Category Archives: Childhood Sexual Abuse

Why Lily White

English: Lily in garden

Image via Wikipedia

The term Lily White has a long and ugly past as it applies to American history and its culture.

Specifically, the term Lily-White Movement, as defined by Wikipedia, was an anti-civil-rights movement within the Republican Party in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement was a response to the political and socioeconomic gains made by African-Americans following the Civil War and the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which eliminated slavery.  Black leaders gained increasing influence in the party by organizing blacks as an important voting bloc. Conservative white groups attempted to eliminate this influence and recover white voters who had defected to the Democratic Party.

“The lily white movement is one of the darkest and underexamined eras of US Republicanism.”

This movement is largely credited with driving blacks out of the Republican party during the early 20th century, setting the stage for their eventual support of the Democrats.

In essence, the movements goal was to suppress the votes (or in my opinion, the VOICE and Validity) of Black Americans.

As I began to speak up and speak out about a problem that touches far to many lives I realized pretty quickly that most people didn’t want to hear about the reality of the problem. It almost seemed as though the words I spoke offended a falsely innocent view of american culture and the violence that is going on in american children’s lives at the hands of adults, usually the adults that are closest to them.

A few definitions from around the web:

Defined by Double-Tongued.org

1.) Lilywhite

n. a person without a police record; someone who does not trigger suspicions; a clean-skin.

This particular definition is the one that solidified my decision to use the term as the Pseudonym I would blog under. I started blogging specifically because the subject of Childhood Sexual Abuse, a subject that has recently and violently thrust itself into mine and my family’s life, was one that seemed to offend the public so much so that even as a victim/survivor, speaking about any aspect of the issue is highly frowned upon publicly. As I understood it, if I wanted to speak up, if I wanted to talk about this issue, it would have to be done privately and somewhat UNDER THE RADAR, so to speak.

The bottom line is, MY VOICE WON’T BE SILENCED. I WON’T CONFORM AND SHUT UP. But like many things, sometimes the best approach is one that is the least abrasive, for the moment at least.

I have quoted Dr. King many times before on this blog. Here are some that have resonated with me:

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

TheFreeDictionary.com

2.) lil·y-white (ll-hwt, -wt)

adj.

1. White as a lily.
2. Beyond reproach; blameless.
3. Informal Excluding or seeking to exclude Black people.
lily-white

adj

1. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Colours) of a pure white lily-white skin
2. Informal pure; irreproachable
3. US informal

a.  discriminating against Blacks a lily-white club
b.  racially segregated

Adj. 1. lily-white – restricted to whites only; “under segregation there were even white restrooms and white drinking fountains”; “a lily-white movement which would expel Negroes from the organization”

white

segregated, unintegrated – separated or isolated from others or a main group; “a segregated school system”; “a segregated neighborhood”

2. lily-white – of a pure white color.

achromatic, neutral – having no hue; “neutral colors like black or white

 

Yourdictionary.com

3.) lily-white

adjective

white as a lily

innocent and pure; unsullied: often used sarcastically

practicing discrimination against, or segregation of, nonwhites, esp. blacks

 

White Washing or White Washed has a specific meaning as well and I found would be appropriate to be included into the Pseudonym.

To white wash something would be To conceal or gloss over (wrongdoing, for example).

The biggest problem with CSA is the refusal of adults to acknowledge that there is a problem at all.

This post is a work in progress and may be revised…

 

Mothers of childhood sexual abuse victims

image

Its seems shocking and a bit odd that I haven’t found any wordpress blogs written by or supporting the Mothers of childhood sexual abuse victims. Their are countless blogs on wordpress written by the victims themselves. Often written by a adult survivor of such abuse. Obviously the ability to blog about such a life altering experience offers a much needed outlet as well as some amount of emotional support and hopefully healing from such a large community. I, as the mother of a child who suffered sexual abuse, long to speak with, connect with and get feedback from woman (and men) who are living through the same hell I am.
If their is anyone out there who is the mother/father/caregiver who is suffering along side their child while fighting to protect them please leave me a comment.
I feel like there is a lack of moral and emotional support for the parent/s of such victims on wordpress.
Or if anyone knows of any wordpress blogs specifically devoted to parental support of victims of childhood sexual abuse please let me know.
I just wanna find others like me who can relate to this kind of trauma.

