Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Before I Go Any Further...

"I find it interesting that when you dare to tell the truth, people will come out of the woodwork to guilt you into silence. I will not be emotionally bullied into keeping my mouth shut." - Me, Facebook August 25, 2010

I must address something before I write another post on this blog. I knew this was going to come up because it's come up since day one.

Let me start by asking, do you know how to inflame a survivor of sexual abuse more than anything? You tell her that she is victimizing others by telling her story.

Yeah, that's just what I was told. A distant relative, who I've seen maybe a couple of times in my entire life, felt she needed to message me on facebook (we're not facebook friends, by the way) and tell me that I am hurting others and "creating more victims" with this blog. I am hurting my abuser's children because they read this and I am "publicly humiliating" their father. She said that it is too painful for them to read others' comments on here calling their father a monster. She also suggested I find another way to cope, like therapy, where I'm not hurting and victimizing others.

Where do I start? Well, first of all, let me say that while this distant relative is close friends with one of my perpetrator's daughters, I do not believe my abuser's children prompted her to put me in my place with this message. I love my abuser's children. They are my family. I have never blamed them for the abuse. I have never hated them for their association to their father. They are innocent. They did not have an easy childhood. My sister's marriage to their father was never solid, to say the least. She was always running back to my parents' home to leave her troubled husband. Those kids grew up in chaos and contention and instability. Though I was only a child myself when this was going on, I felt sorry for those kids. So, just to make things clear, I do not blame the kids for any of this.

Ok, now that I've made that crystal clear, I will express my outrage at that ridiculous message. I am not the one bringing pain to my abuser's kids. Their dad's pathetic and evil actions are what is causing them pain. He is the one who has made victims of them, by choosing to become a pedophile and molester to me. By his choices, he has brought untold pain to many, including his own children. Any heartache they receive from this blog is on his head, not mine.

I am speaking the truth. I am telling my story. That is not victimizing anyone. I don't use names (not even my own full name) on this blog to protect the innocent (i.e., his children). I have done what I could to protect them, while still remaining true to myself. How dare anyone tell me I'm victimizing anyone by telling the truth! To victimize is to abuse, and to abuse implies force. I am not forcing his children to read this blog, therefore I am not abusing or victimizing them. They are always welcome to read it, but if they can't take the pain of hearing what massive damage their father has caused by committing one of the worst crimes imaginable on an innocent child, then don't read it! I'm not forcing or expecting you to read this. Just stay away if you can't take it. If you choose to continue reading, just know that this has nothing to do with you. This is about charting my journey of seeking legal action in the crimes committed against me and this is also the place where I purge my soul through my writing. Maya Angelou said it best, when she said, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

Hiding ugly secrets, denial, pretending - this is what causes pain. The truth can never hurt you. Shutting down this blog would send a message to the child I was, to my own children, and to everyone else that it is best to hide the truth when it makes others uncomfortable. I would be saying that it is better that I suffer all the pain, it is better that I stuff away all heartache deep inside me, so that others don't know the true ugliness that exists and they can live in ignorance. All sin, all secrets should be brought out into the light, not hidden in the deep and dark recesses of the cellar where they fester and grow like a consuming mold. There is a reason that adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse are at far greater risk for cancer. It is because we are forced to keep secrets, and those secrets are toxic.

One of the main reasons I'm so outraged at the facebook message my relative sent me is because my abuser's children have always been used as pawns against me to keep me quiet. "Think about his innocent children" was a common refrain I heard from my father, my sister, and others in the family to get me to shut up and go along with the charade. I always felt tremendous guilt that I was hurting them when I didn't want to see their dad on holidays and my family would ask, "but what will his children think? They are innocent. They don't understand." Once when I travelled hundreds of miles to be with my family at Thanksgiving, my sister begged me to let her husband be a part of our celebration, and with tears in her eyes, she said, "what will I tell my kids?" For years, I had all this guilt heaped upon me, as if I was the one committing the crime. Why didn't anyone ask my abuser why he didn't think of his kids when he made his depraved choices? Why didn't he think of the damage he was doing to his children by being a pedophile? He obviously didn't care about his children when he was acting out his sick fantasies on me. Keeping his children innocent suddenly became my duty, even though it was their father who sullied my purity.

It took years for me to finally shake myself free from that burdensome straitjacket of responsibility and stand up for myself. His children's innocence wasn't my burden to bear. He had stolen that from them already the day he took my 9 year old flesh into this greedy hands and used it for his own selfish desires.

