Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Thoughts Always: You're a slut!

April is child abuse prevention month. I find myself writing once more in an effort to eradicate child abuse. Child abuse isn't funny it hurts. Everything you read is what has happened to me or I have seen. This is first hand experience.

I was eleven years old. I wanted to start looking "cute". My mom had make up that she kept and she let me wear it to school. Every day I would go to the bathroom at school put it on and wash it off before getting on the bus to go home. One day I forgot to wash it off. I cam home and my dad/ grandpa saw it. He grabbed my face and asked where I got the make up from. I said I had gotten it from mom. He began to yell at my mom. "We know what she will be when she grows up!" he screamed. I was old enough to know that he was insinuating I would be a slut, whore, prostitute. This really upset me. I was led to believe parents love you unconditionally. That no matter what you do you can always run home and it would be ok. For years my mom would tell me my dad was a bad man and I never understood it. He had never done anything up until that point to make me think otherwise.

The next day came. I couldn't participate in phys ed. I just wanted to hide in a corner and cry. My gym teacher sent me to the guidance counselor. I told her everything that I could. She kept interrupting me telling me to talk to him it will get better. I explained no it wouldn't it will only get worse. She wouldn't listen to why I thought it would get worse. She seemed like she didn't want to do her job.

I knew where I came from. I had always known my mom's dad raped her and I am a product of that abuse. My mom always let me know it's not my fault. My mom has made it a possibility for me to advocate against child abuse. I'm not ashamed of where I came from.

At eleven I also began to shave my legs. I took one of my mom's razors and shaved away. I liked how nice and soft my legs felt. It made me feel grown up. I shaved my eyebrows too just to see what would happen. It looked real ugly. I recommend staying away from the eyebrows. Anyhow, I got yelled at for the leg shaving too.

Shortly after all this my period started. I told my mom and she insisted that I hide the sanitary napkins. I suppose the perversion began when my mom began girl time. Eventually, my dad found out that I had girl time going on.

My brother and I spent an afternoon playing in mud. That's what kids do and a kid shouldn't have to get cleaned up for relatives if they aren't going back in the house. At eleven I was very capable of cleaning myself up. I didn't need help. That is exactly what happened. We had no running water. My dad pulled out a round aluminum tub, poured water into it and proceeded to bathe me. I told him no. He cleaned my privates. I had been violated by my dad.

It was my 18th birthday and all was fine then the memory of the bath hit me on my birthday. I called my best friend. I desperately needed someone to talk to. Even now well over 10 years from that moment, the moment I realised my dad sexually violated me, I still feel the need to talk.

It is important to me that children get help. I don't want another child to know what it's like growing up before your time. I can't recall how many times people told me "I thought you were older" based on my behavior.

Since this is child abuse prevention month coming up there will be more posts. I want each of my readers to understand I am not doing this to boo-hoo myself, but to promote awareness and maybe provide an opportunity for another child to get help.

There are a few places you should know about:
Tennyson Center for Children "For over 100 years, Tennyson Center for Children has been changing lives and giving hope to kids and families throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Here, children and families have a full spectrum of resources to help them gain insights, support and healing through a variety of programs including residential treatment, special education/day treatment, and community-based in-school, in-home and family services."

Statistics, research, and resources "I am a researcher and therapist with a doctorate (Ph.D.) in clinical psychology. I have studied the lasting effects of child abuse and have expertise in several related areas. These include issues unique to men, the brain bases of emotion regulation problems, and how mindfulness and meditation can benefit people with histories of child abuse (and their therapists)."


Reporting abuse numbers:

