(Statistics say you won’t read this all. Find out why when you read it all… if you want to know)
Okay, if you have followed the last four posts you know that God showed Himself to me as a child. I walked and talked with Him, and as I grew a bit older, went to church and learned more about Him my love grew even more. Then all Hell broke loose and I endured dark dark moments. Then God seemed distant, God seemed to create a safe place for me, God again then seemed distant and then His love would show its self again to me. I became angry, I became silent… etc… It was all unfair and I endured it. It’s confusing to wonder why God won’t just snap his fingers and change this. (Truth be told I still feel that way at times. I’m not sure who doesn’t)
… And now today; oh yes the present. The present is full of should have’s, could have’s and this and that’s. It’s full of the shame of things I’ve done wrong and the guilt that comes with that too. It’s full of its PTSD crap and triggers and depression and etc… The question now lies is there ever an excuse to choose wrong because I had a crappy childhood? No, there is never an excuse. Excuse no, but grace and mercy yes.
Do you know what statistics say about those who were abused and no one noticed or noticed and did nothing about it as a child? What happens when you wait until you are an adult to face your fears? Are you ready… because this is very unfair to read.
Children sexually and/or physical abused are:
- As high as 81 % of men and women in psychiatric hospitals with a variety of major mental illness diagnoses, have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse.
- are diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (81%), or Dissociate Identity Disorder(90%) when becoming adults.
- 4 times more at risk for Major Depression as those with no such history. They are significantly more likely to develop bulimia and chronic PTSD. Most experience shame, flashback, nightmares, severe anxiety , depression, alcohol and drug use, feeling of humiliation and unworthiness, ugliness and profound terror.
Adults abused during childhood are: –>
Image via Wikiped-more than twice as likely to have at least one lifetime psychiatric diagnosis
-almost three times as likely to have an affective disorder
-almost three times as likely to have an anxiety disorder
-almost 2 ½ times as likely to have phobias
-over 10 times as likely to have a panic disorder
-almost 4 times as likely to have antisocial P.D.
Suicide and self-injury
- There is a highly significant relationship between childhood sexual abuse and various forms of self-harm later in life, i.e. suicide attempts and self starving, ect… For adults and adolescents with childhood abuse histories, the risk of suicide is increased 4-12 –fold!
- Most self-injurers have childhood histories of physical or sexual abuse. Up to two-thirds of men and women in substance abuse treatment report childhood abuse or neglect.
- Adults abused during childhood are more than three times as likely that those not abused during childhood to have serious substance abuse problems.
- Research reveals severe and prolonged childhood sexual abuse to underlie damage to the brain structure, resulting in impaired memory, dissociation, and symptoms of PTSD. It is nearly impossible for those who dealt with such trauma to recover fully from damage to the brain as a child.
Delinquency, adolescent and criminal behavior
- Numerous studies have documented the most violent criminals were physically or sexually abused as children.
- Over 95% of perpetrators who sexually abuse female children and over 80% of those who abuse male children are men. Most of these men were abused themselves in childhood.
- Of 14 juveniles condemned to death for murder in the US in 1987, 12 had been brutally physically and sexually abused, and 5 of those 12 had been abused by relatives as children.
Too many more to keep listing… way to many…
So that’s a lot of statistics! The odds are stacked up against me and anyone who has been a victem of childhood abuse. My Friend… My God is bigger than all those odds!! The odds say I should be socially shy; yet I can speak and sing in front of hundreds of people. I can speak to my youth kids and somehow impact their life in positive way. I relate with these kids and its crazy how I am able to be used by God to share with them about how to deal with stuggeles and how they are not alone with their pain and questions about the World and God and who broke up with who. According to these statistics above I should be depending on drugs or alcohol to live; nope. I should be violent; nope.( I am a door slammer though) I should be one of those kids that murdered her perpetrator, come back and seek revenge on her parents -nope. I should I should I should… nope nope and nope.
