Peeling back one layer and healing it exposes the next. As we go deeper, a girl may say, ‘You know, I’ve never told anyone about this because I was too embarrassed (or because it didn’t seem important… she was afraid… she didn’t think anyone would believe her… or she thought it was her fault). But I think you should know.’
If these traumas are mentioned at all early on in counseling, it’s typically in conjunction with, ‘But that was years ago and I’m over it now.’ The hidden message behind this tough talk is often, ‘ I have spent a lot of energy and time trying to numb myself from feelings and to forget anything associated with this painful event. I would rather not talk about it. I choose to ignore these painful emotions rather than confront them, because I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t survive those overwhelming feelings.'”
– The White Umbrella, Mary Frances Bowley, pp. 84-85
I still ask myself…
– Why didn’t anybody in my family believe his previous accusers and keep it from happening to me?
– Am I making it a bigger deal than I really should?
– Why did it never occur to me to tell?
– If I had told would it have protected his other victims?
– What kind of monster would DO these things to children year after year?
– I know there are things about the molestation I don’t remember. What are they? What if they’re horrific?
– Why didn’t I stop him?
– Is this the cause of so many of my insecurities and self-doubt and self-loathing, or do I just use it as an excuse to feel sorry for myself?
– Is it the reason I have so many problems in relationships, or do I just use it as an excuse to cover up my shortcomings?
– Why do I still get so anxious – heart pounding, short of breath – when I think about it?
– What would the resolution to this even be or look like in my life?
– Do I have to forgive?
– Do I have to stop being angry?
– Isn’t it easier, less painful and less self-destructive to just keep repressing it and numbing it, to not pick at that scab?
Throughout this book, you will notice that I often refer to the clients we work with as ‘girls.’ This is because, regardless of literal age, the children and women who come to Wellspring Living are all wounded little girls inside. Once a girl is molested, she is emotionally arrested at that age, making her vulnerable to unhealthy people and giving her a tendency of making life choices based on the age at abuse….
My heart aches for these girls. So many have been battered, bruised, and abused. They have weathered storms few of us can imagine. They are often suspicious of relationships and offered help. They do not smile or trust easily. They have been betrayed too many times. To survive, they have learned to be tough. Yet underneath the hard exterior is the loving person God intended them to be.”
– “The White Umbrella,” Mary Frances Bowley, p.18
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