Child Help USA 8004-A-CHILD800422-4453 (this is the number you would use if you reside in Mexico.)
Alaska (AK)800-478-4444
Arizona (AZ)888-SOS-CHILD(888-767-2445)
Arkansas (AR)800-482-5964
Connecticut (CT)800-842-2288800-624-5518 (TDD/hearing impaired)
Delaware (DE)800-292-9582
Florida (FL)800-96-ABUSE(800-962-2873)
Illinois (IL)800-252-2873
Indiana (IN)800-562-2407
Iowa (IA)800-362-2178
Kansas (KS)800-922-5330
Kentucky (KY)800-752-6200
Maine (ME)800-452-1999
Maryland (MD)800-332-6347
Massachusetts (MA)800-792-5200
Michigan (MI)800-942-4357
Mississippi (MS)800-222-8000
Missouri (MO)800-392-3738
Montana (MT)800-332-6100
Nebraska (NE)800-652-1999
Nevada (NV)800-992-5757
New Hampshire (NH)800-894-5533
New Jersey (NJ)800-792-8610800-835-5510 (TDD/hearing impaired)
New Mexico (NM)800-432-2075
New York (NY)800-342-3720
North Dakota (ND)800-245-3736
Oklahoma (OK)800-522-3511
Oregon (OR)800-854-3508
Pennsylvania (PA)800-932-0313
Rhode Island (RI)800-RI-CHILD(800-742-4453)
Texas (TX)800-252-5400
Utah (UT)800-678-9399
Virginia (VA)800-552-7096
Washington (WA)800-562-5624
West Virginia (WV)800-352-6513
Wyoming (WY)800-457-3659

Canadian directory this has a list of numbers and places to go to in Canada to get help.

13 comments:

  1. Good for you for speaking up! I really admire your for your courage and inner strength. Yes, sharing our stories and lives can help others who haven't previously dare to speak up. Silence kills. This is a very important message here. Thank you Shirley.

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  2. WOW. Thank you for sharing your story. Too many sick people in the world and kids should know how to protect themselves as well as knowing there is help!

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  3. Yes, there are way too many sick people in the world. Maybe they should all be excumunicated from people. It's an idea. :)

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  4. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. To be violated in this way is wrong, and to come through it and try to help others in the same situation speaks to how wonderful and strong that you are.

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  5. Awww... Thank you ((hugs)) :) Children have a hard time speaking for themselves. Someone has to be a voice and every voice that speaks up counts. :)

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  6. As a survivor of child abuse I want to say thank you. Speaking up is an amazing thing, and I thank you for it, and posting all the resources for stopping child abuse and helping abused kids is great. Thanks.

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  7. I'm sorry for what you have been through. You are not alone.

    Good for you for getting up a Child Abuse Prevention Month post before it's even April yet! And thanks for the reminder. I will be sure to get at least one or two up that are specifically about prevention for April.

    A couple of things you may want to consider: I run THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. We'd love it if you joined us. Details are at my blog or Blog Carnival dot com.

    Also, consider yourself officially invited to join the Child Abuse Survivors ning network. There's a little clicky widget thing on the sidebar of my blog for that group as well. It's very supportive and a friendly group.

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  8. I found your blog by way of Womanist Musings...

    I divorced my husband of 20 years 2 years ago when my oldest daughter suddenly blurted out one night that he had been raping her since she was very young...turns out he was doing the same thing to my youngest daughter as well, of course.

    We live in a culture that blames the female for all sexual misconduct...no matter how it occurs...so my daughters are viewed as sluts and damaged goods...because they were raped as little girls...by their father.

    We have had a very tough 2 years dealing with this trauma...both inside our home and outside in the community.

    I noticed you are a psychologist and was wondering if you could direct me to some websites that will be of help. I search but its hard to know whats really reliable.

    Im getting them as much help as I can but living in the ME is not an easy thing by itself...throw in sexual abuse and its damn near impossible.

    Thanks for the post.

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  9. I'm not a psycologist. when I place things in quotes those are the links for other websites and what they are stating at those sites. I can direct you here: http://www.blogcatalog.com/group/resolving-child-abuse And I will look around for you. I have a whole lot of resources. you can email me at proofpositivity@gmail.com and I will work on it.

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  10. @Coolred38 I will have a post for you tomorrow on April 2nd. I will continue to look for you. I've written to a friend as well who deals with child abuse.

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  11. Coolred38, I just wanted to congratulate you and even thank you for having the courage and the right priorities to act immediately to protect your children. As someone who used to represent abused children in court proceedings, I can tell you that a shocking number of mothers do not do that, whether out of disbelief, fear, or misplaced priorities. Your children have been through a horrible experience, but the fact that they know that you put their needs first and acted swiftly to protect them will make a tremendous difference in their ability to recover and in their relationships with other people throughout their lives.

    I'm sorry I don't have help to offer you, but I did want to tell you that however discouraging it may seem at times and however far you and your girls still have to go, you've already done the single most important thing you could ever do for them.

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  12. Shirley...sorry...I miss read your post. Thank you for the email with links though. Very helpful.

    Tiffany...thank you for the kind thoughts.

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