A House Divided

Pick a divisive issue currently in the news. Write a two-part post in which you take on two personas and approach the topic from both sides. Bonus points for a creative format (roundtable discussion, debate transcript, etc.)

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“Childhood sexual abuse is rampant around the world. We’ve all heard about human sex trafficking. We all know that children are involved. We also all should know that molesting a child is a felony in all 50 states here in America.

“What we don’t always know is that the results of being molested can change a person forever; being sexually abused as a child often results in the sexualization of a child who has no clear understanding of the power the offense had. I submit, therefore, that any child who has been sexually abused needs to be in some kind of therapy that will help dispel the terrible after-effects, and help that child not to act out in a socially inappropriate way.”

“Okay, Linda, so what’s the big deal here?  I don’t think any right-thinking person would disagree with what you’ve said.”

“Sadly, Pumpkin, that is not the case. My issue for this post is that there ARE people out there, people who claim to love God and to care about the children, who dismiss the troubling results of sexual abuse.  They don’t believe PTSD really exists, but is made up by people in my profession simply to create something else that needs therapy.  Sometimes, they even go so far as to say that soldiers, for instance, don’t really have PTSD.  What’s wrong with them is that they just don’t love God enough, and they have made an idol out of their wartime experiences.”

“Oh, you have to be kidding! ”

“I wish I were.  I’ve worked with too many adults who were traumatized by sexual abuse as children, and too many vets who can barely function in civilian society, to be unaware of the belief out there that it’s all bunk.  Do you remember, Pumpkin, how our soldiers who fought in Viet Nam all those years ago were vilified?  Not only did they see horrendous things over there, but when they came home they often faced a barrage of rotten vegetables and screams of “Baby Killer!” thrown in their faces as they deplaned. Trauma there, trauma back home. No wonder they’ve struggled all these years just to survive.”

“Linda, you started this post with the topic of survivors of childhood sexual abuse.”

“You’re right.  I got off on a rabbit trail there that upsets me just as much. Back to sexual abuse. Did you know that there is still an attitude out there that if you were abused, you were probably asking for it?”

“No!  I thought that kind of thinking went out with the cave man.”
“I wish.  Here are just a few of the things survivors hear:

♦ What were you wearing?  Was it revealing or immodest?

♦ Why didn’t you scream or run away?

♦ I don’t see any bruises or anything. Why didn’t you fight?

♦ Didn’t it feel kind of good?  Is that why you never told anyone until now?

♦ Are you bitter or angry at the person who touched you?  Have you gone to that person and asked forgiveness ?

♦ You know, the “abuser”  didn’t touch your soul.  He just touched the throw-away parts.

“Wait!  What?  Who would say such an awful thing?  What in the world are “throw-away parts,” anyway?  Come on, aren’t you making some of this up? ”

“Pumpkin, my friend, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.  I am appalled at the way we re-victimize the victims, blaming them for the abuse, accusing them of “asking for it,” letting them know it wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t wanted it to.  I know of someone, for example, whose own father abused her for nearly 20 years. She had no idea that what was happening to her was abnormal. She hated it, but her father convinced her she needed to obey him or God would punish her. And he also told her never, ever to talk about it, because what happens behind closed doors stayes behind closed doors.”
“So you’re saying that children are victimized, then threatened so they won’t tell.  But why do they just allow the abuse?  Wouldn’t you want to scream or try to run away?”

“Sure I would,  But pedophiles are crafty, and most of them take the time to ‘groom’ a child. This is a process of getting the child’s trust; of getting the child used to his (non-sexual) touch.  It often includes establishing himself as an authority figure in the life of the child, and it is often someone the child’s family trusts–a youth worker, a teacher, a pastor,  the friendly guy next door, or the athletic coach. Evil comes packaged very attractively.”

“So you’re saying that the child accepts the sexual touch because he’s basically been desensitized.  Then he’s threatened, and he’s afraid, so he says nothing. But, Linda, you mentioned sexual acting out.  What did you mean by that?”

“Little children who are introduced to sexuality before they can understand its importance will do all kinds of sexually-oriented behaviors.  Masturbation, self-exposure, trying to look at another child’s private parts, drawing pictures, and sexualized play with toys are all included. Then, of course, there are the long-term results. These include self-harm like cutting and anorexia/bulimia, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, even attempted suicide. These are all common behaviors in the population of sexually abused children as they become adults. What really elevates my blood pressure is that, again, we blame the victim and not the perpetrator.  We tell these people that they “just need to put it behind them now, and move forward.”  But we do nothing to help them get unstuck. We don’t help them rid their minds of the pictures imprinted there by what has happened to them.  We dismiss it as if it were nothing more than a mosquito bite, and we even try to protect the perpetrator. This is especially true if the perp was a pastor, youth pastor, children’s worker or community hero.  And of course, when we protect such a person, we enable that person to continue his behavior with full confidence that he won’t be caught or stopped.”

