Recently I was told that I put myself "out there" too much, that I obviously wasn't over the effects of the years of abuse. Apparently I was weakening my position by sharing so much of myself and devoting so much of my time to raising awareness and fighting for those who are unable to speak out.
My response was to laugh at the ignorance of the person who said this to me.
If men and women who have found their chains broken and have the strength to speak up, do not do so, then who will!
I am proud to call myself a survivor. I have become far more than that in the last few years though. I am a thriver. I have cast aside the shackles and the gags and I speak out. I tell it as it is. I do not do this to bring glory upon myself, far from it. I do it to spread knowledge and in so doing I hope to create a better understanding of not only how childhood sexual abuse effects the victim, but also what signs to look out for and how to help the victims "heal".
Ignorance and silence are the friends of the abusers along with fear and shame.
My voice is only a small one. I can only ever hope to reach a very tiny percentage of the population. If I can help one person to recover, if I can stop one more child being used, I will.
Knowledge is power. We all need to learn the signs of abuse, and its effects on the innocent.
Will I stop spreading this knowledge because it offends some people? No, I will most certainly not. If what I write makes you uncomfortable you have two choices.
1 - Read, learn, be aware, be proactive. Understand and try to empathise. Take the knowledge and spread it to help others.
2 - Turn your backs, if your conscience allows it. Pretend it doesn't and couldn't affect you. Be ignorant, be an accomplice to child abuse by your inaction.
There is NO EXCUSE not to support victims of childhood sexual abuse, whatever their sex, their colour, their religious views, or social standing. To do anything else, to turn your backs or deny them justice is tantamount to collusion with the perpetrators of sexual crimes.
Sheltering or protecting a Paedophile means you may as well have been holding the innocent child down yourselves.
Fear is not an excuse, neither is family pride. A child is NEVER to blame for being the victim of sexual crimes. NEVER.
No... I will not shut up and go and hide back in the shadows. The past had a devastating effect on my life, but it is indeed past. It has changed me, as has the therapy to get to where I am today. I have taken away its power to control my present and my future. So can you. The past no longer defines who I am and where I am going.