It would be putting on the biggest mask if I were to say that none of those statistics have affected me. Some of them have, but thought that is true I don’t have to let that statistic run my life… I learn how to cope with it and surpass it. Even if all my “nope’s” were yes’s… I still too could defeat them… it is possible, hard but very possible! God is bigger than all of this. Evil was done to me… but I don’t have to choose to be stuck in the odds. I don’t have to choose to do evil things/bad things. I am not all bad nor am I all good; no one is… and that’s just it, we choose to do what we can with what we are given… we learn, we grow, we extend grace and we receive grace. God’s grace is greater then all of the ‘bad’ we do. I am fighting every day to live my life the best I can. My God has saved me from what could have been worse. (some day’s I wonder what could have been worse but the fact that I am alive proves it could be worse… the fact that I’m alive and capable of beingloving mother to my girls proves it could be worse. The fact that I am passionate to speak out against injustice proves that it could be worse) That does not mean those who have and are drowning in these statistics can’t get help…. It’s a hard fight! A fight that you are worth and a fight that others who understand want to fight with you. Reach out and make that first step in fighting… and grab on to another hand to help guide you. (A pastor, counselor, doctor)
It’s a hard fight for me to be the woman God has made me to be when I have some of those statistics, having; PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, Phobias, DID , Suicide attempts, Sleep Disturbance, Headaches, an Abortion, teen mom, Domestic Abusive Relationships, Anger, and a few more others I suppose. It is very hard to fight your way to healing… That seems like a long list – I’m kida disgusted actually now that I just listed it all out… huh… You know, it could be so much worse, just read the statistic again.
I could not imagine how hard it would be to be homeless, or a drug user, or have abused my own children, or commit a violent crime, be imprisoned, and then try to heal from my childhood.
The God I serve can defeat these odds . I should have never been the child to grow up and become sociable, an all-star athlete, an A student; (even though I claimed the statistic of becoming a teen mom, I still got my diploma, first one on my mom’s side of the family) I raised my baby without help from parents. I, as an adult, have been able to work and do it well! For sometime I was a single mom, going to college full-time and waiting tables 30 hours a week. I have for the past 2 years, up until just a few months ago, worked with teens; mentoring and building unbelievable relationships with them. Its been said that I am a strong leader, I connect with the brokenhearted people in this world…
I am able to use my voice in front of hundreds of people even though I was told to never sing and it was never good enough as a child. I never gave up singing about God and His love… never gave up singing to Him and all the odds say I should be the girl in the crowd with my head down. Not this girl! I’m also a mom to my beautiful girls, cook some pretty amazing meals, and more…. The odds say I could not do that.
If adults that suffered from sexual abuse from childhood had the same odds as the lottery; prisons, counseling centers and mental hospitals would be a declining business; right? If the majority of people who are clients, patients or serving time in these places were abused as children; they would not be there if the abuse never happened, right? (that’s what statistics say). We would have smaller prisons and a healthier society. …. Yet evil still exists and wondering what it would be like if the statistics claimed us like 1 in a billion instead of 1 in 4 or 1 in 2….. It’s all just a dream – a sad one at that.
Satan does not want my friend God to win. The odds are more like Russian roulette with the devil. The thing is… my God wins in the end even if you get the bullet to the brain… In the end He will win… we just need to believe and know His name and grow with Him each day we breathe life. He loves us because He love us because He loves us. Nothing we do will make Him love us less. We need to love ourselves enough to believe and receive that love and I promise you your world will change, not change like black to white, but change from seeing only black to seeing hope. You will not be alone even when it seems you are. In the end LOVE DOES WIN… it just might not be here on Earth. Hang on dear friends our Lord has said, “Take heart in this world you will have trouble but I have overcome the world”
Trust and grief can coincide. It is still awful.
Trust does not make the pain go away.
TRUST infuses the pain with HOPE.
HOPE sees BEYOND the pain.
Seeing only the pain infuses suffering with despair.
I am trusting AND grieving
… and yes! …it hurts!
… and yes I’m desperately clinging to hope
… and no it does not make the hurt go away
… but as I trust; I feel a rising hope
… and I somehow can see beyond the pain. That is HOPE… that is what God is… that is what changes. It does not take the pain away or what is not in our control necessarily, but believing in that loving God and His Word gives us a hope to hold on to when we are in the midst of adversity… and also to show that same hope to others in the midst of their own adversity.
The odds of ‘us’ thriving from childhood abuse look pretty pathetic! Is their something we can do about this? Do we just throw in the towels; let’s these numbers and figures claim us… or do we use our voice and for those that can’t do we use are voice even more to stand in the gap for them? Yes! Some ask if I really have a genuine fear about my abusers finding out what I’m saying and why I have a blog if I live in that fear… I try to stay on the “DL” with it. But… I need to use my voice and I just pray and hope that the people who hurt me are not going to find out who untitled-moments really is. Courage my dear friends, it’s courage.
