors. So much of what we have learned about molestation trauma is mythical.
Childhood sexual abuse usually remains repressed and denied. I gather most go to their grave not ever knowing what happened to them. And I can’t blame those who don’t want to find out. Repression makes is such that it’s impossible to get ALL the details, anyway.
I think sexual crimes are the worst and it’s impossible to know *just how bad this crime is* until you start doing the healing work and start connecting with the inner child’s raw experience of it and that is when you might realize just how powerful, damaging, numbing, painful, life-altering and disempowering this abuse actually is. It’s a power-based crime. The perpetrator gains more power at the expense of our own. It’s the highest level of a boundary violation. The good news is that with the work of healing — not 1,2,3, hokus pokus —-but real actual cathartic and somatic release healing, the wound can be healed. And you will be free.
I look at FB. All the CPTSD or “trauma-informed” memes are about every kind of abuse except childhood sexual trauma. This keeps us further in denial of our own abuse and just how common it really is. Unlike other abuses, it acts as a snake and works from the shadows. It’s secret-status allows it to keep growing more power. I theorize it is the most common form of abuse BECAUSE we think it’s UNcommon and because the victims are silenced or disbelieved and because the perpetrators are inadvertently the ones who are the most protected. It’s just not commonly discussed. It is the ONLY abuse that is kicked under the rug. By being kicked under the rug, everyone who DOES remember being molested might feel alone in it (which might be one of the reasons it is repressed — if we are alone in it, the shame that it just happened to you could be TOO hard to bear). People kill themselves because they might think it only happened to them… “so if it happened to me, I must really be bad….because it didn’t happened to anyone else I know”…..
Well, you’re not bad. You’re not alone. You are surrounded by other survivors all the time — you just don’t know it because it’s taboo to discuss and traumatizing to remember. It must be a really oppressive abuse if it is so hushed in popular psychology, magazines and in memes.
The only way we can ever see any real changes out in the world is by pulling up the carpet and exposing what is there so we can all collectively start to heal. Our healing really is the only change that will ever have a real and noticeable impact on the world and others. Our dedication to healing has a ripple effect as it gives others the green light to commit to their own.
It is not so much what we have acknowledged, but I think it’s what we have repressed that drives our behavior, patters, re-enactments, addictions, relational messes, dramas, and thoughts the most. We can know what abuses happened to us by how we behave in relationships, by our addictions, our fears, our phobias, our sleep, our dreams and nightmares, our physical maladies, our armor…. it gives it all away. (The more you know your own shadow, the more you can find it in others). When we can know ourselves better by how we behave and feel in the present, then we become closer to our repressed memories and unfelt rage and shame that drive us so.
So, don’t be afraid of the topic of childhood sexual abuse. Be afraid of what can happen if it remains under the rug we walk on every day. Be afraid that the lack of education on it harms children and adult survivors every day. Be afraid of the “therapists” who are under obligation to report clients to the police who have thoughts of touching children inappropriately and genuinely want to heal. Be afraid of all those survivors who cannot turn to anyone because they know they’ll be lectured or covertly gaslighted which will make them feel more alone, more ashamed and helpless. Be afraid of what calcified rage and shame does when we internalize or externalize it…..