I will never let his children be used as pawns against me again! I have had the gospel of my religion and the innocence of his children used to control me and bind me for years. The weight of his financial responsibility to his family has also been used to stop me from doing the right thing and pursuing legal action. I would be responsible for the poverty of his family should he be put into prison. All of my life, from the age of 9, when my brother-in-law told me I would break up the family and hurt everyone if I told our little secret, into adulthood when the rest of my family told me to keep our little secret so no one would know of our shame, I have been told it is all my responsibility. It is my fault should anyone be hurt. No more! I will no longer take my abuser's responsibilities, burdens, and sins upon my head.

The moment I read the message from this relative of mine, I started drafting a response to her, but then I realized that I didn't need to justify myself to her. I would be casting my pearls before swine. Instead I blocked her from ever being able to message me again and I posted the facebook status I quoted at the top of this post.

I think that says it all.


  1. It is unbelievable what lengths people will go to to make themselves feel better, especially at the expense of others.
    You are one tough lady and so full of grace at the same time!

  2. Your absolutely right. Any pain his children feel because of his actions are BECAUSE OF HIS ACTIONS. You, of all people, should not be the keeper of his reputation and family stability. Mind sets like those are what makes him able to prey on others. Because I find it extremely difficult to believe that you were his only victim. If he could victimize a child repeatedly for years and years, why on earth would he be able to restrain himself around other children? Your actions could in fact save another victim. God gave you a voice, and he meant for you to use it. There is definitely no shame in that!

  3. YOU GO GIRL! This post gave me major chicken skin!

  4. It seems incomprehensible that people are wasting time fretting "I can't believe she is doing this" instead of "I can't believe HE did this". Instead of "What can I do to stop her?" the more appropriate and far more sensical question would be "What can I do to stop HIM from ever doing this again?" Keep on, Alyson.

  5. The same approach was taken with my great grandfather: "If we don't talk about it, it will just go away.We don't want to make him look like a bad man."

    When he died, his victims numbered in the double digits, including my mother.

    I was not one of them. My three sisters and I were spared because my mom would NEVER allow us to be around him unsupervised. The other family members that chose to "keep the peace?" Not so lucky.

    Everything I am - or, in this case, am NOT - I can attribute to her opening her big mouth. So keep talking...

  6. Simply, if the children are not informed, their (possible)children, children's friends and they themselves stand to be in harms way. They MUST be informed.

  7. Erin - Thank you! Though I don't feel like I'm tough enough when I need to be sometimes.

    Heather - I've always felt like there's at least one other victim of his out there. I don't think he could have restrained himself like that, having been such a depraved person.

    Crash - I just love you and all your support! Thanks for linking me!

    Val - Thank you, my friend!

  8. Heatherwashere - It's totally incomprehensible to me too. It's like they just have blinders when it comes to this issue and keeping the peace is much more important.

    Rebecca - Oh my gosh! I don't know your mom, but I love her! She was a hero for you guys! That is definitely the road I want to take.

    Donna - Yes, everyone must be informed! It's ridiculous to keep anyone ignorant of this stuff. Kids need to stay away from him. I know what he's capable of.

  9. If I could insert music clips into my comment, I don't know how I'd choose between all the ones that came to mind. Would it be "Allelujah!" from Handel's Messiah? Or "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!". Perhaps "Believe it or not, I'm walking on air, I never thought I could feel so free-." from Greatest American Hero tv show...

    No, I think that probably the most apropos one for this moment would be "Did you ever know that you're my hero"...from the song "Wind Beneath My Wings".

    i could go on and on, but you're amazing. and I am so impressed with your clarity of thought. Your words in this post ring true, and I hope others who are cornered into the same trap you've lived in find them and find their own reserves of courage. Go You!!! ♥

  10. I am so worked up for you!!!!
    I'm just appalled and shocked that they would turn this around and make you the bad guy. I am so, so sorry.
    Good for you for telling your story, your truth. It is so important.

  11. With you all the way. Always.
    Sending you love and strength as I gather strength from you.

  12. You can't hear me, but I am shouting HURRAY! I have been there, and I have felt the weight of others choices being placed on my shoulders. I have had the same experience with religion as well. The religion one is really hard, hard because it creates such turmoil in the soul. The difference between the truth, and the warped and twisted version of truth (instituted by individuals) of gospel messages can inflict a sharp wound. Stay strong, you are doing the right thing. The voice of one is deafened by the voice of so many more who are so grateful for your courage. You are... leaving a trail.

