Sometimes, not always, I get so tired of fighting a battle with those who are supposed to be the one doing the protecting…
Sometimes, not always, I get so tired of losing said battles to churches, fundamentalist “Christians” and other so-called “people of faith” who seem only to care about the money in their church coffers and potential lawsuits against their precious denominations. Tragically and simultaneously these same folks don’t appear to give a rat’s ass about the innocence, lives and souls of children…
It feels like everyday we turn on the news and hear of another case. This week was no different with Josh Duggar from the TLC show, “19 Kids and Counting” and the news he admitted to sexually abusing at least 5 girls in his family.
It’s 6:24 am and I’m tired. No that doesn’t accurately describe how I’m feeling. In truth, I’m exhausted. Exhausted because I’ve been awake since around 4 a.m., due to screaming myself awake from ANOTHER nightmare of seeing Frankie Wiley’s face over mine and feeling him holding my childhood frame down while he sexually abused me over and over, just as he did for almost 3 years.
I have no doubt this was triggered from the reports of the Duggar family doing more to protect the offender than the victims. Much the same way I feel how the Southern and Georgia Baptist Convention treats myself and countless others who’ve fallen prey to predators they continue to protect.
The only solace I had this morning was my beloved wife, Linda. Because of her, I was once again gently awakened with her loving touch and soothing voice before the nightmare became too much for me to handle.
She asked if I wanted to talk about but at that moment it was simply too much. So I’m doing now what I’ve always done since I began therapy for the sexual abuse I endured, I write. It’s one of my few true releases from the torture, torment and pain.
And in some small way I hope it reveals to other victims/survivors who’ve been through a similar trauma that they are not alone, that we are not alone…that I am not alone…
With every post or article I publish, I try to extend some measure of hope and potential for healing for what we’ve been through. And this one will be no different. It’s just that in the moment I’m too tired to feel like much of an encouragement. Instead, this time I sure would like to hear from you. To hear you say, I know what you mean David.
Over the next 2 weeks I’ll be standing in front of countless numbers of parents, guardians and other adults, looking to me for answers. And I will provide guidance, solutions and direction. I will do so with confidence, conviction and courage. But right now, at this very moment I’m just tired, hurting and scared.
Thank you to all of my friends, family and fellow survivors and advocates. It’s because of y’all I can manage to move forward on my own healing path. And for this same reason you can too.
Thank you for “listening” to me today. This is another example of why it’s so VERY important that we all be there for one another. We all need each other because as we say here…
Not alone, but…together we heal…
Thank you to our TWH family. You mean so very much to me. You’ve helped me through and to overcome so much. This is the 8th year since I first came forward about having been sexually abused as a child and in October I will celebrate 10 years of being clean from narcotics. None of this would’ve been possible without your love and support and I genuinely love and appreciate you all from the core of my being and bottom of my heart.
Copyright © 2015 Together We Heal, Inc.
May 26, 2015 at 10:23 am
You are not alone David. I am with you.
May 26, 2015 at 3:01 pm
Thank you Tim! Linda and I are so thankful for our SNAP family. The day I first talked with Barb helped me turn the corner those few years ago and every year since is a blessing, especially to have friends like you!
May 26, 2015 at 11:59 am
Thanks for your post on struggling with fatigue. I too have led a non-profit that helps survivors since 2008 and sometimes I feel like you described in this post. Like you I can speak to groups and consult with individuals even when I’m exhausted. Thank goodness I have a few confidants with whom I can let my own frustrations come to surface. I hope you have that outlet too. This is important work we are a part of…and more and more groups are surfacing that deal with sexual abuse. I’m so grateful that some of us have found strength in speaking out so that our voices are refuting the deniers.
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May 26, 2015 at 12:36 pm
Thank you Joyce. And thankfully I also have a couple of folks I can go to in times of need or frustration or…
As you so eloquently stated, “this is important work we are a part of”, and because of that it’s important we don’t allow ourselves to get burned out or overwhelmed. And together we can help one another.
The nightmare I had only goes to show no matter how far along we may be in our healing process, triggers and incidents can still jump up and bite us when we least expect it. I’m so blessed to have Linda as my wife, friend and support.
In writing this, I am sharing as I always do and as I have always said I would; to be completely honest, transparent and to show the good the bad and the ugly. I do so with the hope of letting all of our fellow survivors see we have common struggles but with each other’s help we can keep moving forward.
Peace be with you always.
May 26, 2015 at 1:55 pm
God bless you & Linda!
I thank you for your openness.
Last week I experienced the same of what you were writing about.
I do whatever I can to help people on their road of recovery from the traumatic experiences they have endured.
Sometimes it is taking a lot of me to hear so many stories about abuse.
Also because most of the times it takes so many years for a lot of people to be able to talk about it the predators have nothing to fear and are continuing their life-wrecking actions.
In The Netherlands, where I live, yesterday it was in the news that some Buddhist teachers have been abusing people, who came for their help, over the years.
There was a reaction of a professor who said that in places where people are in a vulnerable position there is a chance that this can happen.
That is a reality.
