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message 1: by Marie (new) - added it

Marie Drake (mariedrake) | 9 comments Mod
I was criticized by a member of our (my family's) community - someone who said she did not read my book because of the subject matter at its heart. Her reason for her complaints, she stated, was that she was a Christian woman and didn't feel that this topic should be discussed. How do you feel about this? Do you agree? If you read the book - Do you think the subject of abuse was addressed in an offensive manner? Do you think abuse shouldn't be discussed/written about? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

message 2: by Valenchia (new)

Valenchia Hershberger | 4 comments The subject of abuse was handled in a very gentle manner in the book. As a victim of abuse myself, I was not jarred back to any past memories or horrified unduly by things that were happening to Hope in the book.

I do think these things should be discussed, most definitely. Abuses happen in Christian homes just as often (maybe even more) than in secular homes. Little girls (and boys) need to be protected and free to discuss anything and all things with trusted adults and never to be made to feel guilty or ashamed.

I don't understand sweeping these things under the rug. Perhaps this person was abused as a child herself?


message 3: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Terrell | 3 comments As a nurse I see the effects of abuse, both mental and physical, on a regular basis. Sweeping it under the rug will only delay treatment for all involved. I know that reading and/or discussing situations can trigger hidden memories that you would rather not discuss or remember, however, opening these doors can allow healing on your own part if you need it. I'm sorry that you have to be criticized by this important subject matter. Continue to bring these sensitive issues to the forefront and maybe we can help both the victims and the perpetrators.

Lisa Cromwell | 3 comments I would like to ask this woman if she had a child and her child was being abused, would she recommend that her child keep quiet and not talk to anyone about it and let the abuse continue for years? I personally think that not talking about it is a huge part of the problem. Too many victims keep quiet and the perpetrators know they will keep quiet. Too many families "protect" the family name and brush it under the rug. The family member who touched me was still kept in my life until his death. To top that off, I was required to take care of him as he was dying. I told the entire family when it was taking place and ended up feeling like the "bad guy" in the end. It forced me to realize that I did not have anyone in my family that I could speak to about anything... EVER. If you cannot trust your family in that kind of situation, there are no situations that you can trust them. I no longer speak to my family. I have chosen the people who are now my "family" and have surrounded myself only with good hearted people who care and love me. The weight that has come off of me since distancing myself from my blood family is huge and was much needed. They were like a noose around my neck and I struggled to breathe sometimes. I actually wish that I had done this years ago :-)

message 5: by Marie (new) - added it

Marie Drake (mariedrake) | 9 comments Mod
Valenchia, I am so glad you were able to get through the book without being upset by it. I tried to write it in a manner that would let the reader understand Hope's pain, but without getting into anything graphic or just plain gross. I don't like to read books that involve that kind of detail either.

message 6: by Marie (new) - added it

Marie Drake (mariedrake) | 9 comments Mod
Carrie, I believe you are correct. The longer something like this goes hidden, the deeper the scars, and harder it is to heal. Your comment leads me to another question - Do you think the perpetrator can be "helped"? I know so may times they never face consequences for their actions, and society feels they should be punished more than helped. I am not sure if I believe they can be helped.

message 7: by Marie (new) - added it

Marie Drake (mariedrake) | 9 comments Mod
Lisa, I believe this woman was abused as a child - perhaps physically/mentally and not sexually, I'm not certain. I still think it is a topic that should always be discussed. I definitely want my children to be safe and feel confident they can report ANYTHING that ever happens to them.
I am so sorry you have lost your family. I know of so many cases where the victim was afraid to speak up because they worried about the same thing happening that happened to you. It pains me deeply to know family would turn their back on what was happening to you when they knew it was happening. But, I am glad you have finally started to feel some peace.

Lisa Cromwell | 3 comments I really think you wrote the story as delicately as you could while still making it an interesting read. I appreciated that you did not go into detail. As to your question for Carry....yes, I believe that SOME perpetrators can be reformed. Sometimes their own actions stem from their own abuse that never got dealt with. I also believe that there are some that even castration would not solve the sickness that they suffer from.

