I read this post yesterday and it made me sad and angry.
As a social work and nursing student, I saw more child abuse/sexual abuse than I ever wanted to witness. It was very sad and disturbing. At that time in my life, my feelings of sadness did not overwhelm me because I was involved in caring for these little victims. But today, as I write the words “little victims” it feels like a knife is stabbing me in the heart.
These “little victims”are innocent children until an ” adult” robs them of the feeling of safety. Some are robbed of their innocence by other “children” such as cousins or friends who are not technically “adults”. Sad…very sad.
My own mother was “molested” as a young girl in the 1920’s in Brooklyn, NY…she was doing an errand for her own mother, when a shop keeper exposed himself to her. That event affected my mother, my grandmother, me, my children and on and on…
I was warned of stranger danger as a young child…as early as I can remember…my grandmother told me to tell her of anything “strange” and to be careful on my way to and from school. In the 50’s and 60’s we walked to school through a large park in Yonkers, NY. Parks were places where “things” could happen…”caution and be aware”…all warnings from my grandmother.
When my own girls were young…I suspected even parents of their schoolmates …I know this is sick…Right? But when my kids would repeat some “off color sexual” jokes that their “school mates” would recount after hearing these jokes supposedly from their parents, the hair would stand up on the back of my neck.
As a young mother, I remember being keenly aware of situations that made me uncomfortable, while at the same time trying not to alarm my kids. I was always trying to keep communication open….not easy…believe me.
Now… I have been talking mostly about girls…nothing is to say that boys are not equally at risk for child molestation. My thoughts are that Penn State has certainly brought this into the forefront or has it? Some of my young therapy patients were young boys who were molested by their fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins or their mom’s friends. Some of these molestations were covered up by moms, who, for various reasons, refused to believe what their children were telling them … denial…at its worst.
Child molestation causes ripples that keep going and never cease, just like the ripples of the tide on the shore.
Sometimes, the ripples will become tidal waves and do some irreparable damage…other times, the ripples will just quietly erode the beach, seemingly without notice.
My hope is to support people like Meghan, who share their stories and provide a place where others can also share how certain “life” storms changed the flow of their lives forever.