I read about the family with 19 children and also that the unbelievable “mom” of Honey Booboo wants her show back because what she has done, dating the convicted molester of her daughter, wasn’t that bad.
She hasn’t got it.
My family has done everything to break me, to get me a psychiatric institution for life, disinherited me, so people wouldn’t believe me when I told the truth about my youth.
But … you know, God is very clever!
He has put people on this earth who can’t live with lies.
That even when they have endured the most terrible experiences they still want to be good and do good. Everything that has happened in their lifes has made them stronger and capable to help others.
I am glad that I am one of those.
How about you David?
Lots of healing energy!
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May 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm
Thank you Catharina. You are a blessing and I’m so thankful to consider you a true friend.
I am also thankful you are one of those people who has been made stronger by what you’ve been through. And yes, I know I am one as well. From time to time I get the wind taken out of me. So I just have to get it out, stand back up, take a deep breath, and keep moving forward! 🙂
And thankfully we both have surrounded ourselves with folks like each other to be that encouragement when we need, or fighter to stand with us when the battle is on.
Blessings and peace to you always my dear friend.
May 26, 2015 at 1:56 pm
The only battle we lose, David, is the one we don’t fight. And even when it seems like the bad guys win, it’s almost always only temporary. I share and feel your frustration brother. But I also know that, in the words of Martin Luther King, “no lie lives forever” and “the moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.” And you, my friend, are helping it bend further and further every single day. I am proud to know you!
May 26, 2015 at 2:37 pm
David, my “brother” and friend. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the kind words and encouragement. I couldn’t agree more with you about the “battle we lose is the one we don’t fight.” And that’s why Linda and I stand beside you, all of our SNAP brothers and sisters, our Together We Heal family, and continue to fight the good fight every day.
I have no doubt last nights nightmare was triggered by a combination of the Duggar news as well as Ga HB17 having no teeth for past victims. As I’m sure you have experienced, it happens from time to time. And no matter whether I have good days or bad ones, I like to share with the readers of the blog so they can know I’m not just a fellow survivor but one who will share it all. Since day one I promised to be open with all we go through so others can know they aren’t the only ones who might feel the same way from time to time.
But as I also stated, I TRULY believe we can, do and ARE making a positive difference in the lives of our fellow survivors. Thank you for affirming that belief in your words about “bending justice further and further!!”
You, Barbara and Barb mean the world to me, Linda and so many others for continuing to fight this fight, even when we get discouraged from time to time. Again, thank you my friend and its I who am proud to know you! 🙂
May 26, 2015 at 2:41 pm
Your writing brought tears to my eyes and I salute you for the bravery I never had. No one ever supported me and the denial by others is such a big wall to overcome. So many think of just covering the shame of what occurred and rarely the victims of this horrendous crime against children. Even when I spoke of it to law enforcement all those years ago I was ignored. Thank you for your courage and persistence.
May 26, 2015 at 2:49 pm
Thank you Delphine. You are brave. You shared just now what you have experienced and I know someone reading this will have felt a similar way and it will let them know they too can be strong, courageous and speak up about what has happened to them.
Together we build each other up and together we can and will begin a path of healing. Please know that not just me, but my wife Linda, also a survivor, and anyone associated with Together We Heal is always here for and with you.
You are believed and we believe in you.
May 26, 2015 at 2:53 pm
David, sometimes the darkness seems to engulf us, but “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” This verse can so easily go in one ear and out the other, but what it means is that the love of Christ, a love that we can have for one another, is a love that not even the blackest foulest pit of selfishness and evil can overcome. Also, “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” This verse is profoundly true. When people resist the light, and when they resist us and the light we shine on them, it’s because they are protecting a secret little hidden precious thing that they treasure, a darkness they love more than the light. But the long arc of the universe indeed tends towards justice – and light. God bless you in your sufferings and in the good you do. We have all been there and done that in various ways, and we are with you, my brother.
May 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Keep remembering – it takes just one. Just one person who believes a child (or the child in an adult ) who has been abused and who “gets it” about the awfulness and the amount of time and effort it takes to come out anywhere near the other side. You’ve been that one for many people. You don’t have to be there for all. I know you’re long overdue for at least a brief rest, in as much as it’s possible when the midnight memories come. You have my admiration. Take care of yourself – you are a gift and a blessing.
May 27, 2015 at 7:28 pm
David, thank you so much for being so vulnerable with us. Your ability to share those feelings is the reason you are who you are. You really do know how others feel, you do understand, and it’s not because you read it in a book. Take care of yourself, because we all need you and you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. We love you and thank you for all the things you do, love yourself too. Take care of you like you take care of us. You deserve it.
June 11, 2015 at 2:51 am
Hey my friend ~ we still need to talk, and your post just reminded me of the importance and truth in your words. It can get exhausting,, and yet knowing I am not alone, you are not alone,, somehow makes it all worthwhile.
Our inner child – my inner child – still needs to be reminded that she is loved, she is good enough, and this isn’t her battle to fight, it is mine. It is ours. Not only for every adult’s inner child, but for every child in our world. Sending you much healing love.
Let’s talk soon. We can make it work this time i’m sure.
take good care – your friend and fellow warrior,