Monthly Archives: June 2012

Victims to Heroes

Tonight I told my story of childhood sexual abuse on a live internet radio show.  I discussed the consequences of the abuse and how it affected my life.  How my perpetrator completely altered the course of my life.   I breathed deeply after the 1.5 hour show.  Relieved that it was over and feeling like I had made a small positive difference….that somehow I helped even one other survivor to know they are not alone on their healing journey.

That pause…that breath…was short lived

Almost immediately after the radio broadcast I learned that the  jury in the Jerry Sandusky case returned a guilty verdict.  You would think this news would have me jubilent and jumping for joy and yet I am not.  I find myself weeping.  My emotions are all over the place. Why?  Because there are no ‘winners’ really.  Sure, justice will be served.  Jerry Sandusky will serve the rest of his days behind bars but for the victims, there is no restitution that will give them back the childhood they deserved to live.

Let us never forget those men who came forward and bravely shared their stories.  They are to be applauded and supported as they begin to heal.  They have saved countless children by taking the witness stand and being made to live and relive the horrors of their abuse.

They are true heroes.

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Hiding

I’ve been hiding.  In my youth I hid behind perfectionism and dance.   As I entered my teens, I hid behind sexual promiscuity, drugs, alcohol and fashion.  My twenties saw me hiding behind cocaine, expensive clothing and a certain ‘privileged’ lifestyle.  Mental illness provided me with pills.   Pills helped me hide from life.

In later years, I stopped using drugs and alcohol and instead I hid behind my work, my accomplishments, my sobriety and my children.

What was I hiding from?  I was hiding from the truth.  The pain.  The horrible shame.  I was hiding from the fact that I was sexually abused as a child.  I was ‘coping’.

I thought it would be okay to live a half of a life …that was until I decided one day that I did not want to live at all and so I sought help.  I finally told a therapist about the sexual abuse I had suffered as a child.  That act of disclosure led to more pain and trauma than I could have ever imagined.  The feelings of shame so overwhelmed me that I started hiding again.  This time I hid by eating.  My once lovely figure soon became buried under extra pounds of fat…and more fat.

The weight has caused me health issues.  It’s caused me to feel even more shameful.  It has been my comfort in such a bizarre way that I struggle to define or understand it.  I beat myself up daily for how gross I look and yet deep inside I tell myself to keep eating – keep hiding.  It’s ‘safer’.

This past week has been one of great sorrow for me as I began to accept that a full, free and happy life was never to be mine.  Too old, too fat, no job….pretty much reconciled to the fact that my health will continue to deteriorate and my days will be numbered.  I just felt ‘done’.

Then I got mad….really, really  angry.  I looked at my accomplishments through the years and DESPITE the drug addictions, mental illness, f**ked up lifestyle and insane (mis)adventures- I have managed to give so much good to the world.   I decided that if I keep hiding behind this weight and keep adding pounds then that bastard that sexually abused me…the one who took away a lot of my life’s potential – then gets to  take away the years I have left.  I will be damned if I am going to let that happen.

No more hiding.   Look out world.  I’m about to start living!