Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tonight I watched the movie “spotlight” with my 15 year old daughter.
I’ve watched this movie I don’t know how many times but recently my daughter asked me to watch it with her. So I did.

There is something about this film that makes me want to watch it again and again yet at the same time I don’t want to watch it at all.It is  as though I am searching for some truth, some type of deeper understanding. A deeper understanding that I may never achieve.

It saddens me, eats at my soul and makes me ask the question “ Why”. Why would someone want to strip away innocence, hurt a vulnerable child, ruin them, and treat them as though they are nothing and then blame them for the abuse perpetrated against them. This is an evil I just will never understand.I know this is a terrible crime that happens everywhere yet as a Catholic it hurts so deep to know this crime happened so much in our church and was covered up by so many.

I loved my church but yet am so saddened by the reality of the abuse that was done to so many children by priests, priests  I looked up to. Catholicism was my whole life. Filling every fiber of my being but yet I can no longer get myself to attend mass regularly. I raised my children in the Catholic faith, sent them to Catholic school, taught others about the faith , and now I just feel saddened. Saddened by the fact that children were not protected. Saddened because I had looked at my church as being life giving yet everything contradicts that. How can the Church be life giving when they fail to protect our vulnerable children? How can it be life giving when our children were not protected? When our children’s very souls were crushed by abuse.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse the movie Spotlight hits just a little too close to home.
I found myself wanting to guard my daughter against it as she watched the movie spotlight. Try and help her to understand but yet not understand too much.

My children do not understand what it means to carry the pain of being sexually abused as children. I have protected them to the point that I wonder if they have been harmed. Harmed by my over protection. Harmed by my anxiety, harmed by my hovering. I spent every moment trying to protect them from a crime done to me. I knew that I could never handle the pain of knowing that my child had been sexually abused. Every moment of motherhood meant protecting them at all costs. Protecting them from the evil. The evil of abuse burned through my soul.

I never wanted my children to feel the pain of abuse. I worried constantly that they would suffer the same fate as I. Feel the pain that lingers so deep in the soul, the pain that makes you question if you will ever get better or if you should even continue living.  

I thank God that my children have not had to feel this pain. The pain of knowing that someone you trusted could hurt you so bad. The pain that made you question your very existence, your sanity.

I thank God that I am able to stop the cycle of childhood sexual abuse in my family line. I am thankful that I faced my demons and now can help others. I can speak about the uncomfortable, teach my kids about the realities of sexual abuse and create an environment for them that they know they can always come to me and tell me anything.

As a society it is up to us. It is up to us to protect our children, our future. We can no longer sit silently by as our children are being abused .

Join me in giving voice to childhood sexual abuse and all abuse, creating a safer world for our children.
Join in helping to pass legislation that helps to bring education to our kids on childhood sexual abuse by writing to our legislators.
Help to educate every adult on the signs and symptoms of childhood sexual abuse so when we suspect abuse we can get that child help immediately.
Help to break the silence of childhood sexual abuse.
If you were sexually abused as a child get help. Tell your story and break your silence. Help others by being the warrior you have always been. That person inside of you that says no more, no way , this will not happen to my child or any child.

We can make a difference in the lives of children .
No child should go through the pain of abuse.
No person should suffer in silence from the abuse done to them as a child.

Learn more about childhood sexual abuse and prevention by visiting some of these websites :

Peaceful Hearts Foundation
National Association of Adults Survivors of Child Abuse
 Erin's Law