The Secret Keepers

secrets

 

I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to ask you to share this post. Reblog it, share it on Facebook, tweet it. Someone out there needs to hear this message today. Even if you think you don’t know anyone who has been abused. Even if you don’t read the entire post.

About a month ago I was asked by Dawn at WTF words, thoughts, feelings to contribute an essay for an anthology that she and Joyelle are creating for parents who are survivors of childhood sexual and physical abuse (learn more at https://www.facebook.com/TriggerPointsAnthology).

I submitted my essay but I also want to shine a bigger spotlight on this project because I fear that they may not get many submissions. Not because it’s not a worthy cause or because there aren’t enough people out there to contribute but because survivors of abuse are secret keepers. We’ve had to be, either as a form of armor to protect ourselves or because we’ve been pressured not to tell.

But sometimes, we keep the secret because we’ve never truly acknowledged to ourselves the effect it has had on our lives.

It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I could call what had happened to me sexual abuse. I told myself that I wasn’t really molested. It was just my first kiss. After all, I wasn’t raped, just fondled. Sure, by a grown man when I was 11, but still. It was nothing like what some people go through. I wasn’t held captive or repeatedly raped. What happened to me couldn’t possibly be big enough to explain the years of night terrors, paralyzing anxiety, self-destructive behavior and general misery I suffered. There had to be something else wrong with me. For some reason, it was easier to believe I was inherently messed up and flawed.

I started blogging as part of a spiritual quest to figure out my life. As I explored truths and lies about myself I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about “my first kiss” and I decided to write out what had happened to me. I remember being nervous about having it on my computer. I’ve watched enough episodes of Dateline to know that nothing on a computer is really private. What would happen if it fell into the wrong hands? Then I asked myself, who are the wrong hands? Who am I trying to protect? What am I, decades later, still afraid of?

After I wrote it all out, I acknowledged for the first time that what happened to me was a big deal. It absolutely could explain the years of night terrors, paralyzing anxiety, self-destructive behavior and general misery I had suffered. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t considered it before.

I think a lot of people downplay what happened to them because they don’t want a life where their past is the constant focus. They don’t want to continually rehash what can’t be changed and dig up the dead. It seems to serve no purpose because what’s done is done. What makes it more complicated is that often our abusers are members of our family and if we tell our secrets, we have to tell theirs. I wrote a post a few months ago where I referred to one of my abusers as a family friend. That’s a lie. He was a member of my family. Even I, an avowed heart teller of truth, couldn’t bring myself to tell my family’s secrets.

But just because we downplay it doesn’t mean it has no power over us. Some people know exactly what the ramifications of their abuse are but others bury it so deep that it could be affecting them more than they realize. Maybe you’ve been working on making your life better for a long time and you’re not making the progress you’d like. Maybe you’ve been looking for answers in all the wrong places. Knowledge is power. If you understood how abuse can weave its way into your life in ways that you didn’t know were possible, you could make lasting progress and find some peace.

Do you have nightmares? Can you not stand to be touched in certain places on your body? Do you react defensively when you feel cornered, either emotionally or physically? Do you suffer from anxiety? Depression? Substance Abuse? Unexplained physical ailments? Are you always wondering what’s wrong with you or why you can’t be like everyone else? Have you had difficulty maintaining relationships? Do you keep making bad decision after bad decision? Do you feel broken, unlovable, despondent, numb?

The secret we’ve kept is filled with lies. Not just lies we were told but lies we believed about ourselves as a result of what happened to us. Those lies get so compounded that eventually, we stop questioning them. We just believe them. We believe we’re to blame, we believe we’re unclean, we believe we’re unworthy, we believe we’re broken, unlovable, shameful, untrustworthy. We believe that’s our true nature. And since we don’t want people to know what we really are, we hide, we lie and we numb and armor ourselves.

But here’s the thing – whether we want it to or not, what happened to us shaped us and if we don’t confront how we feel about ourselves as a result, it will continue to shape us. When we give the secret all the power, it owns us. It makes the decisions. It tells us how to feel about ourselves and it marks our place in the world. If we don’t understand the far reaching effects of abuse, we’re destined to keep making the same mistakes over and over.