! If just maybe our schools would stop teaching our kids ‘stranger danger’ and teach them that also danger lies in homes, and churches, and ‘safe places’ maybe the odds would not be so against us. If churches would stop protecting their name to keep hush on this… maybe the odds would be better. If the people who are supposed to shelter adults as they counsel them to heal don’t abandon them because of lack of insurance or ‘other problems’. If so many mental health providers and hospitals stopped over drugging all of us and show love and kindness and stop treating clients like a flipping file or a number. Stop treating us like a statistic!!!! STOP STOP STOP! You are giving the good doctors and therapists a bad name… we need to trust someone! Teach us the skills to overcome, be patient with us, and if you don’t know how- humble yourself enough and direct us to one that does.
If damn parents would not turn their heads when their kids were being abuse because it’s too hard for them to know, and that goes too for neighbors, youth leaders, teachers, etc; if people would just stop being silent and treating the victims of abuse like it’s too much to handle and it’s better to shut your mouth… then just maybe the odds would not be stacked against ‘us’ and the statistics would change.
My statistic say all of you who turn your head are cowards! They are children! They are adults that still have this child trapped within needing support now!
If maybe my mom would not have ignored me. If only the church that my mom drove me to in the middle of the night when I built up the courage to say five words, ” mom, grandpa is hurting me”. If only, if only…. How could a church turn their back on a 12-year-old girl? How could a mother allow evil to happen and ignore? How could a dad be blind? How could people now tell me to live in secrecy… why would churches tell me to stay hush? All those should have’s – could have’s did not, has not and will not happen. It is now my time to take those odds, stack them all up, step on top of them and tell all those people: You have wronged a mighty soul and the God of all is not happy. STOP KEEPING SECRETS!!!! STOP! It is your turn to shut up, sit down and stop doing God’s job! He will protect the precious name of your organization, your church name, etc… BUT if you choose to hide ‘it’ thinking that hiding ‘it’ will make it easier for you maybe in 30 years, it will come back to haunt you like it did with this missionary organization that thought they could play God. (Read here.) These places must know that you have to educate themselves when working with children or are in the ministry. You need to know how to deal with these situations. We are fragile humans that need love and support. Take up a stand, start support groups, know where to send people to get help, and for goodness sakes take part in Child Abuse Awareness Month this April! Listen to the abused even when their voice is silent. Listen.
It’s time we told those odds that they can go to hell where they belong; they can burn in the flames where the ones that tried stealing mine and so many others’ life away. They don’t define us even though some of them are true for us. We are not a statistic. We are beautiful and can rise about the odds! And my Friend God does care, He is not a statistic. I know He is real because I would not be alive or functioning with out His hand holding me from drowning in this raging sea of statistics and odds and all the secrets.
I am rising above the odds. I have a long road to heal… but now that I have shaken some of those odds off; the road sees a brighter hope.
Watch this…. This is a clip from a T.V. show…. To set the stage before this clip: A troubled young adult named Gary, endured unspeakable abuse from his foster parents. Gary has turned very angry to society killing people who trigger his abuse. This post is almost incomplete without this video. Thanks for watching.
I am not all good or bad, but I do have a choice … I am not my mom; I will protect my kids at all cost. I am not like so many in my family who choose to live in silence, hide in drugs and alcohol and suffer because they choose to ignore God and tell me I have a ‘creative imagination’. I’m not the one living in a house with no electric, filth and smoke pot 3 -4 times a day. …or the one who abuses his children and wife. I am not the one who goes back to her abusive boyfriend over and over and over again. I am not the one who get’s himself in trouble with the law over and over again. That is the family I grew up with and it’s sad… it’s very sad and I pray so hard that they will see and one day overcome the awful statistics that they hold on to in fear. It’s the only way they know. I am rising above the odds because I have chosen to have my God be my guide and not secrets and evil! (oh, ouch!!! I am editing this a year later and I oh did I just eat a piece of my own advice… ugh) I am not saying better than my family… I am choosing to live better. Like I stated I have my demons but they no longer define who I am!!! That is why my God is real and why I know that I know that I know :) Don’t believe because I do… find Him and seek Him with all your heart… He will show you His realness. Try it… you might like it :)
I also refuse to split this post in a million pieces because it’s 3,115 words plus an 8 minute video with even more words :) Statistics say you wont read it all… but for those who did… I thank you for beating the odds :)
much love, ~L
- The Aftermath of Childhood Sexual Abuse (everydayhealth.com)
- Part I (untitledmoments.com)
- Part II (untitledmoments.com)
- Part III (untitledmoments.com
- part IV (untitledmoments.com)