Last night I watched the tail end of a show called 48 Hours Mystery. It was the story about Shawn Hornbeck who was kidnapped at the age of 11. He was discovered by FBI agents and rescued 4 ½ years later. He suffered horrific abuses at the hands of his abductor who is now behind bars for the rest of his life.
There were two things that resonated with me as I watched and listened to him. When asked about his greatest fear he said that as strange as it might sound he is not afraid of death. His fear is of not being understood. He took the words right out of my mouth. It is a complex issue but for those of us who have been sexually abused as children, it makes perfect sense. More than anything we want to be heard and understood. We struggle with the shame and peoples’ perception of us. We are SO MUCH MORE than our abuse.
The second thing that struck me was the amazing choice he has made. Before stating it, I saw it. I could see it in the sparkle in his eyes. I felt it just as sure as if I was sitting next to him. This remarkable young man has CHOSEN to focus on the good things in life. He is living. He is not wasting his energy on anger nor feeling sorry for himself. He is a light of positive energy.
Feeling understood and focusing on the good things in life. Shawn, you are an inspiration. I’m glad I turned the tv on last night.