I Am Not Ashamed

I have no qualms writing or talking about this:

I was sexually molested as a child.

Why do I have no qualms?   Let me dive right in to it.   Because I do not have shame for what someone else did to me.  None.  And I should not have to whisper about this.  I should not have to pretend it did not happen.  I will not.  I will not hang my head.  And if I tell you?  You do not need to hang your head in embarrassment for me.   Do you know what you should do?  You should rear back in anger!  No, lets go with rage.  You should fill with rage.

I write regarding being molested as a child, because that is my experience.  So I don’t mean to suggest being sexually molested at any age is acceptable.  Of course its not.  But my point of reference is as a child.   And there is no child born to this earth that should ever have to go through that.  Period.   There’s no other statement I can think of to state it clearer:

No child should have to endure being molested.

Let me give you a glimpse of a child’s view of the world after you, sorry, after I’ve been molested.  And I feel a need to preface this with it was not family.  I need to say this because it was not family, and oddly, I felt a need as a child to protect my family from this.   A little ironic, huh?

As a child now…..I can trust no one.   At a time when my life should have been nothing but a safe and trustful place, it wasn’t.   I was ripped from the very normal of my child’s world and placed in a foreign and dirty place.   Nothing was clean enough, or clear enough.    I have to keep a secret or too many people will be upset with me.  So I don’t say anything.  I stay quiet.  I don’t know what I can say.   Or what I shouldn’t say.  I look at other kids, happy kids.   Kids who weren’t picked for this.   Kids who don’t have to keep secrets.   Kids who don’t have someone touching them, and making them squeeze their eyes shut because they, I, don’t want to see the ugliness of what is happening.

I slept  in a ball.   Because asleep I don’t have to think about it.   But sleep is never really easy, and never really an escape.   Because dreams are not always escapes.   Sometimes.   But not always.  Waking up and going to school I walked through my days knowing it wasn’t happening to anyone else.   How do I know?  Because no one looks like how I feel.    And what do I look like?   When I look in the mirror, I am the one that is expendable.  Throw-away-able.  As the child I was scared of what every one in the world wanted from me.  Because the most powerful moments of my very young life?   They weren’t positive powers.   They weren’t confidence boosting moments.   The most powerful moments of my young life were filled with terror, solitude and disgust at myself.   Because it happening to me, meant I wasn’t as good as everyone else.   As a child I couldn’t focus.  I couldn’t remember.  I still struggle with this today.   I remember going to one fifth grade class and walking in and being told there was a test on the Shakespeare.   It’s funny I remember that day we were going to have the test, but I have absolutely no recollection of ever discussing Shakespeare in that class.  I failed that test.   And I still remember the teacher mocking one of my answers.   The question had something to do about what a character said about “tomorrow”.   I still don’t know enough about Shakespeare to tell you what it was about but I remember my answer and I thought it poetic which is why I wrote it:   “there is no tomorrow”.

Kinda sad.   Now that I think about it.  On the surface the answer seems to be the sad part.   To me, it’s missing out on all of that learning.   All of the interacting I should have had with my classmates.   All of the fun I should have felt I was having.   Don’t get me wrong.  I had fun.  I had my moments.  But a lot of that time is muddled in my head.   Because I was always thinking.  I never stopped thinking.  Wondering.   Worrying and fretting.   And trying to protect my family from finding out.   Kids, they are so amazing.  Okay, so I didn’t have the greatest of ideas.

But you know what?  I am proud of how I handled myself.   It was not the most brilliant way to handle someone hurting me.  I should have told.  But I didn’t.  And I feel good about it because I thought I was protecting others.   Silly as that seems, it is part of what got me through every thing.  Instead of letting it destroy me, I eventually learned to embrace who I am because of it. Of course I would have rather it not happened!  But I don’t have that option.  What I do have is today.   And what I do have is what I can do with today.   And I do have the ability to choose what I will or will not do today.    And I choose good.  I choose control.  I choose to try and improve who I am on a daily basis.

I hope every single one of you who read this have absolutely no way of relating to what I am writing.  Sadly, I know this will not be true.   But for those of you who can not relate I want you to know that when a child is molested it is a physical, emotional and mental scar.   Unfortunately people don’t see it as such.   Some don’t,  anyway.   But I am telling you, it is there.

