They are not yours. Don't claim them, they are the lowest of the low. Call them "THE" abuser/abusers or THE rapist.
They stole our innocence, our childhood and all too often our lives too. My very good friend and therapist Steve taught me this during retreat and it works. Put them in their place, don't possess or own them.
I found forcing that simple change in language very empowering and cleansing. It doesn't take away what THEY did to you, but it puts distance between the victim and the perpetrators.
Another subject that came up recently is that of educating the "masses" as I term them. A twitter friend said she thought it was wrong to say what the perpetrators can make the victim do or say in case it gave other potential abusers the same idea. Whilst I do appreciate the point she made I did argue back that unless we do spread education and knowledge of what might happen or be happening then how can we be vigilant for the signs.
I have no idea if this twitter friend is a survivor of abuse or not. I never ask. If someone wants to disclose to me it is their choice, I never force the issue or share what is said to me in DM or email with anyone. I am interested in hearing all points of view (well except that of the abusers). By discussing the issue we are spreading knowledge.
Another question asked of me recently is what can we do today to educate children now so that they do not grow up to be abusers. I stumbled a bit but basically came back with this.
Survivors must have an environment in which they feel safe and protected enough in ordere to disclose. The more that come forward the better idea we will have of numbers and possible "causes". This will bring a better understanding of the true figures etc. Deterrents must be sufficient to put such fear in place that no-one dares abuse a child. The best deterrent surely would be full life sentencing at a maximum with say 15 years as a minimum. I don't personally believe that chemical castration is sufficient. Two house bricks can do the same job and would be remembered much better. For the female perpetrators I am sure something suitable could be arranged.
Another thing I believe would "help" is to have the words "paedo" tattooed on their foreheads, hands, legs. Once a "paedo" always a paedo. I don't believe in forgiveness or reintegration into society.
Harsh you might think? Not harsh if you have been a victim. Many of the horrific practices carried out on us and other survivors are far worse than that.
We are amongst the "fortunate" that have survived our abusive childhoods we should not forget those who could not "come to terms" with what happened and took their own lives. There are also those who are suffering and causing suffering because they cannot face the truth and instead turn to alcohol and or drugs. Both these events are tragic. It is NOT the fault of the child, no matter how cleverly the abusers tried to make the child think so. It is also not the fault of the broken adult if they cannot yet reach out for help. It's the vicious circle of fear and abuse. It took me many decades to finally deal with what happened to me and I am still doing so.
I have NO time for those that were victims and went on to become abusers. I make no apologies for this either.
The road to "recovery" or "healing" is not easy. A "normal" life can be yours. I hate these words by the way hence the quotation marks. Define recovery, healing or normal? We are all individual. We are born unique and special and should strive to remain so. I define healing and normality as a place where you are no longer controlled and limited by what was done TO you. A place where you can take back your life and move forward in a positive and constructive manner. We cannot take back what was stolen from us, but we can make sure our futures are not controlled by this theft.
Help is out there for those who want to seek it. The internet has made it much easier to locate therapists/support groups and self help groups. There are not enough of them, but, they are there.
I am not a therapist or doctor. Opinions stated are my own. I don't have all the answers, but I'm trying to ask all the questions. Many will disagree with my thoughts and that is fine. I am just a man, a survivor, trying to make a difference.