I can’t believe how fast 2014 flew by and I hardly posted anything. Truthfully, I’ve been dealing with a lot on the Homefront. One big change for me was tha I finally started therapy in December. It has been a long time coming and now I realized that I waited too long. I am on a low dose of Prozac, which is a life saver. That has helped tremendously! My therapist has revealed that I have codependency issues and ptsd. I’m not sure if that’s something that is diagnosed but it sure does explain a lot of my problems. I realize now that my parents really did a work on me. The abuse that I endured has seeped in to every part of my life and I didn’t even realize it. Bad habits became normal for me. I’m really happy to come to this realization because now I can move forward with self acceptance and not continue to let these things get in the way of my goals and dreams.
It’s been forever since I lasted posted. A lot has been going on but I think the most crucial thing to announce is the fact that I am finally starting therapy! Yay! I’ve been so nervous about getting help but thanks to the healthcare act, I have insurance so I can afford to get some counseling. There is soooo much that I have wanted to comment on from Bill Cosby to Ray Rice but right now I want to post this youtube clip from this week’s Dr. Phil episode. I felt that it was something worth talking about because of the reaction of the grandmother involved. Ashley came forward that her grandmother’s husband had molested her for at least 10 years before he was convicted and sent to jail. The grandmother not only refuses to believe Ashley but also blames her for ruining her life. WOW! Word has recently gotten back to me that a certain someone (ehem, my mother) has been complaining of how much I hurt her and ruined her life. Hmmm, well that is certainly interesting. Fuck the nightmares and shit I have to deal with on a regular basis! But I’m better than that shit and I’m getting help for it. She can rot in her own fucking self pity along with this shithead of a grandmother. And I’m out! trigger off…
So, it’s been just over a year now since I sent that fateful letter and started this blog. In that year I have learned so much about myself and have really been forced to take an honest look at everything in my life. Sometimes the answers that I’m looking for hurt to the core when I find them but sometimes they set me free. It’s also been a bit of an emotional roller coaster but I think I’m about ready to get off of it.
One of the things that I have had to take a hard look at is my relationships and why I have them. The main reason why I kept my parents in my life for such a long and unnecessary amount of time was that I wanted them to be happy despite the lack of my happiness. I know, I know… that’s so screwed up, right? Why on earth would or should I ever care about the happiness of people that continued to rob me of my own? I dunno… Stockholm syndrome? Who knows! I realized that I’ve been this way with a lot of people. I was a doormat. I didn’t think that I was because I thought I was blunt and spoke my mind but I really didn’t. I mean, I did when I knew it wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.
The biggest blow that made me take a step back and look at my relationships from another angle was the utter lack of support from people that I thought cared about me. Some family members, some friends. My coming out about being abused and writing this blog has opened my eyes to those who give a shit and those who don’t. It surprised me. It surprised me a lot! On a positive note, some people have come out of the woodwork, in my list of friends, that I now have a deeper connection with so it’s not all bad. In fact, I take this awakening as a blessing in disguise: I now know what people I should invest my heart and soul into and those who don’t deserve it.
It does make me sad that so many people just don’t care or don’t want to know about the abuse that could be going on right under their noses. I realize, though, that people generally don’t care about things until it affects them directly. It’s like people who have never been anywhere near poor but think nothing of it to cut welfare programs. People who have never been to third world countries in person aren’t as inclined to give a rat’s ass about the starving, sick children drinking shit infested water. Sure, they might throw money or bibles at a good cause, but do they really care. No. They aren’t emotionally invested in those people or situations. They lack empathy toward anything outside of their little bubbles. As long as the money keeps rolling in and grocery stores are open and gas stations fill their giant SUV’s and their kids never suffer…. why bother? It doesn’t affect them.
I realized that most of the support that I have garnered from my story comes from other survivors and people that have been directly affected by child abuse and/or sexual assault. This is a good thing! We need to stick together! We need to let the next person know that they aren’t alone. The process of facing a lifetime of sexual abuse is HARD. It will make you question everything. I have questioned it all, right down to my marriage. What are the lies and what aren’t? Who wants the best for me and who wants to sabotage me? Who is going to be there for me when I need to figure it all out and who is conveniently going to be busy and not there?