“Wow,  I can see why this upsets you so much.  It’s hard to believe that people are so blind.”

“I know, Pumpkin.  I know.”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/a-house-divided/

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14 thoughts on “A House Divided

  1. Reblogged this on Study God's Word and commented:

    I wrote this in response to a Daily Prompt, but the topic is so important, and so outrageous, that I decided to put it on this blog as well. If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know i’ve written extensivly on the topic of childhood sexual abue. You can find it under “Categories” if you scroll down and look at the right side of the page.

    Like

  2. That was informative! Sometime back I met my childhood friend on Facebook. She was with me in school and then again in university but I had not met her for more than 20 years. Surprisingly, after so many years she ended up telling me about some long gone events of her life. It was as if she badly wanted to share with someone well-known but didn’t want to talk face-to-face. I live far away so we chatted only on FB.
    She disclosed she is taking healing sessions. I was surprised when she shared that she carries scars of being exploited by a well-known relative, her close uncle who regularly visited her home when she was only six years of age. Thus after more than 40 years, she had not overcome the trauma which finally needed professional healing. It was shocking for me.
    This made me realize that I took a wise decision when going part-time in my career or never sending my son for night-outs or sleep-overs at his friend’s place. Parents need to watch out and spend not just quality time but ample quantity time as well. Communication is also the key here so that children open up and share every little thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And unfortunately it may happen in your home while you are there. We parents cannot watch over our children 24/7. The scars are real, but there can be healing with the help and Grace and forgiveness of Christ, both for the abused and the abuser.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All very true. Unfortunately, in my experience and from the reading I’ve done, the abuser rarely believes he’s done anything wrong, and rarely stops, even after doing jail time.

      You are right that we can’t be “on” 24/7. But we CAN teach our kids, even when they’re very small, that no one should ever touch them anywhere a bathing suit covers them; that if anyone, no matter who it is, does touch them, they can (1) Yell NO!! and try to get away
      (2) No matter what the bad person says, the child is always to tell his parents if anyone touches him. Even if the bad person says he will hurt mommy or daddy. Always tell. Mommy and daddy will be fine. (3) Sometimes the one who touches is someone you love, like Grandpa or Uncle Joe. Same rules apply. Always tell. Always.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have both in our immediate family. Abuser was only 13 when he found porn and abused a female relative. It stopped when he was 15 and she was 12. He confessed a number of years later, at age 22. She had not told anyone!

        Both received godly counseling. Through Christ both have found healing and forgiveness. They have a healthy relationship now, five years later, though both are still guarded with one another and he is in recovery for issues caused by his sin and shame – drugs and alcohol related. It was through a recovery program that he found the strength to confess.

        The parents had taught those things you recommended. Sometimes even that isn’t enough to stop sin. When it all came out, they both knew it was wrong. It all started as a game played by both. Both knew they should tell. But neither one did. The enemy can be cunning and power. The parents of these two people all needed counseling as well – shame, guilt, anger, humiliation, frustration at their own failures.

        Those who experience abuse need love and counseling. Not judgement!

        For those who know a youth abuser: find a godly counselor who specializes in treating the abuser. There are unique issues to be dealt with. This is often rooted in porn.

        Parents need to teach as you suggested, and we must guard our home from the invasive sin and porn so easily found in our culture.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This young man does not fit the profile of a pedophile. A true pedophile is one who carefully selects his victims, grooms them, gains the trust of the child, and then begins to systematically abuse. He rarely feels guilt or remorse. I’m very sorry for what happened in your family, but I’m also thankful that when it finally came to light, everyone involved got help.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I suffered from severe PTSD from childhood sexual abuse and let me tell you when I first received that diagnosis in therapy I was shocked! I only related PTSD to people who fought in wars. It’s taken me a decade just to learn how to cope with the effects of PTSD. Please feel free to come check out my blog as well. I would love you input!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I understand how a PTSD diagnosis can come as a shock. I’m glad someone recognized your difficulty for what it is, and I hope you have been–are?–receiving appropriate therapy to help you deal with it. I work with lots of women in your situation, mostly using EMDR to help them process what they’ve experienced. I will definitely take a look at your blog when I have a bit more time. I just got home from a two-day EMDR training on working with clients who suffer migraines. I’m pooped 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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