Bravery is Beautiful

The image above is the property of The Star Online

Check out this astounding young ladys blog. Her story is heartbreaking. Her bravery is remarkable and her resolve to inspire change is heroic.

http://sacrilegeofthegoddess.wordpress.com/

She is a warrior in my opinion, fighting to bring awareness to an epidemic of injustices suffered by children across the world. She fights not with her fists, but her body, in beautiful dance. A dance to bring awareness to the problem of childhood sexual assault. My message to her is to stay strong. You have an amazing opportunity to inspire change and bring awareness. Who knows how many young lives will be changed for the better through your stories and sharing your dance. Though I’ve never met her, I feel a strong bond forged by similar stories we’ve endured. She’s a warrior for the young and innocent. I admire her strength and send her much love and respect.

You can also read more about her mission and her story from The Star Online.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/12/29/nation/10167925&sec=nation

The Reality: What was actually lost

ParentsPstcrd_052010.jpg

Image by Carolyn_Sewell via Flickr

So, it’s been 621 days, or, 1 year 8 months and 12 days since my children and my world came to a crashing halt.

I keep wondering why I havent healed yet. Why am I still so profoundly damaged and why can I not integrate back into the world with even a minute amount of success. What is wrong with me. I was diagnosed with PTSD  which made me ask myself, does this mean I will never heal. And if I can recover, WHEN?

After beating myself up for failing to get on with life, I figure it might be time to assess the gravity, the magnitude, the reality of what was actually lost.

Before I go on, Please understand, I would have it no other way. The relief I feel knowing that my daughter had the guts to stand up and protect herself by telling her secret is remarkable. I am grateful for her bravery. I’m also relieved that her suffering has come to an end. However, I’m writing this blog post to get a better understanding of why I am having such a hard time healing from what was lost.

During some of my darkest, most painful days I recall describing what I was experiencing like this…

My husband was murdered, my daughter was raped, my home was set on fire, my job was terminated, my bank account was robbed.

And all of this occurred in one day, in the blink of an eye. I went to bed one night and life was normal. I woke up to find everything I knew and loved had changed. Life from this moment forward would never be the same.

It’s funny because the above description is not exact, but for me, it’s the closest way I can describe how I feel and for the most part it’s the equivalent of the reality.

The Breakdown of what was lost

My husband was murdered

Everyone knows someone who has lost a spouse way to early. About ten years ago my husbands best friend died in a car accident.  Of course we were devastated. After all, our friends had recently married, which we celebrated as a new and exciting beginning of two friends sharing a wonderful life together. In his death, he was buried and honored with a funeral where all of his loved ones were able to pay their respects to the deceased. There was closure. Sure, it was painful to say goodbye to a friend. There was peace in knowing we could visit his grave, place flowers on such a good friends final resting space should we desire.

The bottom line is, I have spent every day since midsummer of the year 2000 with my husband. I truly loved this man with every part of me. I was still in love with him, which is quite remarkable. heck, I’ve been in relationships where the flame is snuffed out, and pretty quickly to. But this wasnt the case with us. I still looked at him with passion, still thought he was the most gorgeous man I’d ever laid eyes on.

No, in reality my husband was not actually murdered. trust me, there is a weird part of me (the part that has never actually experienced what that might be like) that feels like this would be a less painful scenario. Had he been murdered I would have been able to bury the man I loved so deeply. I could still look at him with love. Me and my children could visit his grave and place flowers. A gravestone for me has recently become something tangible that you can go to when the person you held so dear is no longer there. My husband, my children’s father is no longer there. There’s nothing. THERES NOTHING. Just an empty space in my home and in my heart. I feel his absence in the depth of my guts. There’s nothing left but the good memories that swirl around the new and bad memories. I still can’t think of him, talk about him, look at his things, go to sleep next to the spot he occupied, and yes, survive every holiday without feeling the tremendous sense of loss of this person in my life. I miss the man I thought he was. I miss my best friend. I feel like it was my husband who murdered the man I loved.

My daughter was raped

This is such a painful thought that I still have a hard time thinking about it, much less writing candidly about the feeling and emotions that are buried in my mind and heart. And for that reason I’ll simply say… this is self explanatory…and move on to the next item.

My home was set on fire

I see news stories all the time about families displaced by fire. Families that are homeless in the matter of moments. Nothing left of the comforts of home but a heap of smouldering ash. This is tragic and reported as such on the news, usually with a cry for help and where good citizens can send donations to help out the newly homeless.

