We have a beautiful Jane Magnolia in our front yard. The pink flowers that seem to suddenly appear overnight look incredible. We could see that tree as soon as we turned onto our street. It blazed with new life.
The thing that we noticed was that all the other Jane Magnolias in our neighborhood had not bloomed yet; their buds were closed without one sign of blooming.
We were so happy, and may I say a little proud, that our tree looked so stupendous, rising royally in bloom.
Then came one day of freeze- ONE DAY. The next day we woke to all the flowers on the tree brown and dead never to come back to life.
And yet… I looked intently and saw two new buds that had not bloomed yet.
This made me think about how one event can change a person’s life forever. One event can make a person shrivel and die on the inside. But there is always a glimpse of hope for survival, for recovery, for new life.
I am speaking here, dear friends about the incident of sexual abuse. One incident can make a child or teen shrivel up and die on the inside. One incident can make that person grow with a totally different worldview about love, sex, marriage, relationships and, even parenting.
Take for example Mary, who was sexually abused by the neighbor’s son at the age of seven. She could not tell her mother about the incident because her mother would not have believed her. Mary tried to tell her mother that the neighbor’s son did something naughty, but her mother called her a liar. “You are the naughty one.” Her mother blurted out impatiently.
When Mary was 16, she started having a lot of suitors for marriage (Egypt has a lot of arranged marriages). Fearing the constant questions of her mother of why she did not agree to any suitor who came, she was forced to marry one of the men who proposed.
Like many abuse survivors, she hated having sex with her husband because she felt she was reliving the abuse that happened to her. She defended herself by dissociating from the sex act. She watched herself with an out of body experience until her husband finished. How sad that this act which is supposed to be an act that binds a husband and wife together, has become a source of torture and pain for Mary.
When she found out she was pregnant, things got even worse.
Mary had a panic attack during labor. When she found out that her baby was a boy, she could not love him because he will grow up to be a man like her abuser. (This is part of the worldview of abuse survivors)
could not enjoy her newborn son.
She wanted to love him, but couldn’t.
She wished she had a daughter. Maybe if she had a daughter she could have loved her better.
She could not breastfeed her son. Why? Because she felt he was abusing her. She would not change his diapers lest she be abusing him.
Can you even fathom the mess that happened because of one incident? ONE INCIDENT.
But, there are still those few buds of hope that have not bloomed that can make Mary recover if she chooses to give life a second chance, if she asks for help and discloses her secret to. This is the first step to recovery.
Will you help me abolish sexual abuse? This is our mission at Not Guilty.