Reasons its important to tell


So it won’t eat up your emotional life. Are you holding back to protect the abuser or some other family member?

So you don’t miss the opportunity to love another person and have them love you for who you are, if you want to.  Really, really know you, who you are,  wounds and all. 

The general public has no idea how many people are sexually abused as children.  Making it personal makes it real.

The general public has no idea what childhood sexual abuse does to us, the children.. Help them know  

By telling others, it will dispel the ignorance.  People treat us ignorantly when they are not educated about childhood sexual abuse.

So we don’t hide our history of abuse.  Were not safe just cause we don’t tell. It doesn’t protect us  

So we don’t  protect criminals. We may love them because they are our parents or siblings but they have to be stopped.

So we can get clean, clear honesty into our lives.Its the one thing that will help us stay sane.

 So we start to know that we matter (are important) and worthy again. (or maybe for the first time if you were very young when it happened). They taught us what we wanted and needed didn’t matter, but thats not true. 

By telling we develop self esteem.  We learn we are valuable, capable and able to be effective in protecting ourselves.

We learn to increase our Self approval.   Are you learning to approve of yourself instead of wanting the approval of your abuser (by not telling what happened)?

So we acknowledge just how much it hurts. Telling will put us on the right track to emotional maturity, instead of being buried at the age of our violation.

So we can become fully alive. Instead of staying our young wounded self. 

By telling people, we are no longer isolated as we were when we were being assaulted. Being emotionally free we can choose to be alone, which is different than being alone frozen in our past. 

Freedom will come when you take the risk of telling.Telling another person about our experiences, the truth of our experiences is a big turning point in our healing.Take your time, take it slow but do it. Speak up and out. Their sickness can only exist in the secretive darkness perpetrators rely on to keep violating children.


Can you think of more?


Because we shield the abusers, we make it possible for them to continue their behavior. Exposed facts will educate others to the seriousness of the problem


We have to show them the ugliness we have been exposed to.


The first time I told someone about the sexual abuse,


Technically, I didn’t tell as much as I admitted it to another human being. I think there is a difference. I told later on in the evening, right after I admitted it, but here is how it all came out one night. 

 I had  just turned 17, and met  Tony at  The Freewill Baptist Church in Vandalia. He was nice, a little bit older than me by two or three years, he played guitar, lived at home and drove his mother’s car.  Basically he was at a stage where he looking for his place in life.  Our dating consisted of being at church, eating dinner after church at his parents, visiting other churches and once I remember we went to the North Star Drive In.

One night after church, he was dropping me at my house. We were sitting in the car, when he asked me if there was something going on between my dad and me. He said” Your  Dad doesn’t  act like other Dad’s of girls I have dated in the past, he acts like he is  jealous, like he’s your  boyfriend. He’s not like any Dad I have ever met before. Is there something going on?”

I froze. I stopped breathing briefly.

I nodded and admitted “Yes, there was something going on.”   We both digested what I had admitted.  The first thought I had, what seeped into my frozen brain, was the question “What have I done? I am going to get in so much trouble. “I wanted to tell him more but nothing would come out.  

 “Does your Mom know?” Tony asked.

 “No”, I didn’t think she did. (Cause, Jack was adamant about making sure I didn’t tell, that’s how I knew for sure).

 He told me “You have to tell your Mom, she needs to know. You have to tell her tonight.”

What I wanted was to die, but based on past experience, that wasn’t going to happen. Next best would be Tony would tell her, but I felt sure he wasn’t going to do that for me. I remember hearing him say, something about me needing to find someone who would help me.  I got out of the car, went inside to face the telling. I thought I would die. My guts were twisting all around. There was this sense of doom, just on the edge of happening. That sick feeling as you realize your about to fall. Hard, and there was nothing to do but go with it.  Even though  I thought I had experienced  the worst life had to offer to children, things could surprise me by showing me something else was  possible.  I had to face something I would regret.