If any of this feels true to you, I want you to try something. I want you to find a picture of yourself from the time period the abuse occurred and I want you study it. I want you to ask that younger self if he/she deserves answers. I want you to ask her if she wants more for you than what you’ve settled for.

Me, age 11

Me, age 11

I just know that there is someone out there like me who thought she was so small and unimportant that what happened to her wasn’t significant enough to honor as real, as devastating, as shattering. And I know that someone reading this might have an “aha” moment and the pieces of the puzzle will start to fit together. You’re not alone and you don’t have to be a secret keeper anymore.

Now, take the next step. Write about your experience for your eyes and no one else’s. Tell the child you were back then how you feel now. Then, reach out to people who can relate to what you’ve gone through. It may very well be the hardest thing you ever do but it’s the first step to reclaiming all parts of yourself and remembering that you’re already whole. You are, trust me. You just don’t remember.

I’ve included links at the bottom to resources for survivors and to bloggers who are walking the path to healing. I encourage people to leave links to helpful sites and to their own blogs in comments.

This message is not just for survivors of childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse but for people who have been victimized as adults as well. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by abuse, someone you know might need to be reached by this so please share this post.

Resources and Survivor Blogs:

After Silence – 1-800-656-HOPE – http://www.aftersilence.org/

Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery – http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com/

Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute – http://www.childmolestationprevention.org/

Gift From Within – http://www.giftfromwithin.org/

HealWriteNow – http://healwritenow.com/

isurvive.org – http://www.isurvive.org/

Joyful Heart Foundation – http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/

Making Daughters Safe Again – http://mdsa-online.org/

Male Survivor – http://www.malesurvivor.org/

Mothers Against Sexual Abuse – http://www.againstsexualabuse.org/

Overcoming Sexual Abuse – http://overcomingsexualabuse.com/

Safe Horizon – http://www.safehorizon.org/

The Lamplighter Movement – http://www.thelamplighters.org/llblog01/

The Northwest Network (for survivors of abuse who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender) – http://nwnetwork.org/

Together We Heal – http://togetherweheal.wordpress.com/

Trigger Points Anthology – https://www.facebook.com/TriggerPointsAnthology

W.T.F. Words, Thoughts, Feelings – http://tdawneightyone.wordpress.com/

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE

 

 

 

 

174 Comments on “The Secret Keepers

  1. Pingback: A Follow Up to The Secret Keepers | Mended Musings

  2. Thank you for sharing this important message- found you through another “reblog” and reblogged on my site: lifeinbetween.me.

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on Faith, Hope and Chocolate and commented:
    Abuse perpetuates abuse. Only by speaking out and breaking the cycle can the victims – past, present or future – heal. Not all victims go on to become abusers of others, but they certainly could be described as being abusers of themselves. And it’s all because of the lies they – we – have been fed and believed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This had to be so hard for you to write. Thank you for letting it out. That’s part of the healing process. I re-blogged it. If your friend is still gathering stories, I can share my daughter’s (she won’t). I would not use her real name because I don’t want to hurt her, but this is such an important and pervasive issue. Thanks again for sharing.

    Like

  5. Reblogged this on The Road To Peace and commented:
    This topic is difficult and hard to read about, but it is cruel, and its victims need to know that it does matter, and that there is healing available. Those victims need to know that they are not alone. Their pain is real, the consequences of the actions of others, the impact of those situations, last a lifetime and perpetrators need to know how their actions affect those they have hurt. For this reason I am reblogging this with the permission, and request of Mended Musings.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Reblogged this on Share-E Patt-E and commented:
    Re-blog: Sharing someone else’s story with permission. Read this and share it with your people. We are not called to live lives of shame in secret. Know that there are many people who condemn themselves and hold the secrets tightly in their chests. But there is hope. We are beloved beyond human understanding. We are our sister’s keeper.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hit ‘Like’ only because I believe this post is a beacon. I worked with Dawn on the post for The Sisterwives and have become a strong advocate for what she and Joyelle are doing. I applaud your bravery and honesty. Thank you so much for stepping through your fear and telling your story. I know, I KNOW someone read this and it will change a life. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A woman, who is strong enough to request this, should be granted the respect of doing so. I know very little about the Secret Keepers. From her post I gathered a internal vision, but I plan on researching as soon as this post is sent. I do hope and even pray that this outcry will reach all the hidden places inside, and pull out the shadows we swallow when we are caught helpless, and then injured. — peace to you.

