We had walked seven years, linear time. In spirit time, we trudged blindly, soared, dug in our heels, cuddled, labored, hunkered down, and grew as deep as a million miles.
Lists of symptoms will never give us the depth of information we need to recognize the people around us who have hidden wounds from childhood sexual abuse. I think about this when I hear survivors describe themselves when they were in school
There are four common perceptions that make it hard for us to recognize the extent of abuse.
1. We would like to think abuse, especially sexual abuse, happens outside the circle of people we know.
Because our personal spirit urges us to celebrate the best of ourselves, it often feels uncomfortably close to be “selfish”. Spirit invites us to invest money in our creativity. It persuades us to take care of our needs. It asks us to explore our possibilities. This empowering inner wisdom encourages us to separate the “me” from the “we” and “us”.
In our everyday world, we tend to like our memories neat and tidy.
Friends and family often get into conversations about past events with each person laying claim to what really happened. Although each person experienced the moment from their very personal collection of feelings and through the lens of previous experiences, they assume everyone will remember the same thing.
There is beauty in the mystery of our life. It calls to our curiosity. It invites us to explore. But it also asks us to be patient when we’re anxious for answers. In the landscape of our experience, we crave to know what is coming around the corner. At the very least, we want confirmation that we’re on the right track.
It’s easy to find ourselves in conversations about the way past experiences are helping us accomplish our goals now. Maybe it’s our first job, learning from our aunt’s passion, or a movie that gave us potent experiences that continue to resonate.
Survivors of child abuse didn’t explore the landscape of childhood; they hunted for paths that might avoid landmines of harm. Whether they tip-toed with caution or brought their guns of anger, their primary focus was getting through another day. Secrets and survival were the guiding forces. Personal growth was the friend you didn’t bring home.