May 19, 2013

Blog Every Day in May
Open + Honest

I was off work most of the week. I enjoyed my free time and decided not to blog. Now, I've got a little catching up to do. I'm going to come back to Day 15 which is a "day in the life" post with pictures of my typical day. The last few days have been anything but typical. I'll revisit this when I actually have to set my alarm clock and go to bed on time.

May 16 - Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it

I debated how honest I wanted to be answering this one. I blog mostly about pop culture with tidbits of family life thrown in. I keep it simple and never get too personal. I don't really think of this space as my diary. After much thought, I decided sharing would be for the best. If my story can help one person, that's good enough for me.

When I was in elementary school, I was molested by a family member. This was someone I trusted, someone everyone in my family trusted. I was terrified and didn't tell anyone. It went on for a couple of years before my mom found out by accident. I'm extremely thankful because I don't know if I would have ever had the courage to speak up on my own.

After my abuser was arrested, I attended court appointed therapy. I had one-on-one sessions with a counselor before attending group therapy with girls my age who'd also been abused. To this day, I can't stand the idea of seeing a therapist. In some ways, therapy helped. In other ways, I think it messed me up even more.

The man who abused me got out of jail almost immediately and didn't serve any time. His punishment.. court appointed therapy. Yes, that's right. The court made him go to therapy just like they made me. He got off easy because he'd never been charged before. Only once my story came out did other family members admit they'd been abused as well. If one of them had spoken up, there's a very good chance this wouldn't have happened to me.

The one thing I can't stress enough is that telling someone is imperative. You don't need to feel ashamed or dirty. You aren't doing anything wrong. You are not to blame. Make the abuser suffer, so you and others don't have to.

If you're a parent, talk to your kids.

If you don't let them know how important it is to come to you, they won't.

Click here for 10 ways to talk to your kids about sexual abuse.

I'll never totally be over what happened to me, but I refuse to let it define me.

When I look in the mirror, I see a woman with flaws, but being a victim of sexual abuse isn't one of them.


SHUG IN BOOTS {Beth} said...

This took serious balls, and I am certain that you writing will help more people than you know. <3

Allena said...

Oh my gosh. This is one of my biggest fears for my children. Thank you so much for speaking out about this, I really think this will help someone.

Anonymous said...

I have *let* myself be abused in the past, because I was f..cked up in the head and hated myself. So what did it matter what others did to me. I'm in therapy now. I don't hate myself anymore. I have forgiven myself ... at least some days.

The problem is that there are so many who are *innocent* of abuse, who feel they are not. So each time someone comes forth and tells their story, they h-e-l-p. I don't think we can imagine how much it helps. It is certainly worth doing, I feel, even if it doesn't square with what you thought the blog should be about to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Heck ,.. My blog changes every other day. And stops and starts every other year. But I try to let go and not care too much. It's what comes from the heart that matters, when it is ready to come ... like your post.

Unknown said...

Misty, reading this brought tears to my dare someone do that to you & why is the sentencing of these monsters never ever enough, it is a disgrace.

You have done an amazing thing by sharing, I've always been a fan of yours but my admiration just went up even more.

You will have helped someone by writing this down on your blog, well done Xx

Ashley said...

Thank you for your honesty. I was also abused when I was was 5. It went on for several years. I didn't say anything until I was in high school. I really wish I would have spoken up.

Whitney Alison said...

Misty, I read this first thing this morning and cried. You are incredibly brave to post/share your story. It is sooooo important to tell someone, your post is definitely going to spark some dialogue between Boomer and I this evening. Thank you for this post girl. Love you! and this blog!

Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

Thanks for being brave enough to share this. I am so sorry you had to deal with this in your lifetime. I am glad you're using it to protect your children and using your voice to help protect other's children. ox

Unknown said...

This post was very brave. I'm sure it was hard to write about. There is no doubt that your testimony will inspire others.

Karen M. Peterson said...

You are a brave woman for writing this. I know it's not an easy thing to share, but I'm sure someone will seek help because of your example.

Shelley said...

This makes me so angry that he wasn't even really punished!! I'm so sorry!! Thank you for opening up.

Rach said...

Oh Misty, I am so sorry you had to go through this. I had a similar experience growing up (though it wasn't a family member) and it truly is awful. I appreciate the 10 Ways link you shared. I always wonder how to talk to our future kids about all of this. Thanks for sharing!

Christina said...

I'm so, so sorry you experienced this, but I'm so glad you shared. It takes courage to talk about something so private, but it kind of shouldn't have to. You (and other victims) didn't do anything wrong! "Make the abuser suffer, so you and others don't have to" is the best point ever.