    Like

  9. Reblogged this on MeforShe and commented:
    A woman, who is strong enough to request this, should be granted the respect of doing so. I know very little about the Secret Keepers. From her post I gathered a internal vision, but I plan on researching as soon as this post is sent. I do hope and even pray that this outcry will reach all the hidden places inside, and pull out the shadows we swallow when we are caught helpless, and then injured. — peace to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Would you be interested in writing a post on HeForShe and posting it on my website? Whether you are for or against I don’t mind. Your writing is thoughtful and I think your take on things would be a valuable addition. I have some other people posting as well. Some are for, some don’t like feminism but fell strongly that there should be equality, some don’t think equality can be achieved.

    If you are interested I would love to hear from you.

    Like

  11. Reblogged this at Primordial Willow. I have been a secret keeper for far too long. It’s time I finally opened up. Thank you for the encouraging words. Blessed be.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: The secret keepers | tylershepard1991

  13. Reblogged this on joyroses13 and commented:
    I am reblogging something that I feel is important to read. It is very sad, but unfortunately a very real problem in society today. As one other blogger said if by reposting this, it can help one person who needs to hear this, its worth it and if it causes someone else to repost to help someone else its worth it. So please take the time to read this and pray for the ones personally affected by this. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Reblogged this on Dandelion Fuzz and commented:
    I am reblogging this because it is important. If it can reach just one person who might need help, then it’s worth it. If it causes someone else to reblog it and their reblog helps someone, it’s worth it. Heck, it’s just worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Bless you for doing this. Although, I am not one of them, I’ve been in group therapy with women who have gone through what you have experienced, and others too, I know. Horror stories from survivors with courage to come out the other side. I’m posting this on Twitter and thank you again and again and again. Sending this information to all my good therapist friends who will be more than thrilled to get heir hands on such a good resource. I predict your book will soon become their number one lending material for abused girls and young woman. Bless you forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Reblogged this on bloomingspiders and commented:
    My friend and recovering Secret Keeper, Karen Perry, has written a heartrending account of childhood sexual abuse and its tentacles of secrecy and shame. My comment to her post was this:

    “Thank you for this…and for declaring:

    ‘You’re not alone and you don’t have to be a secret keeper anymore.’

    I decided, just yesterday, that I will finally be writing a piece about my rape. I have never done so, but was asked to submit to another site and That is what’s been heavy on heart and soul. I’ve been so scared, for so long, to let my hands write out the words of acts done to me. I’ve been so scared to let myself sit in that truth and yet know…that I am a survivor. That I have worth. And that those soul-searing thrusts didn’t make me lesser, they made him lesser.

    Thank you for your courage, Karen, and for helping me find my own.”

    I never ask, but please share this, dear reader.
    It’s important that we are Secret Keepers no more.
    It’s important to those who suffered abuse and for those who love them to not only survive…but to thrive.

    With heart, healing and hope,
    Dani

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tears. So many tears. It is a forever battle to “get my arms around” some things that have happened to me. How life goes on…and I think everything is OK…and then I unravel when I am not expecting it. Thanks for sharing, writing, being brave, and giving me a true sense of understanding. I feel blessed to have read this and to have identified with your thoughts, experiences and emotions. Authenticity is where the truth comes to light and we feel exposed, scared, vulnerable and somehow freed. Sending love, prayers, and support to you…

      Dani – think you for sharing. You are an absolutely extraordinary lady!

      Like

  17. Reblogged this on Charissa's Grace Notes and commented:
    Constance…please do not walk, but RUN on over to Karen’s blog and read this post! I just know that some of you are going to experience the gentle can opener she so skillfully wields.

