Surviving Abuse Crucible
Fear kept them silent
Abuse is a subject that few want to think about, much less talk about. That is the primary reason it can go on for so long.
I am no different. Although I wanted to talk about what I experienced, growing up in a time when children were “seen and not heard”, it was best that a child learned to keep his/her mouth closed at a young age.
In this age of telling everything, there are still millions of men and women who suffer in silence, tormented by memories of a yesterday it was not safe to talk about.
They have managed to survive an abuse crucible, often just barely. Fear kept them silent.
Matthew 18:7 says. “Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"
Abuse is an offense! It is an offense against a child. It is an offense against an adult. It is a crime, yet so often it is not treated as such. Theft of money or possessions is more easily reported, and that report is more easily believed than is the theft of innocence or the theft of dignity.
Abuse must be reported. Someone must be told. But who? How?
At one point, I wanted to write a “tell-all” book to just get the story out there because so many people said it was not true. In my own extended family, I was called a liar! Imagine knowing the truth, being named “truth” (that is what Alethea means, you know!), and being labeled a liar. It was exceedingly difficult for me.
I had the first chapters written, and I had a publisher who was yearning to publish the story. Then, I heard a call on Dr. Laura’s program from a young man who wanted to write a book about his life of abuse. He asked Dr. Laura how to go about writing his story and getting it published. Rather than tell him that answer, Dr. Laura asked him questions: “To what avail? Why do you want to write your story? What do you hope to accomplish?
The man had no answer, so Dr. Laura continued by basically saying if you have no purpose in writing your story other than to just put another abuse horror story out there, why do it? I don’t remember how the call ended, but she left me thinking about my own story.
I felt no need for revenge. I didn’t want to make anyone ‘pay’ for their actions. I didn’t want anyone to feel any differently about people who would be identified in the story. So why did I want to write it?
write to be free
Writing gets “it” on the outside of you.
You write to be free from the story just rattling around in your brain.
Well, you can do that without a publisher. Who would benefit from such a story? Financially, me. Anyone else in the story would be collateral damage. And I could only hope that someone reading the story might find something helpful in there if I put something helpful in it.
I ended up writing the story of my life to fulfill course requirements for a college class. It was the hardest thing I’d done in my life up to that point, and probably since. It was harder to write the story than it was to share it with the adults who were my classmates.
As we shared our stories about the things that made us who we are, I discovered that as difficult as I thought my life had been, as hard as my story was to write or tell, there were others in that small class whose stories were decidedly worse. How was that possible? It was.
I decided to let my story remain mostly untold and definitely—unsold.
Then why blog about being an abuse survivor now? Because now there is a reason. I learned to thrive—not IN my crucible of abuse, but because of it. Honestly, I am still learning and growing in thrive mode.
Another reason is knowing that other family members across the generations survived many types of abuse—mental, physical, sexual, and emotional. Through years of conversations, I also discovered there was a lot of abuse in the community in which my parents grew up, and in the communities, churches, and schools in which I grew up, as well.
The abuse was so prevalent in past generations that one of my aunts said, “Alethea, there was so much of it going on back then that nobody said anything!” I was horrified by her statement.
All my life I have seen subtle evidence of kind of “weird” (read and understand “inappropriate”) behavior at family gatherings. No one was surprised by liaisons between relatives.
survivor turned thriver
Others were not ashamed to suggest intimate relationships they would like to pursue. Was it just my family? Sadly, that answer is ‘no’. There are so many other families who have the same experience, and they are not living in the hills, they are not “trailer trash”. They are your neighbors, your friends, your schoolmates, your pastors, teachers, and coworkers. Abuse is everywhere. Survivors are everywhere. The challenge is to move from victim to victor—from survivor to thriver.
The Crucibles provides a place for those wishing to safely tell their stories, (as much or as little of it as they are comfortable with), not for notoriety but for support on the journey to wholeness. In fact, no story needs to be shared. You know your truth. You need help, and my endeavor with this site is to connect you with it, and to hear you when no one else will listen or seems to care.
No one has to suffer spousal abuse, parental abuse, (mental, emotional, physical or sexual) in silence. You can find your voice. You can be heard. You can be believed. You can be helped. And no, it’s not too late to get help, to be made whole, and be FREE from yesterday.
I am not a therapist. I am a survivor turned thriver who is still growing. I can only share what I know from my own experiences and from those others have shared with me.
You can make it.
Here is a place to start. Find out exactly what abuse is, and if you find yourself in one of the listed categories, start thinking about how to get help, and how to get out safely.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
supports efforts that help survivors of domestic abuse.
offers legal information to anyone with questions about domestic violence, sexual violence, and other topics. On its website, you can find state-by-state legal information, online information clinics, a directory of local shelters, and detailed articles on abuse.
advocacy organization focused on helping domestic violence survivors and their supporters on a national level. It brings local resources to communities, works on policy-driven initiatives, and provides state coalitions with information on domestic violence.
Sometimes we get ourselves into things ~
and need a little help to get out.