Every single picture that you will see of any of us, the entire family, just us kids or the three of us like above, was like this...the smile. The acting, the mask...this is what we all did and we were good at it. Recently my brother sat down with me to talk about what happened over the years and the impact it has had on his life. He and I have rarely talked about the abuse let alone any details. My brother was brave and vulnerable to share what he did publicly.
It was hard for me to hear at times, still to this day brings up so much for me - not protecting him from the monster and how I failed him. It is so hard to realize how much hurt and pain someone you love has endured. At a very young age. Abuse sucks, the impacts of abuse, beatings, being raped, sodomized and beaten down - changes your entire psyche.
I have heard it time and time again. Get over it, it's been 25 years, if it were only that easy. I have come to realize that one thing that survivors hope for and yearn for is for their abuser to feel remorse. For the abuser to truly feel badly for what they have done. For the abuser to pay their restitution without a fight, for them to own the damage that they have caused and for them to make those hurts right.
In most of the cases that I have heard about, this has been a problem, rarely, very rarely do abusers fully admit what they have done is wrong. Ours is no different, in fact in person, when I faced him for the first time in 25 years - he said, verbatim, "I see you have so much hate in your heart for me. God can help."
"God can help"???? Seriously. They don't feel remorse or guilt, most of the time, and our abuser is no different.
My brother, sharing his story, made me realize that there is a ton of work to be done. There are so many abuse survivors that need support, there is all of society who needs to be educated and there are the laws and sentencing structure that puts people right back out to hurt more children.
Please be watching our blogs and videos...things are changing and we are going to make a difference. Hopefully you will join us.
"Being quiet and hidden is no longer an option."