    I can attest to that…while I was never sexually abused, to my conscious knowledge and deep-long examinations, I have been abused in other ways. Shaking off the shame of it, the self-loathing of it, and worst of all, feeling that it was somehow what I deserved has been the 2nd biggest battle of my life.

    I love Mama’s army of wounded healers! I love how Karen has intentioned and purposed to allow her life to be used for other’s good and Their glory. She has asked for this to be reblogged? I am happy to honor her request, but rest assured, it is worthy of reblogging in and of itself as a stand alone piece of excellence and sharp truth inside gentle clothings.

    With thankfulness,
    Charissa

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Reblogged this on MamaMick and commented:
    Happy Friday, my friends,

    Today’s post comes from a dear friend and fellow blogger–Karen Perry. She is one of the bravest and most authentic people I know. In this article she address the truth and the pain behind being an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

    An excerpt:
    “I submitted my essay but I also want to shine a bigger spotlight on this project because I fear that they may not get many submissions. Not because it’s not a worthy cause or because there aren’t enough people out there to contribute but because survivors of abuse are secret keepers. We’ve had to be, either as a form of armor to protect ourselves or because we’ve been pressured not to tell.

    But sometimes, we keep the secret because we’ve never truly acknowledged to ourselves the effect it has had on our lives.”

    She wrote this poignant and important post on Monday and since then, there have been 142 shares from the website, 19 shares on Twitter (not including retweets), 23 shares from the Facebook page and almost 2000 people reached on Facebook.
    I’m sharing it one more time because the message is important. Send it to someone you think might need it or read for yourself…it might help you, too.
    Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Love seeing things like this, where people are using brutal parts of their stories to convey and advocate for something beautiful. Brave and needed!

    Like

    • Jessie, thank you for your words. I just hopped over an read your latest post and feel like you spoke my heart. My father-in-law calls it compare and despair, which is so fitting. I’m reeling from all this attention which is not of me, it’s of Him. When we’re called to write, it’s always a beautiful and confusing combination of God and us.

      Like

  20. Reblogged this on sensesililoquy and commented:
    Read it and re post. It’s been eye opening for me and it should be for so many other people. I don’t usually reblog but this is something that hits home. Thank you so much for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Reblogged this on iamthemilk and commented:
    This is the first post I’ve ever reblogged. Read it to understand why. SO many reasons. Thank you, my friend, Karen, for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. It’s hard to find the right words after reading this. The observation about how compound the lies we tell ourselves are blew me away. I haven’t been subjected to abuse, but this observation rang so true and somehow familiar and relatable. It’s not just the lies that you told yourself that are multi-layered it’s your soul and your mind as well and you have such depth that I constantly walk away blown away after reading your posts. I will share this super important and profound post with my readers, Karen. P.S. Somebody needs to tweet Freshly Pressed. I don’t know if there’s any protocol against nominating the same person twice?

    Like

    • Katia, I’m so grateful for you. I’ve learned so much from your posts and I’m constantly amazed at how awesome this blogosphere is. Maybe I should nominate my damn self for Freshly Pressed. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Reblogged this on Ocean Glass Half Full and commented:
    Quoting the blogger, “This message is not just for survivors of childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse but for people who have been victimized as adults as well. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by abuse, someone you know might need to be reached by this so please share this post.” In this case, I’ll do as I’m told.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Karen, thank you for writing this, and bringing attention to this issue. There are still some instances in my past that I want to write about and have put off. God has taken me through the healing process already, but I have not written about a couple of significant instances in my autobiography yet. However, I have written about one on my blog. Here is a link to that. http://whitefeatherfloating.wordpress.com/i-am-an-artist/the-art-class/

    Liked by 2 people

  25. The timing of me reading this post is a little crazy, actually. I am on day three of anti-anxiety medication after walking into my doctors surgery and confessing my secret to my doctor.

    I am not okay.

    I was abused for two years by a family member from the age of 8 until another family member caught him. I told my boyfriend when i was 18 and he tried to tell my mother. She said she didn’t want to know.