I think I’ve figured it out and I’m ready to get off the ride. I’m also ready to face life as an adult that is confident and not lacking in meaningful relationships because she knows she is worth it. I’m worth it. You are worth it. Don’t let people dick you around because they don’t “get” you. Also, don’t let anyone tell you that your mac and cheese is way too cheesy. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. 🙂
I don’t think I have ever watched a Woody Allen film. If I have I probably was unaware that it was his. It wasn’t because I was boycotting him. I just never found his ideas very interesting. Maybe there’s a reason for that and now I have very good reason to boycott his films all together. If you haven’t seen or heard yet, Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan, recently wrote an open letter to him and his fan’s in an op-ed in The New York Times. Her letter obviously struck a chord with me as a fellow survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I also sympathize with her because like her, I was afraid no one would believe me because everyone liked my step-father. She is fortunate that her mother and other family members have stood by her side. It is unfortunate, however, that the courts decided to drop anything against Allen because having a young girl testifying would have been traumatic for her. Would it? Maybe for the time being but growing up knowing that someone who is capable of such heinous acts has been free to continue those acts as well as prosper and gain notoriety as someone influential and talented can be more traumatizing. Having to live everyday with those nightmares and to have to be constantly reminded of that person can be worse. Woody Allen should have been charged and sent to jail. He should have never have the opportunity to become the person that he has become.
I’ll be honest. What really makes me angry about all of this is how the general public has reacted. I never knew anything about Dylan until the Golden Globes when I started seeing news reports about Mia and Ronan’s tweets regarding the perverted Allen. Since then, I have been sick over the celebrity reaction to her story. Why in the hell do so many people support him? I think a lot of it goes back to society’s general idea of what a pedophile or child molester looks and acts like. Allen has gained a lot of support from other celebrities because they have a hard time believing that he could do such a thing. This breaks my heart. When will people realize that child molesters don’t fit any certain mold? They don’t look any certain way. Most of the time, they are people that you know and trust.
It is very important to not doubt or blame the victims. This isn’t helping. Stories like Dylan’s are very important in our fight against sexual abuse and assault. Victims need to know that coming forward and talking about it will help prevent abuse and put these monsters behind bars. I really hope that Dylan knows she has support. I support her and truly hope that she has found peace and healing in her life.
You can find Dylan’s letter here.
Courtesy of ABC News
So what if Benedict “defrocked” these men? What is the Vatican doing to prevent these abuses or keeping these same 400 people from abusing now that they are just regular citizens. This is the equivalent of them getting fire from their jobs, not serving jail time. A pedophile is a pedophile is a pedophile. They cannot be rehabilitated and any rehabilitation cannot be trusted. This passive action isn’t protecting children whatsoever nor is it sending a message to the current clergy. Is there anything to suggest that the current pope will go about things differently and more ethically?
Pope Benedict Reportedly Defrocked 400 Priests in 2 Years
A document obtained by The Associated Press on Friday shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for molesting children.
The statistics for 2011-12 show a dramatic increase over the 171 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided details on the number of priests who have been defrocked. Prior to that, it had only publicly revealed the number of alleged cases of sexual abuse it had received.
The document was prepared from data the Vatican had been collecting to help the Holy See defend itself before a U.N. committee this week in Geneva.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s U.N. ambassador in Geneva, referred to just one of the statistics in the course of eight hours of oftentimes pointed criticism and questioning from the U.N. human rights committee.
The statistics were compiled from the Vatican’s own annual reports about the activities of its various offices, including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles sex abuse cases. Although public, the annual reports are not readily available or sold outside Rome and are usually found in Vatican offices or Catholic university libraries.
An AP review of the reference books shows a remarkable evolution in the Holy See’s in-house procedures to discipline pedophiles since 2001, when the Vatican ordered bishops to send cases of all credibly accused priests to Rome for review.
Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger took action after determining that bishops around the world weren’t following church law to put accused clerics on trial in church tribunals. Bishops routinely moved problem priests from parish to parish rather than subject them to canonical trials — or turn them into police.
For centuries, the church has had its own in-house procedures to deal with priests who sexually abuse children. One of the chief accusations from victims is that bishops put the church’s own procedures ahead of civil law enforcement by often suggesting victims not go to police and keep accusations quiet while they are dealt with internally.
The maximum penalty for a priest convicted by a church tribunal is essentially losing his job: being defrocked, or removed from the clerical state. There are no jail terms and nothing to prevent an offender from raping again.
According to the 2001 norms Ratzinger pushed through, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reviews each case sent to Rome and then instructs bishops how to proceed, either by launching an administrative process against the priest if the evidence is overwhelming or a church trial. At every step of the way the priest is allowed to defend himself.
The Congregation started reporting numbers only in 2005, which is where Tomasi’s spreadsheet starts off. U.N. officials said Friday that the committee has not received the document.
Heilprin reported from Geneva.