Why I Didn’t Tell???

Don't tell.I am often asked “Did you tell anyone?”
I feel like my answer should be “Would anyone have listened?”

I do not feel that you need to be a child to believe you can not tell. There are millions of very smart, sweet, caring, and terrific people of every age that stay silent about abuses they are suffering. Maybe this blog will help someone realize that their “reasons” are actually based on lies that have been fed to them.

Here are some of the things I wish every person knew about why those whom are abused stays silent. I am sure there are even more reasons but these are mine. 🙂

1. No one asked.

  • Teachers saw my bruises then looked away.
  • Doctors found serious damage but believed my mother when she said I was clumsy and liked to hurt myself..
  • Other adults looked on with pity in their eyes but did nothing.
  • Family friends silently wondered.
  • Social workers met me but never asked my mother to leave the room. Telling them the truth would be too dangerous anyways.
  • No one really asked me directly.

2. I didn’t know it was happening.

  • I had never lived another life so how could I know it was all so very wrong?
  • I was dissociated so often that my memories and emotions were too fragmented to recall things clearly.
  • I truly thought almost every little girl had my life. I was confused by the ones who had time to play.

3. I wanted to be a good girl.

  • I was a child and children are expected to obey their parents/elders or they are deemed “bad”.
  • If I was good, I might be more safe. Therefor? If I am not safe? I am not being good enough yet.
  • I knew somewhere deep inside that “they” were really all bad and I didn’t want to be like them so I did my best to be good.
  • I was told not to tell so telling would be disobedient and naughty.

 4. I was told that either I would be killed or someone I loved would die if I told.

  • When you’ve witnessed death, your abusers killing you doesn’t feel like just a threat. It feels like a real possibility.
  • I was afraid for my sisters.
  • I believed my mother would find out everything I ever did or said. She often did. Telling made me more unsafe rather than safer.

5. There was no one to tell.

  • I told a school counsellor once. She called my mother and told her I needed psychiatric help due to the “crazy” stories I told her.
  • I told a doctor once after he scolded me for causing “more damage” to myself. He told my mother that my behaviour was attention seeking and dangerous.
  • I told a teacher once. She said she would pray for me to be healed from the turmoil in my mind and that if I prayed to God hard enough, He would take away my sins. .
  • I gave up trying to tell… the blame was always shifted on to me anyways. Maybe I really was the problem? That is the lesson I took from it all.

6. I deserved everything that was happening to me.

  • I was always told it was all my fault. I got what I deserved.
  • If I was a better behaved girl, I would be treated better.
  • I wasn’t worthy of any better.
  • I caused all of it.

7. No-one would believe me. This one is HUGE and the main reason I stayed silent after trying to speak out several times.

  • This was my reality. I was never believed and if by chance I was believed by someone? They were quickly educated in my “sociopathic” need for attention.
  • People just could not fathom that my “stories” were true. Not in Canada and not in the 70’s and 80’s! Goodness no.
  • I believe many people CHOSE not to believe me because they did not want to offend my parents.
  • It was just assumed that I had a really great yet dark and troubled imagination and had difficulty telling the difference between real and pretend.
  • Even in todays society people still do not want to hear or believe these stories are true. It is easier on everyone if we just think this stuff only happens in other countries or the very rare crazy person anywhere but in our own backyard.
  • Being so fragmented does mean that my rendition of how something happened can be all arse end up and backwards. It does not mean it did not happen, it just means that my ability to recall every detail in order is greatly inhibited.
  • We moved SO MUCH (32 homes in 16 years) that when I try to recall an age, a location, a school name, a friends home, or other details that are usually quite easy for most people to recall when they have lived in a stable place, it can be nearly impossible which in turn can make the “story” seem a bit fishy.

8. No-one would have done anything about it.

  • No one ever did. Need I say more?

9. I didn’t want anyone to know.

  • I blamed myself for what happened so I assumed myself to be terribly guilty, dirty, vile, tainted, unspeakably gross, and not worthy of any better. I didn’t want others to know how horrid and disgusting I really was.

 10. I didn’t have the words to tell.

  • I was just so confused.
  • I felt like my brain was a muddled bunch of sins.
  • I’d been so badly burned when trying to tell in the past.
  • In the end? I am 45 now and still don’t have the right words. How could I as a child?