    I was assaulted 3 times within 2 years in my early twenties, all by different people. For a long time i thought there was something wrong with me. One of the men did nothing more than kiss me. I was 20. He was my parent’s next door neighbour and my father had died in hospital a mere hour or two before. My mother says that being kissed without your permission is not a big deal and should not be labelled as sexual assault. I disagree in a big way. To me, it IS a big deal and it IS assault. He took advantage of my vulnerable state to try and get something out of me that i wasn’t willing to give. Fortunately one of my brothers took what happened a little more seriously and warned my neighbour to not even look in my direction again, let alone try anything untoward.

    I have not been formally diagnosed but its possible i have PTSD. I analyse every situation where i am alone or almost alone with a man i do not know well enough to trust. My mind whirls with possible assault scenarios and what i can do to prevent it/get away. I also realised that i binge eat on purpose to gain weight so that i can be seen as unattractive to men. Its a shield of fat that looks an awful lot like a cage. My health has deteriorated physically and mentally and I am now determined to fix that. I will not live trapped in a cage of fat and paranoia for the rest of my life.

    Like

    • Naomi, thank you so much for sharing your story. If you feel violated then you’ve been violated. It’s as simple as that. A lot of what you’re saying does sound like PTSD. I was never officially diagnosed either but I wish I had taken the symptoms more seriously. The need to make ourselves unattractive is also a way to make ourselves invisible. No one should ever feel invisible. I encourage you to explore the links I provided. You’re going to find that there are a ton of people who will not only believe you but will offer more insight into what you’ve gone through. I’m sending you all my best wishes and prayers! My email address is on my ‘about page’ if you feel like conversing more.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Naomi, I am so glad you are on the road to recovery. Hang in there, and remember that you are worthy of respect as a woman. Your body is yours. No one has a right to violate your boundaries.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. Reblogged this on Running On Sober and commented:
    Nearly all of us carry secrets and shame from our pasts. Here, Karen urges you to shine on a light on childhood sexual abuse and assault and any trauma from your past that may be keeping you from healing.
    She writes: “But sometimes, we keep the secret because we’ve never truly acknowledged to ourselves the effect it has had on our lives. … The secret we’ve kept is filled with lies. Not just lies we were told but lies we believed about ourselves as a result of what happened to us. Those lies get so compounded that eventually, we stop questioning them. We just believe them. We believe we’re to blame, we believe we’re unclean, we believe we’re unworthy, we believe we’re broken, unlovable, shameful, untrustworthy. We believe that’s our true nature. And since we don’t want people to know what we really are, we hide, we lie and we numb and armor ourselves.”
    Read this and then share it with others. You could be helping someone who really needs the help . . . maybe even yourself.
    Thanks everyone, Christy

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Reblogged this on Nutsrok and commented:
    My impulse was to ignore this post, just like I’ve tried to ignore the impact of a similar event in my life, but I no longer ignore its impact. I celebrate this writer’s bravery. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Pingback: Sharing a link… | The Project: Me by Judy

  29. Thank you for sharing your story. I had a remarkably similar thing happen to me when I was 14, a far cry from 11 but still. It’s shaped my life ever since in ways I don’t want to admit and I’ve never told anyone, ANYONE, the whole true story. Thanks for giving me strength.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not a far cry from 11. I was abused at 14 as well as at 11 (https://mendedmusings.com/2014/07/23/the-flashback/) so I understand how you might think it’s different. A violation is a violation no matter what age it occurs. In many ways, what happened to me at 14 was worse because it happened at an age where people thought I was old enough to be complicit (I was a temptress, a Lolita). I’m humbled that anything I’ve written could give you strength. Keep looking for answers, keep seeking the truth. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • NO MATTER WHAT AGE I AM, I consider it sexual abuse if anyone violates my personal space with a hug, kiss or anything physical that I have not given them permission to do. But because I have healthy boundaries now, I am able to back off when I feel uncomfortable around a person. Years ago I had a pastor who would sidle up next to me and put his arm around my shoulders, and at the time I was going through some healing from my own past abuse. I was able to tell him I didn’t like that, and he stopped. But getting to that place took a very long time for me. I encourage anyone going through healing from this to keep going even when the pain feels like it is going to kill you. Push through, and give yourself breaks when you need them. You will get to the other side of the abuse eventually.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Reblogged this on Oh for the love of…me and commented:
    I am reblogging at the request of my blogging friend Karen at Mended Musings. Please read, she is brave and heroic.