On a slightly different note: my partners children know that they can speak to us about ANYTHING. Some people think that this is strange and think there should be boundaries, but we have a level of trust with them that I think very few parents have with their own children and I have no regrets. We know there are black and white areas for subject matter, but we also acknowledge the gray areas as well. We believe that they need to have a realistic view of the world. They are aware of the dangers in the world without it being too extreme. We do the discussions at age appropriate times. Or, if questions are asked that most people would blow off and say "when you are older we can discuss that", we actually admire that they asked the question and truly want an answer and to be respected enough to get it from us.

message 9: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Terrell | 3 comments Marie, I agree with Lisa. Some people can be helped but THEY FIRST NEED TO WANT THE HELP.
I was sexually abused as a child and when I told my mother about it she didn't believe me. Granted this was 55 years ago and things were dealt with in a different manner then...the sweeping under the rug. My second experience with sexual abuse was 5 years later when I woke to a teenage cousin abusing me. I never told my mother or any of my family members about this incident. In fact, I never told anyone until 30 years later, when my own daughter was sexually abused while staying at a friends house. We prosecuted the perpetrator, and while he spent time in prison I don't know if he ever was rehabilitated. I do know that child sex offenders are not tolerated by the prison peers. :) This is my opinion, is a form of societies intolerance to offenders. I can only hope that while serving time they go through extensive counceling and reprogramming.
We sent my child to counceling and she does not have any problems that I am aware of. I never received counceling for this. At times I feel it has had a negative effect on my adult sex life. I believe the emotional scars of not being believed by my mother far outweight the physical scars/damage that I could have endured.

message 10: by Marie (new) - added it

Marie Drake (mariedrake) | 9 comments Mod
I have given it some thought and I agree. If the actions are stemming from something the perpetrator suffered with and has not had help with, then I would like to think they could get that help and change their behaviors.
As a compassionate human being, I don't like the thought of hurting another person. I would like to think I could hope for them to get counseling and extensive help to change the way they act and react to their feelings. But, I am afraid that the Mom in me would want swift and painful justice for anyone who hurt my children.
I don't think it is weird for your kids to be able to talk to you privately about anything that worries, concerns, frightens, or hurts them. How different the world would be if that was the "norm".

message 11: by Valenchia (last edited Feb 07, 2014 09:06AM) (new)

Valenchia Hershberger | 4 comments This also happened with my children. My first husband was the abuser and it went on for years without my knowledge. You would think with my "expertise" on the subject, me being a survivor of sexual abuse myself, I would be tuned into such things. Abusers are very good at hiding their real selves to the world.

We were a Christian family...went to church, had Bible study at home, prayed together...all the while he was drugging my children and abusing them while I was working with developmentally disabled children. I thought we were a close family, but I was living under a cloud.

When my daughter finally did come to me, my world shattered into a million pieces. The church accused me of not being a good enough wife. The children were shunned (basically). My daughter went through hell at school because no one wanted to be near her. My ex-husband eventually went to prison and because I was a stay-at-home mother at the time (I no longer worked with the DD children), I eventually went on welfare. Yuck.

To make a very long story short, we did survive, but there have been very bumpy roads and there are residual consequences that have not been taken care of. I wish communication were more open on this subject. It should definitely not be taboo. Ever. The blame always lies with the adult.

I could certainly write a book on our experiences, but there are so many of them out there already. I wonder if people are tired of hearing about this subject.

message 12: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Terrell | 3 comments Valenchia, I'm sorry for your experiences. I don't believe we should ever become tired of hearing about the subject! Not talking about it only pushes it under the rug and doesn't encourage those that need the help to seek it out. If you feel that you have a story to tell, possibly your story would be "the one" that helped someone. That would be the best reward you could ever experience.

message 13: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Cromwell | 3 comments I agree! Write on and help others to get the courage they need to speak up or to heal from their past! :-)

message 14: by Marie (new) - added it

Marie Drake (mariedrake) | 9 comments Mod
I agree. It may help you to heal if you share your story with the world. Personally, I do not like to read books or see movies that graphically show the details of abuse, i.e. it actually happening. I just can't. But, I am able to read things that show the psychological and emotional feelings of the abused people, their mind set, and how they have overcome their problems. I find those to be inspirational.

message 15: by Valenchia (last edited Feb 07, 2014 04:07PM) (new)

Valenchia Hershberger | 4 comments I would never write graphic details about any abuse. Who's t0 say what that might do to someone who has repressed that experience in their own mind? So, yes, I agree with you, Marie, on that point. Everyone knows what the details are. We don't need to hear about that, anymore.

I may sort out some of my journals and see what happens. I tried doing this once before; I got over 450 pages typed out and my computer crashed. I lost everything. That kind of spoiled things for me and I'm a little afraid to try it again. But I'll get smarter this time and save it externally. We'll see. Thanks for the encouragement!

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