Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Breaking the Silence Questions

These are the QUESTIONS I hear most often and this is the reason I wanted The Survivor Manual.

For my contributors, please feel free to address any of these questions and put Q and A in the label at the bottom. As we collect answers, we will provide the blog entry link by the questions to make it easier to search! This is a work in progress and will continue to move forward. We will organize the categories to provide the best searching. Keep coming back!

How do I get the courage to heal?

Do you have to come forward?

Am I a Survivor?

Where can I go to get help? I have no money/insurance to get help.

What is the first step to healing?

Who can you call to get help?

Why me? I don’t want to open up this can of worms inside of me. It’s too scary and I think I’ll die. Why can’t I just leave well enough alone?

I live out in the middle of nowhere. How do I find support and resources?

What are all of the symptoms, bodily reactions, addictions, you’ve seen survivors have? (I lost my voice, have thrown up a bunch, my “phantom” vaginal pain, teeth chattering, nightmares, paralyzed from the waist down...)
Incest Survivors Checklist from E. Sue Blume

Yes, this happened to me, but I’m perfectly fine keeping it to myself. I let it go a long time ago. It’s not that big of a deal. My father didn’t kill me or anything. Why do YOU have to make such a big deal of it?

I really don’t understand why it’s such a big deal that my dad used to fondle me. It felt good sometimes so why is it a problem? He wasn’t hurting me. Why is it so bad?

Can you really have repressed memories or am I just making myself believe something that really didn’t happen? I’m being told that repressed memories don’t exist and that my father could never have done that. Maybe I’m making this up and I should believe her?

I keep having feelings that “this never happened to me,” but I know it did. Why am I disbelieving myself?

I was abused by my brother/father/uncle, but haven’t told anyone. How do I bring up this subject and what should I expect?

I can’t stop crying. HELP! How do I stop?

What should I say to people who tell me to “just get over it?”

I am still the black sheep in the family for bringing the abuse out in the open - my siblings wanted me to wait until my father passed away to talk about it. Should I still tell?

I am going up and down like a roller coaster. I don’t know what to. I wish I could take better care of myself but I am paralyzed. Survivor’s groups don’t interest me, church does not interest me and I have next to no money to get professional help. Please help.

How did you deal with all of that pain? How long did you put up with it?

Does this pain ever end?

My offender still abuses me and I let him. How do I stop the abuse when it has been in my family for so long?

My mother knows it is happening and so do other family members. How do I protect the other children? How do I get out? My family will come after me.

How do you deal with the abusers enablers?

How do I release my rage and pain? I thought about using your bat idea to release rage but I just feel frozen.

I feel like I want to die. How do I not kill myself?

How do you confront someone when they are so high and mighty, like your preacher?

Can I put a full-page ad in the newspaper declaring my father a pedophile? I want people to know! Will I get in trouble? What can happen?

I was molested by my pastor. How in the world do I confront him? You confronted your father so easily, how were you able to do that?


BACA Los Angeles, Hollywood Al said...

WOW Angela. That's alot of questions. I'm still absorbing them, but I when I have something to contribute, I will. I also want to say that this concept kicks butt. If no one else has told you today, I love you, and I think you're a genius.

Angela Shelton said...

Yay Al. I love BACA, have I said that lately? Answer any and all that you can. I broke them up into categories that will hopefully be easier.

And how do we get all BACA members trained in the Stewards of Children?
I would love for my 2 favorites to join forces.

Stringbean Greene said...

I was abused by my brother/father/uncle, but haven’t told anyone. How do I bring up this subject and what should I expect?

As a crisis worker, I have the opportunity to guide survivors toward safe healing. As a survivor who has been there with telling for the first time, I give the same advice I took for myself: start with talking to people who you know will be supportive. Disclosing abuse is scary and can make you feel really vulnerable. You have to protect yourself from folks who will disbelieve, or somehow enhance the fear/shame you may already feel. Once you've told a few people you trust and have a few safe healing experiences with disclosure, you often feel stronger and less afraid to keep telling your story.

Chris Billingsly said...

So where does courage come from and is courage the answer?

Chris Billingsly said...

Do you have to come forward?
Well, through education - both formal and through life - I know it is best to not supress information. I know I have tons of healing to do--in ALL areas of my life...
but - I would always rather suppress than come forward and deal with anything - that is my life long habit. It is extremely hard to break this habit.

Chris Billingsly said...

When you find your voice, become an advocate, and fight for those who can't fight for themselves--that is when true healing begins!