    My next post will tell my own story of sexual abuse. No more secrets…only healing.

    Like

  31. Reblogged this on Sober Grace and commented:
    I am happy to reblog this for my friend Karen at Mended Musings. As a survivor of rape as a child myself, this definitely hits home for me. Please read and share.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Pingback: For Karen: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate…” | Words for the Year

  33. Hey Karen

    I found you from Anne in AinSobriety where she reposted this.

    I wanted to say thank you for posting. It resonated so much with me, at 11 I started screaming when people touched me even to cuddle. I’d forgotten that.

    I’m quite a hard person, closed person to strangers, I don’t trust, and yet I’m so loving to those I do eventually trust. I’ve always misunderstood it all.

    It was only a kiss, a deep throated tongue kiss and a fondle of my bum, friend of my Mum and Dads, in our hallway parents in the room next door. Revolting. I’ve just looked at my photo. I’m eleven, I’m not even at high school. I told my Mum a couple years ago and she told me not to be so stupid Uncle E would never have done that.

    I’m at the very start of trying to get sober (39 days). I’m so grateful for finding this post. I don’t know if I have the strength to repost this yet, but I will do the writing you’ve suggested and promise I’ll repost or share on FB when I feel a bit stronger.

    Like

    • Daisy, you are the reason I wrote this. It’s for you and for people like you and me who downplayed the significance of a violation that we never knew how to process. Please don’t feel any pressure to repost. I’m just glad it found you. My email address is on my ‘about me’ page if you need anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Pingback: My 3rd Day 7: Getting Back Up on the Horse | The End of the Road

  35. Pingback: Abuse | Guitars and Life

  36. Powerful how the universe sends us what we need, what we’re looking for. I’m at the very beginning of this journey. I’m just cracking the code. It is scary enough to comment, let alone do anything more with this… after years of pushing it down, and self-denying, I’m saying: thank you for this post, on the very day when I started (really started) this part of the healing. I felt every word.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Reblogged this on Another Day One and commented:
    Day 80, keeping secrets

    November 11, 2014, Tuesday

    This is so worth reading. A strong link exists between childhood abuse and later substance abuse. I think when we learn as small children to become invisible, stay hidden, deny and eventually stop feeling our feelings or having any needs, it’s a short step to numbing out and escaping reality with alcohol. What do you think?

    Like

  38. I’m going to share on facebook. Can I also share it, as a cross post, on my blog? It’s http://www.healwritenow.com which doesn’t have a huge following but it has THE following you are looking to reach. Wonderful WONDERFUL writing and truth-telling and silence breaking!

    The anthology through Trigger Point is so necessary and already has allowed me to find other people tackling these issues with truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Reblogged this on Mished-up and commented:
    Two posts in one day? Nope, not trying to over stay my welcome. Karen at Mended Musings wrote a very important post though, and I felt it was important to do as she asked, to re-blog it.. Please share this freely with anyone that you might know who needs the information here. And thank you Karen, for your bravery and service to others.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. How I relate …

    One of my sisters was molested by a family “friend.” The tragedy of that was unambiguous.

    That same family friend once put his hand on my breasts when I was about ten. I immediately commanded him to take me home. He tried to make light of the situation, but I wasn’t amused.

    I felt strong because of how quickly and decisively I responded, so it never occurred to me I could have suffered longer term impacts from that one touch. It was only when I started crying after a massage a couple years ago that I realized the small moment had impacted me enormously; I’d lost the sense of wholly owning my body and being safe within it. I’d felt a horrible sense of invasion when my house was burglarized. How could I expect to have a lesser response to my body being mishandled? Even for a moment?

