Even today, the veil of secrecy into the inner world of family life is still alive. Child abuse still runs rampant. Yet, we are now more aware of the repercussions to children and adults.
Why is child abuse and neglect not open to discussion? If you were a survivor of child abuse, could you talk about it? Would it be too horrible to reveal and discuss? How about write about it? There are those who hide due to the stigma attached to its effect. Many have braved the shame, guilt, anger, and depressions to tell their story.
I announced in a earlier post, I was working on my second book. I am here to admit and to disclose that I am a survivor of child abuse. To discuss my weakness and humiliation the effects of abuse had on me was challenging. Now you know the genre of my second book. Below are bits and pieces I pulled from the book to give you a sneak peek.
I was born in April of 1946 in Washington D.C. to my unmarried mother. The first few months of my life, I lived in an orphanage ran by Catholic Nuns. My birth mother would visit for a few hours on weekends. When she became pregnant with her second child, she returned to her family home in Kansas. She placed both of her illegitimate children out for adoption to separate families. From the beginning, I was looking for love and validation. I needed a home with parental love and acceptance.
I have always been sensitive. Most of my life I spent looking for attention, acceptance, and especially love. My parents adopted me when I was fourteen months of age. When I was a young boy, I was a towhead and used a smile as an escape from what was going on in my world. I sought protection, approval, and love from my mother. However, she rejected my attempts because it implied weakness. My dad seemed to think that tough love and physical discipline would strengthen me to become a man. During my youth, most people would describe the parental care as harsh or stern. Today we call it mental and physical abuse. Therefore, I grew up trying to gain my parents’ love and approval. The results were a childhood of depression, low self-esteem, and feeling unloved. I didn’t understand my world and I felt there was something wrong with me.
As an adult, I was envious of my friends when I listened to them describe their happy childhood, siblings, and parental relationships. When it came my turn to share, it embarrassed me talking about my past. When I did share my life stories, I felt self-conscious with my friends’ reactions as if they didn’t believe me. Even close friends that knew me for years, expressed doubt. Consequently, I became reluctant and ashamed to discuss my life story with anyone.
If you read my second book, you will realize several events and individuals left me with psychological scars. Through the years, I was unable to put those things into perspective and move on with my life. I went through extended periods of depression, feelings of low self-esteem, and a dependency on others to make my life happy.
It was only after I started writing my books, that I realized the therapeutic value. I often would have to stop my writing because I couldn’t see the screen for the tears. When I finished my first draft, I experienced a release of my anger. I realized these individuals and the events associated with them no longer had a hold on me. I was able to forgive my parents and find that personal happiness, which had eluded me for most of my life.