  13. I really admire your strength and conviction. You are so right about everything you wrote here. While this blog may be upsetting to some I think it's going to help so many people, including yourself, to heal from the ravages of abuse and injustice.

  14. Awesome facebook blocking you did and turning it into this incredible post for many people to be strengthened by. I'm totally rooting for you and maybe not so serendipitously, I recently had a meeting with a sexual abuse prevention and treatment expert here in Hawaii. Our discussion turned to putting together awareness and informational presentations for clergy here...not just LDS. Let's start a movement indeed! Thank you for your writing!

  15. I agree with you 100% in seeking justice for a crime that was committed against you. Speak, be heard and start the change. You are an inspiration.

  16. i know you did the right thing. you probably saved other children from this monsters hand. i know nothing about healing from all of this but hopefully that post helped. the words you use bring us into your world as a child and i am so glad you are "standing for something"! it must have been difficult the times you stood alone against your family but your children and the others you prevented from creepo harming will be forever grateful. just because you are related to folks doesn't mean they are family. family can be those you choose to be in your life! keep moving forward. you are a great example to your children and the rest of us by not following what others tell you to do or say or believe. keep following your heart!

  17. I am in awe of your courage in sharing and I agree, wholeheartedly agree that these things need to be OUT in the open for a multitude of reasons...

    Bravo, woman. Bravo!

  18. Way to not back down. Your comments about victimizing or abusing his children were spot on! Not only are you not forcing them to read this blog, but I'm sure you're not sending out a mass family email with a link to your updates. If their father were innocent, he would probably have tried to sue for slander by now. The fact that they want you to stop posting or remove the blog cements his guilt in my mind. Although I wish them no harm either, I really hope you are able to persue legal action against him. Anyone who commits this type of crime should be punished. No matter what his church calling or how many kids he has.

  19. Blue - Thank you and you've been a huge inspiration to me through all of this. Love you!

    Corinne - I'm so appalled too. It's amazing that anyone would have the gall to tell me I'm victimizing anyone, especially someone I don't even know.

    Vicki - Thank you! We just all need to tell our stories so we can all strengthen each other.

    Hansonpatch - You are so right. The gospel being used against you is the deepest wound and makes you feel worthless and evil. So awful.

  20. Donna - Thank you for your support, always!

    Patria - I'd love to hear more about that! So interesting. Yes, let's do it, let's start a movement! :)

    Susie - Thank you for reaching out to me! You have no idea how much it means to me, all that you've said and the info you sent.

  21. Lifeisgood - Thank you and I agree about family. We don't have to be bound to people just because we share DNA. Sometimes those relationships are toxic.

    Sariqd - Thanks for coming by and commenting! Every comment of support lifts me up.

    Sara - Yes, I can't wait to get legal proceedings going! Of course, I will try to have patience with the process, I'm anxious to finally do what should have been done in the first place.

  22. What a powerful way to show up for those around you (and those far) who are going through the same thing or know someone who is. Sexual abuse is something that affects every family, EVERY FAMILY! The example you are setting for other;s who have bared their pain ALONE is inspiring. Thank you! I too would love to be a part of a movement toward enlightenment and education for our clergy men, who are dealing with something far beyond what their untrained, very busy lives can handle. Please post if you find anything. Mahalo again for sharing.

  23. I wish I had something noble to say to you. But I don't instead I will just say,,,,,,never, never, never stop speaking........do not let anyone silence you.
    We know all the things they are telling you is the easy way out......if you would just hide. Isn't that what Satan says? Hide! Isn't that what abortion is?
    Hiding sin is evil.....the end

  24. Hmmmm.....thyroid cancer. Go figure. =) Get it all out sister!

  25. I don't even know you and I find myself incredibly offended and worked up on your behalf because of your relatives *&@%$!# post. Of course, it doesn't take much to get me worked up.

    I'm in awe of your ability to shed the shell of your inner hurt/scared/bullied child and emerge as the powerful woman I read about here. I'm sure there are days when the scared child is harder to silence, but fight for her. Fight for the children who are still too afraid to cry for help. Surround yourself with only those that will cheer you on during this marathon you've started. As for the others -- just throw a used water cup in their faces and leave 'em in the dust!

    (Thanks Crash for sending us here!)

  26. I am in awe of your bravery and Pray that you will get the justice you seek and work towards.