    Happily, a good (blog) friend walked me through that miserable afternoon–and the evening decades prior–in peace and safety. I remain grateful for her guidance and feel like now is a good time to say so again.

    Thank you for writing this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is exactly what I’m talking about. There’s no such thing as a small violation. Thank you so much for sharing how that experience affected you. I know that there are many others who haven’t thought about it like that. Blessing to you!

      Like

  41. Your words say this better than anything I can add.
    I already have an e-mail list of who should see this and I’ll send it over and over again.
    Thank you for your honesty, vulnerability and bravery. I just know it will be a blessing and help to others. You are one of my many blessings I’m thankful for everyday, Karen. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Another way I like to phrase this same thing is that I compare my insides to someone else’s outsides. In other words, I compare what goes on in my head to someone else’s façade, their shell, and wonder why I don’t stack up. Looked at that way, it’s no wonder I used to feel messed up. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Pingback: The Secret Keepers – Little Girls Lost | The Beggar's Bakery

  44. Reblogged this on Finding Spirit and commented:
    This is from my friend Karen at Mended Musings… Please read it and know that if you’ve been through some sort of abuse, that you are not alone. There is help if you need it.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Reblogged this on So Very Slightly Mad and commented:
    I originally read this on Guitars & Life and I had to share it. It really resonated with me, especially the paragraph that reads:

    Do you have nightmares? Can you not stand to be touched in certain places on your body? Do you react defensively when you feel cornered, either emotionally or physically? Do you suffer from anxiety? Depression? Substance Abuse? Unexplained physical ailments? Are you always wondering what’s wrong with you or why you can’t be like everyone else? Have you had difficulty maintaining relationships? Do you keep making bad decision after bad decision? Do you feel broken, unlovable, despondent, numb?

    I try to be open and let my secrets out into the light where they often have less power. However, I do sometimes minimize the things that happened to me, telling myself others have had it so much worse, feeling shame and guilty. But it’s a disservice to myself, another way of perpetuating the damage.

    Please share the original post if you feel it might help someone. Thanks for reading…

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Reblogged this on W.T.F. and commented:
    Meet Karen. She is the definition of a survivor. Not just because of her ability to be open with her own recovery, but more so because she carries the empathy and insight hat will help others heal as well. Your words are a gift Karen.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Karen ~ Thank you. For your words, inspiration and the compassion you have for your own and other survivors recovery. You are truly a warrior. I know this will reach many that need to hear what you have said. Will reblog and share. Your words are so incredibly insightful and powerful!

    Liked by 2 people

  48. I am genuinely moved by your honesty and openness. I think this also speaks to the power blogging can have…to spread awareness, help people see themselves in others, find support. I will absolutely share this to help you spread the word.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Thank you for this…and for declaring:

    “You’re not alone and you don’t have to be a secret keeper anymore.”

    I decided, just yesterday, that I will finally be writing a piece about my rape. I have never done so, but was asked to submit to another site and That is what’s been heavy on heart and soul. I’ve been so scared, for so long, to let my hands write out the words of acts done to me. I’ve been so scared to let myself sit in that truth and yet know…that I am a survivor. That I have worth. And that those soul-searing thrusts didn’t make me lesser, they made him lesser.

    Thank you for your courage, Karen, and for helping me find my own.

    With heart & healing,
    Dani

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Thanks for your post.

    A very therapeutic thing I ddi a while ago was to get together every photo of me I could find from infant through grade school and use that as a basis of writing an autobiography. I ended up with some 85 pages single-spaced pages through grade school. The relevance was a reclaiming of self as a worthwhile person – to contextualize the abuse within time and space.

    I realize too that one does not just move on – and I actually think that is good. I have also come to understand the concept of the wounded healer. I understand such abuse as one of a control and power issue. I am pleased today that I react strongly to abuse of power by authority figures – something too common in higher education. I am pleased that I am able to be there and call out for what it is, challenge, and provide support in those cases. I am absolutely repulsed by those events because I know that it never goes away – it’s not like getting over a cold.

    I truly appreciate today that I am able to give back and be a support and comfort to others.

    So, I could ramble on, but really just want to say – thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

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