 Mom was gone, probably at work.  Jack, no where to be seen. I sat down on the couch trying to figure out how I was going to tell Mom, when Jack came in the front door.  He had been out drinking with his friends while he was supposed to be home watching his children. But he really just wanted to go back out and was relieved that I was there so he could leave again. He didn’t want to look too eager for it, so he yelled at us for not being in bed. Actually we were all okay with him leaving again; it was easier with him gone.  Told me to get the rest of the kids in bed, while he was going to go out cause he couldn’t stand it being in such a noisy, messy house. When he got back, we had all better be in the bed, asleep.  Or we would all pay for it. He stomped out of the house, leaving me to get everyone settled in. My youngest sister was only a few months old so she was the easiest. Later, Connie and Scott followed suit, and then Jackie, who usually fought the hardest about doing anything. Then I went back to the couch.

I couldn’t understand what happened in Tony’s car.  How was this going to happen? Me telling Mom what had been going on for years.

 It didn’t seem that long before Mom came home bringing unclaimed pizza from work.

I waited until she settled in then said I needed to talk to her. She got a drink and headed outdoors to the back yard. She was probably glad for the cooler breeze after being in front of pizza ovens all night. Truth is, it was probably fitting that we sat in the back yard, in lawn chairs only partially lit up from the kitchen light shining out the back door. I worried about her seeing my face.

After I sat down, I waited a moment, and blurted out,  ”Dad and I have been sleeping together”  as if I had been a consenting adult. I looked at my feet, since it was the only thing I could clearly see.  After a bit, she asked did anyone know what had happened. Nothing else, no details, no “oh no’s”, nothing remarkable. Just “Does anyone else know? I want to make sure your not lying”.

“Yes, Uncle Brian, Uncle Barry”, I left out Uncle Vic, thinking he wouldn’t have told her the truth anyhow.  She got up and left the chair, left me sitting in the back yard, wondering what I should do.  After a while, I just went to bed.

What I do to survive when daily events remind me of the sexual abuse


The amount of pain and suffering I have endured as a child victim of sexual abuse permeates my life. The forces shaping my life from childhood  still leave me feeling small when I think about what I was forced to do. So when something large happens today, my responses have been  shaped differently than other people.

 It’s been about a week since Japan has experienced the earthquake and resulting tsunami. The devastation and loss are something I understand. Different events, same results.  Just like Japan, I was a small body, surrounded by the ocean. Instead my ocean was other people who were larger than me, not an ocean of water.  I, like the Japanese people and the ocean, co existed every moment with the source of  restrained hell. Hell did break loose,  bringing with it the feeling of being  powerless,  of being small. and later the awareness of having been living with a source of great evil. Those feelings never went away. They are imprinted on my soul. Sexual abuse is much like a tsunami, it drowns everything in its’ path regardless of worth, value, or preciousness.

How do we learn to live without the air other people breath?

As survivors we learn to live without what other people have. My emotional life is mishaped by the earthquakes and tsunami’s of violation.  To make matters worse added  to the earthquake and  tsunami,  is the nuclear power plants spewing radiation indiscriminately on the population. 

My husband, whose life was shaped through different forces, thinks on top of all the suffering and pain they Japanese are experiencing right now, we are all at risk from dying due to radiation poisoning from the nuclear power plants. 

 I think, I have lived through worse.

  I try to identify what inside me kept me going. Why didn’t I try to commit suicide as soon as I could, or at the least give up on living. Or turn out to be a person who ______( you can fill in the blank).  I don’t know. There are parts I am able to identify. Like I had a rich fantasy life, that someday if my real father knew what was happening, he would come get me. I also could imagine that when I grew up I would leave as soon as I could and never come back. I do know I was paralyzed into inaction, but developed a core thought of  “I will survive this minute” and  applied it to every minute I encountered.  I may have been forced to hold still while being raped, to not run, or tell or do anything that threatened his ability to do what he wanted. But I can now.  I do now.