Shhh

19 responses to “Why I Didn’t Tell???

  1. We are trained and conditioned not to tell, and there are bad as well as good consequences when we finally do

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    • I am not sure about you but I found 95% of the reaction over the years has been negative. Even now. That said? I am so happy I finally found that 5% that gets it. Thank you for commenting. 🙂

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  2. We were brainwashed and all these reasons are spot on.

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  3. Almost every day on the news here in the UK you hear of people coming forward telling of abuse they had suffered in homes, churches, by professional and famous people, mostly in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It makes me weep to think of all those vulnerable children and what they suffered – both at the time and ever since. What is even more heartbreaking is that for every one of those coming forward, there are probably dozens more still too afraid to speak out, and thousands more who were abused by their own family. Who will listen to them? Will their abusers ever be brought to justice?

    The reasons you listed are all spot on Heather. I even tried to speak to my Mum (a lovely, caring woman usually) recently about what a relative did to me in my early teens – a man who she knows abused his own children – but she just turns away or changes the subject. I can just imagine what would have happened if I had spoken out then…..

    A really thoughtful and thought-provoking blog Heather. Thank you for sharing. Many hugs.xx

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    • I wish it was all the 70’s and the 80’s but I fear that 20-30 years from now, we will be hearing stories about the 2000’s and 2010’s.
      My only hope is that with todays technology, someone will read my blog or another one that helps them see that the reasons they are keeping quiet are not good enough reasons. Maybe they will feel heard and feel the strength to speak out.
      I am sorry for the way your mother reacted… or didn’t react.I know that is really hard to deal with. I hope that you know I am here to listen any time at all? Cwtches.

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      • Heather, I really hope your fears are unfounded. Technology makes the World a much smaller place these days, and hopefully our generation now speaking out and people being prosecuted will give younger generations hope and the courage to speak out too – and be believed. Thanks for your support and wise advice. Hugs.xx

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      • I will hope it might be different but that has not been my experience. Considering our own court case after my daughter keeping a secret of her own along with 35 other girls. Add my own trouble finding and keeping a therapist that believes me? Lets just hope that I am very wrong… I just doubt that I am. 😦 Sorry to be such a downer about it.

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      • You have good reason to be doubtful Heather! Perhaps more brave people like you speaking out, blogging, telling their story will turn the tide.

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  4. So powerful Heather… It’s so hard to imagine that the voices that need to be heard so desperately aren’t, they are ignored or discounted as untrue. Why society has such a blind eye to things is so hard to fathom. Every reason you said keeps the victim silent and let’s the abusers off the hook. I keep thinking things are improving, that somehow those who need to be heard are but it sadly doesn’t seem much different than it was even 40 years ago. It’s folks like you who speak up and share that brings awareness to the issue. And hopefully the more awareness that comes to light, hopefully more will be done about believing the victims. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    • You are very right Karen. In some ways things are different from 40 years ago but in many ways they are not. As I just said to Sam and you know from our chats, there are still MANY people who just can’t face the truth. I do hope my being open will help in some small way to bring awareness to the issue.

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  5. I’m sorry no one listened in the past. Thank you for sharing your experience so maybe those of us on the outside can try not to repeat the same mistakes with those in our lives.

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    • Thank you Sam. Sadly this went on for 43 of my 45 years and there are still many people that just can’t/won’t hear it so they block it out or turn it back on me. Now that I am formally diagnosed with a mental illness, this is just more “proof” to them to use to show that i am untrustworthy. The good news is that I am finding people who DO understand and who are willing to take their head out of the sand. I really appreciate the support Sam. Thank you.

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  6. wow heather, spot on! I totally relate to this. My reasons are pretty similar, and my abuse was in the 80’s and 90’s mostly. Thanks for such a well thought out post. XX

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  7. I am sadden by this behavior in our society. This should never be happening in this country I didn’t serve this country for 23 years of my life to allow sick individuals to prey upon and abuse our young. .

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    • It is incredibly sad and you are right. It should NOT be happening. Every time I feel very down on society as a whole, I always try to remind myself of the people who’ve worked so hard and done so much to make this world a better place. People such as yourself. There will always be horrid people out there but there are many more wonderful people to help erase some of the damage caused.
      Thank you for your service!

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