Why do I tell you these things?  Not for sympathy.   And let me tell you why.  I am good. I am not bad.   Something bad happened to me.  Someone else is bad.   I?  I am who I choose to be.   I am not what  someone else chose to do to me.  I am not perfect.   But I am what I am because of the life I have lived.  The decisions I have made.  The good and the bad of who I am are on me. And I will not let anyone else determine that for me.  I certainly will not live my life giving one more moment of control of my life to what happened to me.    If I could give any child who has been molested something, it would be control, and self respect.  I would take each child by the hand and have them look in the mirror to see the reflection of an innocent, valuable and free human being.   Free of guilt.  Free of shame.   Free of burden.  I would free them from the ugliness that clouds their vision.   I would free them from the filth that they  envision swirling around their world.

I would remind them that they are the good.   The pure.   The innocent.   No one can take that from them.

World, listen up.   I ask, no I don’t, I demand!  I demand that you do not dare  look at me with sympathy.  Don’t drop your eyes and look or act towards me like I am damaged.   How am I damaged?   What did I do to be labeled as different, or pitiful?   I did nothing.

I am writing this for the child who as you read this is being molested.   I am writing this for the parents who don’t know.  I am writing this to make sure everyone understands that there is no shame no shame no shame! I am writing this for the child who was molested who never sought help, who never told, and who has never reclaimed the control of their own lives.   I am writing this because it’s the right thing to do.

I will not hang my head.

I am not ashamed.


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51 thoughts on “I Am Not Ashamed

  1. Tyler Clark says:

    Truly Inspirational!!!

    Like

  2. msampson999 says:

    Sometimes life gives us hurdles and I’m glad that you came out of this alive. You’re words are powerful and so are you. Know that you are loved!

    Like

  3. UT & AC says:

    Well done!

    Like

  4. phyllis says:

    Powerful!

    So honored to know a person who took the power away from their molestmonster by surviving well and overcoming!

    What a journey you have had. I so love your heart and wisdom.

    Like

  5. Patty says:

    Pulled this up on Facebook and read it. Not with sympathy, but with pride and gladness that I know you.

    Like

  6. Bridget says:

    I have wanted for a long to time to tell you how often I read your blog and that some of the things I read here have often challenged me and insprired me to grow and live outside of the box most of us create for ourselves. You have done it again with this piece. You encourage us to chose and control our own paths (with a little help of course from faith.) For how sorry I am that you had to endure this.. I am ever so grateful for the person you are today. God Bless.

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Thanks Bridget. I so desperately wish these things never happened. I wish for those who it has happened to to find and believe in themselves and their self worth. And you’re right…. faith! Thank you for reading and sharing with me. AND sharing the faith.

      Like

  7. Kim says:

    You are good! Incredibly good and strong. And the person who did this is incredibly bad and weak. If there is any good in such a situation it is that you can realize the strength in yourself and you can be alert and aware of the signs that may be a threat to your children or the children around you.

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Thank you Kim! If we could just get everyone to see this, address this, stop this! And help the children. I see so many this has happened to (how sad is this?) and the lasting devastation for many of them is breaking my heart.

      Like

  8. Mary says:

    We are so blessed that you have been willing to share this and to know you and see what an awesome woman you are. As one who will be caring for children, adolescents, young adults, and families my prayer is that I can help those who are victims of abuse. Help them to feel safe in letting someone know what is happening, and stopping it!! Thank you for sharing and for being so brave:)

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Thank you Mary! It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned to “‘speak”. I share your prayer. The children need to speak, we need to take all shame and guilt out of them, that is so huge. I wish you well on your journey of helping others. What a blessing that people CHOOSE to help and care for others. God bless.

      Like

  9. […] by Chatter Master So I’m still getting such positive and encouraging responses to my blog “I’m Not Ashamed”.   Again, thanks […]

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  10. bendedspoon says:

    Blessed to know another courageous and respectable woman! You inspire me so much to keep on going with head up high!
    🙂

    Like

  11. Alice says:

    This is amazing, you are amazing, thank you for sending me the link to your blog.
    You’re writing is so inspirational and full of hope.
    I am amazed at your strength.
    Thank you 🙂
    Alice x

    Like

  12. wordsfallfrommyeyes says:

    I am very stilled by what I’ve just read. I feel solemn. I feel that in my very neighbourhood as I write this, it is happening to other children. I can’t stop it happening. How can I recognise a child who needs help, and how would I help. What is interfering? Is the anger parents would show at you approaching them via a child caring agency, would that be anger at being discovered.