 Now I remind myself, this is not the same danger as then. I will get up and get something done.  Anything – the dishes, cook, take a walk, get up and move. Lately I have added to taking action in some way adding a bit of beauty. If I clean, add some flowers, take a bath and put on make up, some how, I must improve my environment,  make it more beautiful. Its’ in effect a way to counter my own issues with being told I was  targeted because I was pretty. I wanted to be pretty, I didn’t want to be violated. So I  add some beauty to counteract the ugliness of the world. I will not sit paralyzed. I can move and reach out to others. I remind myself, I am no longer alone, there is a  WE and we will deal with getting through this moment. We will repair the damage, grieve the losses, and recreate beauty in our worlds.

 I know some stuff about surviving.

My Grandma told me how much


she admired me. Well, actually she said to  me, You have more  balls than anyone else I know. And these were  strong  words for her because she grew  up in an era when women didn’t talk in a vulgar way. She felt  proud of me for trying to find my  biological father.  I was a young woman in my mid twenties, just trying to find out the circumstances of my birth.  Old enough to bear the  truth. Here is how this came to be.

It  all started with the bombing of Iran.   My husband and I, who were living in Heidelberg, Germany at the time were  scared for my son’s safety. It was an uncertain time, when American’s were a likely  target. We lived in military housing not too far from  downtown on Kirschgartenstrasse.  Very close to the military headquarters. Russ was in elementary school, third grade and I was scared. Russ and I flew home to stay with Billy’s parents in Arkansas. Just until it was safer in Germany. 

Staying in Arkansas was uneventful. 6 weeks after arriving, Russ finished out the school year and we were both getting pretty restless, we headed up to Ohio to visit some of my family. Things were settling down overseas. Soon we would be returning to Heidelberg, but a change of scenery would be nice.

Once my son and I were  in Ohio,  I decided to take advantage of the timing and situation. I looked up any information I could about my biological father who I had never met. He had never acknowledged my existence. Keeping things simple I looked up his name in the phone book.  Even  though I couldn’t find him in the phone book, I did find a similar name of someone who could have been my Uncle.  Turns out he worked  right up the street from where I was staying with my Grandma on Deeds Ave. and it was within easy walking distance. 

Walking up to his place of business, I concentrated on getting one foot in front of the other. Listening to my breathing and my mind screaming, Got nothing, might not get anything but I will know something for sure. This place was just a small business located on Stanley Ave. not too far from I-75.  Wow, what a moment when I realized where the business was located. The very same place that when I was in high school,  my boyfriend and I had parked and necked, a lot in the very spot  Dave’s business had been for years.  

I walked in the front door, asked for Dave and was pointed in the right direction.  I might have introduced myself and I asked him, could it be possible that we might be related. And more to the point, I asked if he thought I might have looked like his brother Robert, who (I hoped) was my  father.  I do know that I was breathing really shallow and was starting to get dizzy, numb for a few minutes. Sitting at the side chair of the desk, I realized here was the man who might be standing between my father and I, so I asked him  if he could talk to his brother, to be a go between, maybe even  arrange a meeting between the two of us.  

He wouldn’t confirm anything for me. He tried  to protect his brother. He was definitely reserved about the whole issue.  But he did confide that  he wasn’t even sure if they Dave and Bob were full brothers. Their mother had just died recently. After going through the paperwork from her death there was evidence of a previous marriage, but things had not been sorted out.

After leaving his business, I went home to meet Grandma. To tell her what had happened. She was pacing outside her duplex, waiting for me. She was anxious, pacing up and down the sidewalk.   She knew, in part , what I went through in my childhood.  That’s  when she said “Kim you have more balls than anyone else I know”and she gathered me up into her arms and squeezed me tight to her. My grandma, she loved me like no one else. Her love made me feel strong.  Her love encouraged me to do brave things. Not just because it was brave, but because my heart lead me to do brave things. To  speak the truth.  No matter what others said or thought,  at the end of the day I shouldn’t  do things  just because society said I ought to, nor should I dothings just to protect other people, especially when they were being dishonest and it was at my expense. 

 Even though there was not a successful ending to the attempted reconnection, she was proud of me for trying.  She loved me and sometimes  that love was so big it hurt. It causes an ache  in my heart even now. Just like the ones we get in our muscles from holding our arms up and open too long. It is still here though in my heart. And it carries me through my days.