This blog post will piggyback on the blog posts titled: Why Talk About Molestation? and Who Molested The Molester?
The healing process is a personal and mentally rectifying journey; like a butterfly that cracks open a cocoon who was once a pudgy caterpillar. No one can experience being the greatest version of themselves without at one point being the lowest version of themselves; like an alcoholic that needs to hit rock bottom before having the courage and commitment to seek sobriety, in order for sexual abuse victims to reach survivorship they need to go through the psychological and emotional processes of acknowledging and accepting that they were violated. The five death stages are emotional hurdles we go through before accepting that a person is gone. I argue we as victims go through the same process, we lose someone too, we lose our former selves that existed before the violation and we will never be able to get him or her back. Once you know something, you are unable to go back to not knowing and this is the same for being sexually violated. This is especially true if the person is a virgin, let's say a virgin female. Once a female has been penetrated, in most cases her hymen will tear causing her to bleed. In most cultures that's how we identify if a female is "pure" or not. When a female was not able to give away her body, her virginity to her choosing, she can never go back to a space of holding on to her virginity thus be defiled.
The most a female can do is allow her self to feel the emotions of loss, a loss for who she once was, how it came to be and the person she is today. Not a broken, used, and abused self, but a survivor. I'll use myself as an example. When I was in my late teens/early twenties I hated looking at my childhood photos. The reason why I couldn't look at those pictures is because mentally I would disconnect with the little girl looking back at me. I knew she was me, and I was her but how I felt about who she became made me feel unworthy. She had a lot of potential, and it was stolen from her. Her sense of security and trust within the world was stolen from her. Many times while viewing my child images I would feel the need to cry, but something within me would hold back my tears because I hated crying. I felt like crying was a weakness, and I had experience too much in my life to sit back and cry. I was solid, hard, and emotionless because that was the coping mechanism I had to utilize to disconnect with the abuse I experienced as a child. What I didn't understand then that I do now is that I was being prepared to go through the stages of becoming a butterfly. Hitting my rock bottom and going through the death stages for the former me that still lives within me but had been corrupted.
The five stages of death are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As a young child not understanding why I was being violated I began to live in denial of the treatment I faced to comfort my mother. I wanted to make child rearing as comfortable as it could be for her and me being sexually abused would put an unwanted burden on her so I chose denial to protect my mother. Anger, I was an angry child, more so in my teenage years. When I was a young child, I never smiled, and the people who had the gumption to approach me would ask me about it. I was dealing with more baggage than a baggage handler, and I had no outlet. The only person I trusted was me, myself, and I. I wore my expressions on my face and though many mislabelled how I felt by accusing me of being angry or shy what I really was feeling was hopelessness. Bargaining, later towards the end of adolescence I tried to justify my abuse as anything other than abuse. I tried to rationalize it. I tried to decrease its impact. I even tried to act as if it was a consenting act so that I could escape feeling dirty.
Depression, just tip-toeing into my twenties I had a great depression of my own. No the stock market didn't crash, and the economy was still in a recession, but I hit my absolute worse. I felt like I had no reason for living. At the time, I just broke up with my very emotionally and psychologically abusive boyfriend. I was a sophomore in college and had no friends or an outlet. All I could do was sleep from two or three in the morning sometimes as late or early (depending on how you look at it) as five o'clock to one or two o'clock in the afternoon. One time I woke up at three something in the afternoon almost four o'clock. My schedule was consumed by sleep, cry, and repeat. Acceptance, it wasn't until I admitted to myself that yes I was abused and yes, these are the people who did it and yes it did hurt and yes a part of me did die and yes I sacrificed my well being to keep others content. When I was able to talk about my abuse without fear, shame, and guilt, that's when I knew it didn't have a hold on me. When I cared less about what if my mother or anyone in my family found out, chiefly, what would they think of me and put more stock into what I thought of myself I knew I was free. From that liberation, I knew I had to share my story in hope it could help others. This is how MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD book came to be. My journey through healing.
Be Entertained. Be Enlightened. Be loved. ✌