    I admire deeply you said ‘I am not ashamed’, and said it again. I am so glad for you that you are so open about it, that you refuse it be a secret, refuse to be ashamed. I know a girl I was friends with ages 10 to 17. I was going through hell at that time but what I only discovered on re-meeting her after moving to Melbourne mid 2008, is that she is an alcohol and has tried to suicide a number of times. She has a child. She was molested constantly by her uncle who lived next door. Her mother & mother’s sister, lived next door to each other – so you can imagine how many occasions there were they were all together. This foul, disgusting, unremorseful man, offered to take my friend’s young son next door “to show you the cat”. My friend resolutely said no. The family didn’t know why, thought she was odd. When she did let it out in the family, she was told it’s best not to talk about.

    I wonder how your family were. You must have had someone good, to give you such self belief that it wasn’t you, wasn’t your fault. You have been violated, and I don’t really quite know how you get over that, yet you seem to have.

    There is absolute horror happening in this world. You loud, clear, unashamed, determined voice should echo very far.

    Sincerely,
    Noeleen

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Thank you Noeleen. In addition to the actual abuse going on, is the very thing you said about your friend: don’t talk about it.

      When this happens to a child and someone else is embarrassed, or afraid of what they will lose, or afraid of what will happen they inflict more, and just as damaging, abuse on the victim again. I hope your friend is okay. I say she has some strength to protect her young child!!!!!

      Thank you for reading this and writing me back. I knew your soul would connect to this. You are one of the very good people indeed.

      Like

  13. […] collaboration between Noeleen, WordsFallFromMyEyes & Colleen https://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/i-am-not-ashamed/ Spread around the world, stuff worth […]

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  14. Becoming Bitter says:

    You have no reason to be ashamed. I babysit kids on the side and I love each and every kid. I hope karma gets these molesters before someone else does. I also hope that you are feeling better by posting this. I’m honestly trying very hard to control my anger. Children are precious and should be treated as such.

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Becoming Bitter, I don’t know how I missed your comment, my apologies! Because I appreciate your response! I did feel better by posting this. And my heart breaks for any child suffering these (any) abuses. Even if they are saved from it, removed from it, it lingers forever.

      Like

  15. […] is reading my “I Am Not Ashamed” […]

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  16. zolemia says:

    I admire you for your courage and for your strength. I relate to your not wanting sympathy, as the sympathy does not strengthen, but friendship does. You should be incredibly proud of yourself, thank you for sharing. I found you because I just watched the video that Noeleen did. I wanted to visit your blog following. Hugs!

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Thank you for following to my blog Zoemia. I was amazed at Noeleen’s interpretation. Utterly amazed. Thank you for the kind words. It’s amazing how strong I feel, compared to how powerless I use to feel. I want everyone to know that feeling. 🙂 Thank you!

      Like

  17. Anne Schilde says:

    Before I write this, let me say that I’m living a very happy life and I am a good person. I don’t want to take the smile from anyone’s face! 🙂

    I may have been a little older than you from the sound of it, in my early teens. Very difficult to get past the feelings of guilt, of feeling complicit. I should have known better, right? It only got worse after it was over because there were friends of mine who were potential victims, the irony being that I’d kept my silence literally so I could protect their relationship with this person! They are no longer a threat to anyone and I may never know if there were other victims. I just don’t have the courage to run around asking everyone.

    I wanted to add one thing, which is another part of how it’s never over. I live in a world now where everyone is a potential molester/rapist. People who aren’t victims don’t usually live with that and it’s difficult to explain how deep and invasive the scar is. I’m okay now, but the world isn’t. Even members of my family, I question inside. I watch everywhere and sometimes even imagine I see that throw-away-able look in a child’s face. And like Noeleen said, I know there are children in my neighborhood right now being molested and I feel powerless to stop it.

