Ever since I was a child, my family of origin had a nonverbal code of silence. They didn't want me to speak the truth.
Perhaps, the truth does hurt? It hurts so much that most people spend their lives stuffing the haunting memories, repressing it, running from it, burying it, and hiding it.
Today, I understand how much that silence harmed me. How much it kept me a prisoner. It most certainly played a major role in my chronic physical and emotional pain.
There is a body and mind connection. I will save that intriguing topic for a future blog post.
In the meanwhile, I will never again remain silent so that my abusers can stay comfortable. We have a right to speak up! It's the most kindest, courageous act of self-care that we can offer ourselves.
To speak the truth. To be authentic. To transparently be seen and heard. Most importantly, it's essential for our healing journey to recover from abuse.
I love, love, LOVE what Brene' Brown says! If you have't read her books or watched her on Netflix and YouTube, I highly recommend her.
She says, "Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending - to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth, until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how the story ends."
Eleven years ago, when I finally decided enough is enough, I did speak the truth. I started sharing my story with my mother and siblings. I talked openly to them about my childhood abuse by our babysitter.
Upon my truth-telling, my family freaked out. They denied it. All, but one sibling, said they didn't remember it.
Keep in mind, I was the youngest of five girls. My child abuse occurred when I was between 3-4 years old. I had and still have vivid memories of the appalling abuse.
Yet, my two sister's who were five and six years older than me suddenly had amnesia? They couldn't recall anything unusual about the babysitter's violent behaviors. How peculiar that they had no memories of this time period.
Some of them claimed my child abuse never happened. Then they verbally attacked me, shunned me, and silenced me.
After my sister’s husband sexually assaulted me, they silenced me, again. They shamed and blamed for a despicable crime that I wasn’t responsible for.
My one sister coerced me to forgive and forget fast. She insisted that I be a "good Christian" and get over it. How convenient for her and her predator husband who she defended.
We must understand that "forgiving and forgetting fast" is only for the abusers. It is only for their benefit; never the victims.
It is not appropriate for the abuser (and their flying monkeys) to demand or dictate when, why, and if we shall forgive our abusers. Predators do not deserve the silence of their victims.
Only the abusers can take full responsibility for their crimes. However, in statistics, most sex offenders never take any accountability for their actions, nor admit to their sins. Instead, they silence victims.
At the root of their malicious motives is fear. They're scared of being found out. Of people learning the truth about them.
Therefore, they will manipulate, gaslight, and use covert tactics to silence victims. They will recruit flying monkeys to assist them. Don't be surprised when they retaliate with smear campaigns to try to destroy you and your reputation.
Silence keeps us in darkness. It allows the enemy (and abusers + flying monkeys) to get a foothold. It is quite demonic. The evil grows like wild fire.
We are not to keep secrets or hide sin. The Bible states, "People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy." Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)
God calls us to expose darkness by shining His light on evil. It's clear that sin has a way of catching up with people, including abusers. They can run and they can hide, but sin will find them.
"For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all." Luke 8:17 (NLT)
In 2017, I publicly shared my #MeToo story. I broke free of the chains that were meant to hurt me. God uses my messy places by turning it into His masterpiece.
Today, I'm on a healing journey. I embrace God’s victory. I'm thankful for His divine plan to use my rock bottom story to give others healing, health, and hope.
Today, I don't know what you have gone through. Perhaps, domestic violence, child abuse, or rape? Maybe it was narcissistic abuse?
I encourage you to not stay silent. To not keep secrets. To not hide in shame. It's not your shame to carry. It's the perpetrator's!
Please do not bury your pain. If you are (or have been) abused; physically, emotionally, sexually, or spiritually, may you bravely find your voice.
Even if your voice shakes, break the silence. Speak to someone safe, such as a trustworthy friend or a trauma informed therapist. Know that the truth will set you FREE indeed!
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32 (NIV)