For my family, our home is on fire, burning just under the surface. It feels like the Alzheimer’s disease for the exiled. without an income, saving my home, my children’s home is useless. we’re just watching it smoke, waiting for the day that it’s all gone. The saddest part is, there aren’t any nor will there ever be any distress calls from the local news media for my family. We will lose our home. My children will lose the last bit of normalcy they have left. Childhood friends, classmates, routines that provide comfort will all be gone. I cannot explain what its like to walk into your house and know that the very sights, smells, and personal space that brings peace and shelters you from the cold hard world, just outside your door will be gone. I don’t know the date but I know its coming.  My husband was ordered to pay the mortgage but he never has and my lawyer didnt push the issue. Because I was and still am absolutely broke, I’m unable to pay my lawyer. The last payment that was made on our family home was april 2010. I’m still in my home but its in foreclosure. I’m not sure how much longer before we are completely homeless.

My job was terminated

My husband and I started our own business in 2006. I took pride in working both with him outside of the home and as the accountant in the home. I wont lie, ive never loved doing receipts. I kinda despised getting all the paperwork prepared for taxes. But I did it, for years I did it. I did love the physical work though. It wasnt to difficult and I really loved going to work with my husband everyday. We were a team. We were business partners. We were best friends who got to hang out every day. I look back on these times fondly and unfortunately so. If I hated the daily grind than maybe that’d be one less good memory to grieve the loss of. Now my everyday is a struggle just to get to the end. Our business was and is a fairly profitable business. We did well for ourselves, making enough to live on and have a bit left over for the fun things in life. We enjoyed entertaining friends at our house, hosting the occasional get-together. He took the business. He was the only one we listed on the LLC. We never paid ourselves paychecks so I couldn’t file for unemployment. It’s as if I havent had a job since 2006. I miss enjoying my day-to-day life. I miss working and I miss the motivation I once enjoyed as a small business owner.

My bank account was robbed

Within the first week after the discovery and while I was still in shock at my mothers house, my husband cleared out our bank account. I had not a dollar to my name and three kids to support. This has not changed and I don’t expect that it will. He took every dime that we together made and saved and left me with nothing. I went to sleep one night with a certain degree of financial security and woke up to find I couldn’t even buy toilet paper. “I couldn’t even buy toilet paper” it’s what everyone who is running low on cash says…I had to steal toilet paper from a gas station bathroom. It’s not an exaggeration, it was our reality and it was humiliating. As something ive kept a secret from everyone I know including my children, its something I still cringe privately over.

So, what’s next

When I look at the list above it reads like the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, seriously. How much stress can one person suffer before they break? I’ll paste a link I found to a site where you can do a quick assessment. I don’t need to do the assessment to know that I’ve had a multitude of stressful life changing events happen in a short amount of time but after reading over it ive decided I need to get myself back into therapy. Heres the list:

Choose Life Events In the last 2 years, did any of the following happen in your life?

  • Minor violations of the law
  • Major holidays
  • Vacation
  • Major change in number of family get-togethers
  • Change in eating habits
  • Major change in sleeping habits (a lot more or a lot less than usual)
  • Taking on a loan (car,etc.,)
  • Major change in social activities (clubs,movies,visiting,etc.)
  • Major change in usual type and/or amount of recreation
  • Major change in church or temple activity (i.e.. a lot more or less than usual)
  • Major changes in working hours or conditions
  • Changes in residence
  • Changing to a new school
  • Trouble with boss
  • Revision of personal habits (dress manners, associations, quitting smoking)
  • Major change in living condition
  • Spouse beginning or ceasing work outside the home
  • Beginning or ceasing formal schooling
  • Outstanding personal achievement
  • Major change in responsibilities at work
  • Son or daughter leaving home
  • Trouble with in-laws
  • Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan
  • Taking on a mortgage (for home, business, etc.)
  • Change in number of arguments with spouse
  • Change to a different line of work
  • Death of close friend
  • Change in financial state
  • Sexual Difficulties
  • Gaining a new family member(ie.,birth,adoption)
  • Major business readjustment
  • Older adult moving in
  • Pregnancy
  • Change in the health/behavior of a family member
  • Marital reconciliation with mate
  • Retirement from work
  • Being fired at work
  • Marriage
  • Personal injury or illness
  • Detention in jail or other institution
  • Death of close family member
  • Marital Separation from mate
  • Divorce
  • Death of spouse

Read more: Life Stressors Chart http://www.medindia.net/patients/calculators/life_stressor.asp#ixzz1gZweOThD

I don’t know how long my pain will be so raw but I pray that it wont be forever.