Reprinted from Surviving My Past blog with Dawn and Matt’s permission.
In response to her story shared in a previous SMP blog post, Dawn has graciously offered to share a follow up piece with some additional information. Some of which is in response to the comments she received on her story as well as in general from those who know her.
I would definitely encourage you to check out her post, A Warrior’s story of healing from abuse on SMP blog.
Thank you again Dawn for sharing so openly. Your story has inspired, encouraged, and validated so many. You are an amazing survivor my friend!
As a safeguard, I want to issue another trigger warning. The following is an open and honest post of a young child who was abused.
I would guess the number one question I get asked after I tell my story of abuse is “where was your Mom?”. The answer is this. I never showed her or told her directly. I mean, he told me to never tell or he would hurt my dog, my mom, my sisters, and anything else he thought would keep me quiet.
As a young child what I did tell her that it “hurts when I go potty.” She did what a good Mom would do, she took me to the doctor. I would tell the doc as a small child, that it would hurt, I have been looked at and probed by many physician. By the age of 12, I had two laparoscopic surgeries, six of those long blood sugar tests (where you drink the glucose and they draw your blood every hour for I think six hours), and a lot more lab work.
I have medical records that say the following “her vaginal opening is large for a child of her age.” and “Her hymen has been broken, but not by me.”
Two different surgeons, two different statements, no one came to my defense. By the time I hit the 8th grade or age 13, I had been so conditioned to never tell anyone.
The church school that I attended was also no help. I was taught that the father had the ultimate power…literally my fifth grade teacher taught us that as children we have no rights. And as female children we would never have any rights. “Even as Sara obeyed Abraham calling him Master…” We were to do whatever our parents said…and the wife was to obey her husband. It didn’t matter what my father was doing to me, it was supposed to be and I was supposed to obey. This is indeed, what I was taught, what was grilled into me…literally beaten into me.
When I did approach a teacher and tell her that I was having problems at home, she gave me the following advice. Pray about it. “I know your parents, they are good people.” I was told to read the Bible regarding verses about rebellion being “as the sin of witchcraft”. Perhaps I needed to fast and pray and get right with God.
My friends refused to talk about anything regarding sexual behavior as it would be sin to discuss such a topic. When I tried to tell someone, I was told that they were going to tell the Youth Pastor on me. The Youth Pastor called me in and spoke to me regarding my unhealthy thoughts and sin. He told my father. This of course resulted in much punishment.
No one could hear me or help me….. They knew that such a godly man, my father, would indeed be the person to go to for me to get guidance for my rebellious ways. Instead the result was his physical, spiritual, sexual, mental abuse escalating to torture. I believe when he saw that when I asked for help or tried to tell someone, they deferred to him. That gave him more power and eventually he felt that it gave him all power over me.
Falling through the cracks is serious. It hurts when I see how many people saw, knew, yet did nothing.
If a child asks for help in whatever way they are able, HEAR them and help them. We are adults … they are still just children.
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