    The plus side of that I guess is that my alerts helped put another molester behind bars. So yay!

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Anne thanks for visiting from Noeleen’s incredible job, wasn’t she great?

      I’m glad you’re okay. I, like you, do not trust the world with children. At all. I was hypervigilant with my own children. For 2 decades I feel like I did not sleep. Every time I woke through a night I would get up and go check on them. I cautioned them. I feared for them. I too look at children’s faces. And I don’t think many understand that constant “never trust” feeling. It will never go away. And I’m okay with that. I am so overwhelmed at how many people this happens to. We talk about it, point it out, shout about it, and it still goes on. It still happens.

      AND SUPER YAY!!!! that your alerts ended some child’s suffering, or better yet, even prevented some! Fantastic!!!

      Thank you so much for sharing this with me.

      Like

  18. Anne Schilde says:

    Thank you for being a voice!

    Yes, Noeleen’s a great emotional reader! It’s great that she can draw on her past and turn it into so much creativity.

    Like

  19. Chef Lecter says:

    I wanted to thank both Noeleen and you for daring to break the silence and give voice to something so painful, yet unfortunately so much more common than people want to acknowledge. Your words describe so well the things that are lost when a child is used like a common object for someone else’s gratification and sick pleasure. Whether it is a onetime event or one that spans years, the toll it takes on the victim is incalculable. I know this. I have considered myself “less than” for most of my life because of it and other abuse. I know others that have suffered even more than I. I am going to send them the link to your words and the reading of them. I know how much they touched me. I know how much they will be touched as well. Thank you both for telling the world it was not our fault, and should not be our shame to bear.

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Chef Lecter….thank you for the visit and thank you for your words. Your sharing. Your feedback. It took me a very long time to travel my path to the point that I sat down to write “I am not ashamed”. For all of the reasons I wrote it, the hardest reason was my attempt to convince someone else….to not be ashamed. I am so touched that my words meant something to you. I know they are my words, but as you and I know and agree …. they are not unique to you and I. I don’t want any more children to hide, to feel less than. And I want the children of times past…to know they are not broken. I am overwhelmed when people tell me their stories, and I am so relieved that they, you and I, are speaking. Thank. You.

      Like

  20. […] One of her best posts, I’d say though, was Colleen’s collaboration with me. She wrote it, I was inspired by it, I asked could I video her words and she said yes. I was stoked. I took to the words, the meaning, the message immediately, and together Colleen and me made ‘I am Not Ashamed‘  […]

    Like

  21. buckwheatsrisk says:

    Reblogged this on buckwheatsrisk-surviving abuse and commented:
    I Read this post from bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com today and I had to reblog it as it is right in line with the message I am trying to put out. Her words are real and powerful and courageous. Thank you so much for having the courage to speak up about this. Thank you for speaking up for the children!

    Like

  22. buckwheatsrisk says:

    such a powerful message and thank you for speaking up!

    Like

  23. And by writing this you make others aware that if there is anyone….any child who you even suspect because of their actions or sadness or any other sign….that they are being abused to do something ..anything they can do…..to stop it!!! Diane

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Thank you Diane. For years I never said a word. All of the thoughts and feelings remained inside, well…maybe they manifested themselves in to other behaviors (or fears). Once I spoke, I realized the freedom of realizing…it’s not my fault. I am not bad. Thank you for reading and caring.

      Like

  24. iamnotshe says:

    Wonderful, brave person. I don’t know you … i’m brand new through Buckwheat. Keep writing and keep being strong. xo

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Thank you very much iamnotshe. I will follow you back to your blog this evening when I get home. Thank you for the kind words.

      Like

  25. Mustang.Koji says:

    For some reason, I visited your favorite posts page just now. Some great stuff… But this story was one of ultimate greatness, courage, intelligence and…control. Yes, I cannot possibly and totally understand how you must have felt since and through the years…but one thing I do feel right now… I am proud of you.

    Like

    • Chatter Master says:

      Thanks Mustang.K. That means a lot to me. I’ve seen others who have never taken back and owned who they are. I wish they could all know that feeling. Thank you so much.

      Like

  26. […] time ago I wrote I Am Not Ashamed.   What a relief it was to write that.  In writing it I freed myself of so much.  One of the […]

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