Monday Notes: “That Could Never Be Me!”

“That could never be me!” Have you ever used this phrase? I have. I used to say it a lot whenever I’d hear about sexual abuse victims. I used to say it because I was molested by my own father. I’ll spare the details, but I will share this. As soon as my mother returned home from Wisconsin, I waited for my father to doze off in front of the television, and then sat on their bed. I told my mother what happened.

“I’ll talk to him,” she promised.

The next day, my twelve-year-old self needed answers. “What did he say?”
“He said he was testing you to see if you’d say something. It won’t happen again.”

And it didn’t. If it would’ve, I already had a plan. I was telling her mother. And if that didn’t work, then I was telling a school official, because even in the seventh-grade, I knew something was unusual and inappropriate about what he did. From that point on and in my arrogance, I declared, that could never be me whenever I’d hear about other victims who suffered such acts for years.

But recent allegations from MJ and Robert Kelly victims have me singing a new tune. Now, in conversation, I suggest to others to have compassion for victims and parents because that could be your child. You know what they say? You guessed it. That could never be me!

In fact, one friend stopped scrolling through his phone, looked me directly in the eyes, and said, “That could never be my kids. Kathy, that could never be one of your kids!”

teddy_bear
 Photo by serenestarts at Pixabay

I said this to him, and I’ll say this to everyone. Depending on how old your child is, you don’t know who your child is talking to right now. You don’t know what they’re doing. I stand by this because, unless you’re with your child twenty-four hours per day, then you really don’t know. And, from what I understand, children are typically sexually abused by someone close to them, not some stranger lurking in the dark, offering them candy.

 

Also, I’m sure none of us wants to think about this, but your child could literally be the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted teacher or coach. You…don’t…know, unless they tell you, which also may not happen.

A friend of mine recently found out that her child was molested at school when he was five-years-old. He’s nineteen now. She just found out. It’s not because she’s a bad mother. It’s not because she’s not had his interest at heart. It’s because things can occur that we, as parents, don’t know about.

My intent here is not to scare anyone or to have you hover more into helicopter mode. My point is the next time you hear about an alleged sexual abuse victim, maybe you could shift your perspective and think about it as if it were your child, or your sibling’s child, or your best friend’s child. Because even if you think it couldn’t happen to you, it could happen to someone you know, and that person might need a bit of compassion.

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36 thoughts on “Monday Notes: “That Could Never Be Me!”

  1. “Unless you’re with your child twenty-four hours per day, then you really don’t know.”

    What a twisted and scary world we live in. You were an incredibly brave and courageous 12 year-old to not only recognize that something was definitely not right, but to formulate a plan of action to speak up and put an end to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good read on a hard subject and sorry you wrote from personal experience. On most subjects, including this one, I would believe a child over an adult. It’s sad that a lot of this sexual abuse and molestation comes from skilled, familiar predators who can easily cast doubt on the children’s confession. There seems to be a lot of manipulation, shame and fear built into the little ones too that stops them from telling. Add to that, they are so young and do not necessarily have the words to describe what is happening/has happened to them. They need safe spaces and safe allies, so I am glad your Mom believed you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I agree. There are so many variations as to why people don’t believe victims, including those high-profile cases. I just think we all need to evaluate what’s important and how we’d want a loved one treated and then go from there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think people don’t want to see it, it’s just too painful to admit that someone close to you has a real problem and it affects everyone in and outside of your knife.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry you experienced that abuse Kathy. That’s incredible that you had the courage and clarity to call out his behaviour and speak to your mother. I didn’t know ir feel safe to share what happened to me and instead carried the guilt and shame which can be triggered to this day. My parents were always hyper paranoid about external threats but looked the other way when it was under theur own roof.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mek! I think it shows my personality. I’ve always been a pretty vocal person, no matter who it is. Like, I really don’t care if the person agrees/disagrees, or thinks I should be quiet, I’m always over here like, “HEY GUESS WHAT???” lol

      I understand your point of view too, though. I think your story is very common. Like I mentioned above/below, a lot of times adults ignore these things for several reasons. I do hope humanity is improved in the future.

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      1. I’m not sure it only comes down to personality. Feeling safe and heard by a parent/guardian is necessary to be able to approach them, also age, degree of manipulation and sense of self and understanding of one’s rights. My son’s kinder have tsught the kids about the UN charter if the rights of a child!

        Even if a parent/guardian cannot prevent all abuse, they can put in place the conditions and environment that allows a child to know their worth and feel comfortable to talk about anything.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry to hear of your distressing experience.
    Victim blaming is so wrong. It seems people do it out of superstition, afraid to let go of their own sense of vulnerability by accepting something could indeed happen to them or their loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “He said he was testing you to see if you’d say something.” — I am so sorry this happened to you, Kathy. God, my heart just broke reading this.

    I hate that I know so many people who have this story. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve heard people say their child will tell them if they are being abused. Oprah had a special with the men abused by Michael Jackson and she, and they said, that “no your child won’t always tell you” they are being abused, especially if they have been groomed by the abuser. Grooming makes them want to protect their abuser.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, exactly. I don’t mean a child won’t ever tell, but i mean, they may not. I know one situation where a girl did tell someone and immediately, the first time it happened. She told her grandmother and her grandmother immediately called the police, never doubted the granddaughter. It was the middle of the night and she called the police. Bam. He was in jail. And what did the grandmother get for it? Her family stopped talking to her and she’s no longer allowed to see her grandchildren, but i know she’s glad she did the right thing and prays for healing for the situation.

        Liked by 1 person

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