I was opening my Facebook page today, and reading all of my friends’ posts when I came across an article someone had shared: Three Things You Don’t Know About Your Children and Sex
It’s a pretty great article, mainly about how pornography is more accessible to kids today, even as accessible as a simple Google image search. I liked the article specifically because of the messages about abuse and it’s connection to shame.
I was abused before the internet (I know so long ago), before everyone had a cell phone that could fit in their pocket and the home computer was huge and had a green screen and took about 5 minutes to boot up and floppy disks were still around.
I was abused by the local neighbor girl and she showed me her parents’ stash of porn. It was gross and to this day I can still close my eyes and see very disgusting things that I’m not going to share with you.
Abuse completely destroys your view of sex. In the article the author, Anne Marie Miller shares that at her talks there are, by the Grace of God, some kids that don’t know what porn is and don’t know what it is for someone to molest someone else.
I wish I had that story. I wish that my views of sex were not distorted, but they are. It’s a simple fact, a fact that I fight against every single day but still a fact.
Can you imagine your first sexual experience happening at the age of 4? Can you imagine that the first time you see a penis is in a magazine that your abuser is showing you, all engorged, hard, and slippery (I wasn’t going to describe it but I did)? That’s not how God intended for us to experience sex.
Sex is supposed to happen in a loving relationship, it’s supposed to happen in a way that is not abusive, it’s supposed to be a giving and a taking. This is not my experience of sex.
My experience is not beauty, not love, not special. My experience is violent, demanding, and ugly. There are days where I still view myself as ugly and punishment seems the best option.
But here’s the question: How do you punish yourself for something that isn’t your fault?
And there’s the rub, children that have been abused are ashamed and are certain that telling someone will lead to punishment. They are terrified that if anyone knows their secret, their sin will be on display.
Is it their sin? If I’m being abused, forced to look at things, forced to touch things, forced to experience things I’m not ready to nor have the capacity to experience am I at fault?
Can we be blamed for how we cope? This again is the rub. I’m abused at a young age, before I’ve fully developed my coping mechanisms. I can’t deal with what’s happening to me and there is no way I can tell anyone, how do I get rid of the shame and pain long enough to deal? Most kids turn to addictions. They may not understand what an addiction is but they turn to it just the same. They turn to books and literature, if they’re lucky and absorb themselves in a fantasy world. They turn to pornography because their abuser has shown them that a little sexual relief can keep the pain at bay for a few minutes. They turn to drugs or alcohol or they turn to sex itself and begin a life of sexual adventure and become promiscuous because this is the only way they know how to deal. They need to escape and this is the only way they can.
I don’t think you can be blamed for your coping mechanisms but addictions need to be dealt with. If you or someone you know has an addiction to whatever (there are tons of them) you need to get some help. Whether that’s the local AA meeting or a counselor or a prayer partner, no matter what it is you need help to develop better coping mechanisms. There are better ways to deal, ways that don’t leave you feeling worse than when you started.
Addictions always make you feel worse but once you find a safe environment and a safe way to deal you can come to grips with what happened to you, you can learn how to deal with it and move on.
The rub is of course that you will always be a person who was abused but you have a choice: you can be a victim or a survivor. I choose to be a survivor and it feels so much better than being a victim.
I no longer sit in my pain, I feel it. You may not see a difference but I do. If you avoid your pain all the time and never actually feel it, it can destroy you. If you instead feel your feelings as they come you gain freedom.
If you need help feeling your pain, please message me, I may not be in your area but I have a huge network of loving people all over the country and I sure as heck can get you to someone that can help you.
Please don’t sit in the dark with your pain anymore, get help, because there are millions of hands that want to reach out and help you.