Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's My Story

It's My Story

During my writing classes, I often read portions of my own published writings to my students as part of my opening presentation.  In this way, my students learn a little about my story of growing up in abuse and violence with my alcoholic father.  Recently, during a class, one student asked, "Do you ever feel funny writing about that abuse? I mean, what if your dad, or any of your other abusers, read it?"

I was prepared for this question and I answered her without hesitation.  I said, "Whatever I go through happens to me, thus making it my story. If my dad, and other abusers in my life, did not  want the story to be told, they ought not have abused me in the first place."  At that, another student, a big, strapping man, began clapping slowly and deliberately.  Quite frankly, I was honored, shocked, embarrassed and pleased, all at the same time that he applauded me. That had never happened before.

I was prepared for the question, not because it had been asked before, it hadn't, but because I have ready answers about abuse.  I know where I stand with abuse and this confidence has given me a sound set of fundamental principles from which I operate when it comes to my past abuse and any abuse I currently face or will face in the future.  My set of principles comes from Scripture.

Abusive people have unwritten rules.   One big unwritten rule is the rule of silence.  I know this silence well; it was a big part of my life for a very long time.  The victim knows the rules of silence and generally complies with those rules for fear of more abuse, or embarrassment by the abuser, which is also abuse.  The silencing plan includes spinning the truth to the point of making it seem like everything is the victim's fault.  This fear keeps the victim quiet.  It's highly effective.

Yes, abuse that happens to me is my story and I get to tell my story.  I will always tell my story of abuse. This includes abuse from my past, abuse from my present and any abuse I may fall victim to in the future.  Any attempt to quiet a victim is quite simply further abuse.

So, I will not be silent any longer.  Hence, I wrote my book, Victory Over Violence.  I will blog about abuse. I will help others who have gone through, or may be going through, any type of abuse.

I am fully aware that there are times when a person has to be quiet for their own safety.  But, later, when someone has been removed from abuse and is safe, the best advice they can get is advice to talk about it in whatever way they can.  Hushing a victim when they need to talk out their abuse is just another form of abuse.  Victims need someone who will listen with compassion and patience.

Oh, wow….I could go on and on here.  But, I won't for now simply because I know people will only read so much in a blog post. 

But there will be more to come on this topic, rest assured.


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