Last week I spoke on the holidays for children who has been removed from their homes because of Child Abuse. This week I want to focus on survivors and the holidays, specifically the adults. If you haven't read last weeks article please do read it here.
When I spoke to you about a child's wish list who has been abused I told you their list would look like this...
However, for a survivor adult their list begins to change yet still the same as for a child. I will explain further each one.
For answers â€“ They no longer wanting it to stop they now want to know why it happened? What was wrong with their abuser's many times being their own parents.
Someone to love them â€“ They still want that love they wanted as a child. Many of these adults no longer even know what love is or what it should be like. They find it hard to love someone for they never experienced that feeling. When they do they either love for the wrong reasons, or they just never let anyone close.
Someone to care â€“ They now want people to care about them. They don't want someone to tell them how they should feel, but to say its okay to feel that way.
To be accepted â€“ As said above they want to be able to feel as they do. There are steps in healing and for many they are just starting those steps once they become an adult.
To have a family they can accept â€“ Many of these survivors cut all ties to their abuser's and anyone in that family who can't accept them speaking out. It is a step in the healing process that for most they are able to handle till the holiday's come. I remember those times of holidays coming and I spent it with just my spouse and child. This I am speaking of since speaking out and breaking those ties. I realize that for me I can't allow myself to be abused any longer so I must stay away from them, yet I long for a family I never had. When I did find that family as I did with my first husband I couldn't accept it. To know it is okay to be close to others and to allow them to be close to me.
I want to stress on one thing that I feel is the worse thing I think anyone can tell someone who has been abused as a child that is to have faith in God. That seems to be the answer to many, yet those people don't realize these adults don't have faith in anything or anyone. They go through the process of thinking and asking why did God put me through this. I wanted to bring up this because of a survivor who I know that is going through some hard things now because of speaking out is a very spiritual lady. She goes to prisons now as an adult to help woman in prison. Sharing with them the word of God. Why am I bringing this out? Recently she has had a lot of things going on even people saying she is lieing about the abuse. This is something us as survivor's get told over and over when the abuser's start to feel the heat. Anyways there was a discussion in a group how Christians would not feel as she does anger. God himself has been angry if you read the bible it will tell you this. Now I am not getting into a big dispute about all of this but its something I think needs to be pointed out. Let me explain a little further in detail.
I may not be the most spiritual person you know. I do believe in God, and I do have faith. I also believe two people even in the same religion can read a scripture in the bible and read it different. Am I getting to a point here? Yes I am so please before you start tossing out these scriptures as I know some of you are dieing to do right about now keep following me. Read these
"In your anger do not sin" found in Ephesians 4:26
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry found in James 1:19
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness" found in Romans 1:18
"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain." found in Exodus 20:7
It tells you in Ephesians not to sin in anger, it don't tell you not to be angry. When you read Romans it tells you there to listen, and slow to become angry. Again it don't tell you not to be angry. Now lets concentrate on Romans it is telling you that lies are sinful. In many areas of the bible it will tell you that God himself has been angry, many times for sins. Again I do not want to get into a big bible study because I am one to believe how you believe is your way, as it is my way. I may not agree with you but I will not judge you for what you believe. I do want to focus on these three scriptures in my belief for a short period as a survivor. No where does it say that God is telling me not to be angry, he tells me not to sin in anger. He also tells me not to lie, so in speaking out about my abuse I am telling the truth, for me telling the truth helping others. He also tells me not to judge so when I hear someone tell me they don't believe, or handle their abuse the same as I do mine I will not judge them. I also don't judge you who has never experienced abuse, but I do respect the same out of you towards me. Twice this past week I have heard when referring to two individuals one being a survivor, another being a grandparent who took custody of an abused grandchild saying they are hypocrites for cursing. My belief when reading Exodus 20:7 does not say you can not cuss, it tells you not to use his name in vain. That can be using him in vain, me in vain, or you in vain. What does vain mean? Well when you look up the definition it tells you without effect or avail such as if I apologize to you but don't mean it I am apologizing in vain, in improper or irreverent manner meaning to me much like slander. No where does it tell in the bible that I am going to hell or a hypocrite for saying damn it, shit, or any other curse word. You may not like it, but I don't like you calling me or anyone else a hypocrite when you have just sinned by judging me for saying a curse word. Again why am I bringing this up? Well by calling a person a hypocrite for cursing during their anger of abuse done to them, you just knocked that person down just as their abusers did. This isn't about your belief, my belief, or even the atheists belief. It is about a human being learning to accept their past to go on and be able to live. You expect them to find God in their life when people as yourself is telling them that your bible says it this way? Well my bible which is the same bible says it this way. Now I am getting some place else in all of this Christmas is about Jesus being born. Its the time of year for giving, start doing some giving in yourself by understanding.
Each year even after having my children I was so excited about Christmas. I had a reason to celebrate the holiday. Yes I know Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, but it is also about the time of year to spend it with the ones with our families. In homes children our getting up running to the tree to open presents from Santa. For us who has survived abuse we are trying to look back and see those memories of exactly that. The time we sat around the table saying grace, laughing, stuffed with food. I look back and while I had grandparents, cousins, aunts that I am very grateful to enjoy those holidays I also remember the mornings waking up as a child. Not every holiday for me was spent with those extended family members. Sure I had presents under the tree, but the whole meaning of Christmas was not there. I remember those fights, a drunk father, my mother being beat up, my mother and father's abuse to us children. I also only remember just one Christmas with my father, where I woke up and my daddy was there to watch me open presents. This is a picture of that moment, and it kills me inside hearing those memories that was so precious to many of you. We ran to open gifts, there was no hugs, no I love you, just opening gifts. Part of them mom got, part of them dad got. I wanted nothing more but a sewing machine that year. I got that sewing machine, my daddy seen to it, a stolen sewing machine, that was taken later that day by the police. The day ended in violence between my parents and tears from us children. Sure we had those gifts mom seen to it we had that was not stolen, but the most important thing a child should have had we didn't. We didn't have the love a child should have.
This Christmas I ask you from a survivor. Be understanding, allow a survivor to find their way hows they feel is best, love a child. How about taking a gift to that dysfunctional home on your block. You know the home you refuse to let your child play at, the one that you hear cursing from, the one with the loud parties, the â€œdisgustingâ€ home, the â€œweirdâ€ person that don't talk to others, or go out of their homes. A child don't even have to live in that home, it don't have to be expensive just cookies or candy will do just fine. See that person just may be that survivor who is looking to find themselves. Statistics will tell you many abuser's experienced abuse themselves. While I refused to allow the cycle to continue through me, I went through and still do go through things people don't find right. I don't get out, I don't talk much to others, I am one of those â€œweirdâ€ people who may live next door. I am one of those survivors that lived in the violence. I am one of those struggling to find answers, to love and be loved, I am the one fighting back.
Bless you and Happy Holidays
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This post is not intended to take the place of a therapist or Dr.