The Silence

Here’s what I’ve determined is, for me, the worst part of being an abuse survivor: the silence.

 From the day of the abuse – in particular, sexual abuse – we learn that our voice doesn’t count.

Our voice doesn’t count when we
protest the rape or molestation.

Our voice doesn’t count when we protest the rape or molestation. Our voice doesn’t count when we are children, helpless to the physical and emotional strength of our abusers. And for most of us, our voice doesn’t count when we are strong and brave enough to say that it happened, to tell someone who should protect us, and they don’t. Or they say maybe it was our imagination, maybe we don’t know the abuser’s intentions, maybe you put yourself in a vulnerable position. Or a judge, police officer or statute of limitations impedes our path to justice.

Its been about two years since I’ve began to use my voice. Even as a woman who desires to share her journey my voice is, for the most part, silenced.

Because I don’t get to defend myself to my abusers. They get to live in blissful denial while I cope with the cataclysmic consequences of their actions against me. I am left with a broken mind that learned lessons like never trust authority. Lessons like taking care of myself is unimportant; advocating for myself is unjustified. I am not worthy of protection, safety, or to be heard.

Recently I had the terrible experience of listening to a person from my past use my worst fears my deepest wounds against me. The conversation showed me that this person is not someone I am going to speak with anymore, and it also provided me with some insight and reminders that I am better for hearing.

First: that I do have a voice. That I can set boundaries with dangerous people. That I am no longer a woman who tolerates abusers. That I can look at the little abused girl I was and tell her, with all sincerity and evidence to back me up, that I will take care of her in ways she has always deserved. That she and I do not need to live a life of fear anymore. That we are stronger, better, brave and healing.

To my fellow survivors, I admire you so much. We are so strong. I know that is something our loved ones tell us all the time but I need you to feel the weight of its truth. The fact that we are alive is proof of our strength. The fact we go on after what we have been through is the very definition of courage.

                                                                         Our rage and despair is full of energy, is valid, deserves to be heard.

We were not able to defend ourselves during the abuse. But we are not powerless. Our rage and despair is full of energy, is valid, deserves to be heard.

Sometimes it feels as if I am alone in this, and there is an insidious sense of isolation that comes along with a journey like mine. But I need to remember I have a voice. I need to remember I can use it.

And I need to speak for others who can’t.

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6 thoughts on “The Silence

  1. Hello,
    I was wondering if you’d like to share something for a book I’m working on about sexual assault. It will hopefully be a resource for people to be more informed, know they’re not alone, and provide info about how to report.
    People have shared their experiences, the impact it’s had on their lives, how they’ve healed, or how they’re struggling, advice for others, etc.
    Copyright stays with you and you can be anonymous. So far about 10 people are contributing stories/blog posts.
    Here’s a post with more info: https://sapphirelifewriter.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/sharing-my-experience-of-shame-fear-and-confusion/
    Feel free to email me: wordslikesilk@gmail.com
    Thanks heaps,
    JD

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  2. Hi Lyric and happy happy birthday! I hope we can get together soon. I’m not sure your job situation right now as I know you are doing more and more writing. But, I can come to you when we find a time that works (are you ever over here?!).

    I read the post below and of course, it just causes me so much pain to hear your pain. I hope that putting so much more in writing and talking about your abuse has been an avenue of healing – even if it’s baby steps. I can never even pretend to know the torment that you have felt so I’m not going to even try. But I do know anger and I do know resentment. I read a daily devotional every day and I read the one below a few weeks ago. It helped me because I realized I was using the energy of my anger to keep me going with more anger if that makes sense. When I saw the word “energy” in your post, I went back to read the devotional. I don’t know if it will resonate with you but it did me so I decided to pass it along to my friend ☺️🎂

    A Raging Fire

    Resentment is the cocaine of the emotions. It causes our blood to pump and our energy level to rise. But, also like cocaine, it demands increasingly large and more frequent dosages. There is a dangerous point at which anger ceases to be an emotion and becomes a driving force. A person bent on revenge moves unknowingly further and further away from being able to forgive, for to be without the anger is to be without a source of energy.

    Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner. Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist. Bitterness is the trap that snares the hunter. And mercy is the choice that can set them all free.

    “Since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him” Romans 12:1

    From: “LYRIC A.G. ESPARZA” Reply-To: “LYRIC A.G. ESPARZA” Date: Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 11:30 AM To: “kathymconnors@hotmail.com” Subject: [New post] The Silence

    WordPress.com Lyric A.G. Esparza posted: ” Here’s what I’ve determined is, for me, the worst part of being an abuse survivor: the silence. From the day of the abuse – in particular, sexual abuse – we learn that our voice doesn’t count. Our voice doesn’t count when we protest the rape or mol”

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  3. I can’t even begin to explain how much of my heart and mind you spoke in here. I feel so alone and rejected for trying to use my voice for the first time and refuse to back down. Of course it resulted in rejection. I knew it would. I struggle with the freedom it gave me to be released from this relationship but also the rejection behind it. Thank you for sharing. It encouraged me to continue to exercise my voice and that I’m not alone.

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    1. Oh my, thank you so much for sharing. It is always an inner battle to share such intimate thoughts here, but I am often reminded how many others experience these things directly after. Keep on speaking up 🙂 We can do it!

      Liked by 1 person

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