Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Family Secrets

I dealt with my sexual assault for at least two years before I told my family of origin. I made dozens of excuses for myself, such as:

* It no longer matters.

* They don’t care.

* What difference does it make?

* I talk about it to others; why should I have to bring in my siblings?

* It will only stir up anger and hurt.

* They probably won’t believe me.

Despite all the excuses, I knew that speaking to the people among whom I had grown up was something I had to do. For me, it was a significant barrier to overcome on my healing journey.

I finally spoke up and, to my surprise, my three surviving sisters understood. I felt such great freedom in opening up. Maybe my siblings didn't need to hear as much as I needed to tell them.

To tell my family about my abuse—
regardless of their response—
can be a powerful healing experience for me.

(This post was adapted from Not Quite Healed, written by Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe.)

* * * * *
Are there questions or specific topics you would like Cec to address in upcoming blog entries? If so, please send an email to his assistant at the following address: cecilmurphey(at)mchsi(dot)com. 

1 comment:

Roger Mann said...

I never told any of my family. Up until the day my father killed my mom and shot himself in a murder/suicide did any of my family know. It was then when I heard why he was so upset that I shared that he had done to me what he had been accused of doing to another boy.

I was not overwhelmed with sympathy and support. But I was not called a liar either due to the circumstances. Typically it was accepted and everyone moved on with their own pain. No one asked for details or how I was doing now. Everyone just continued with their own stories and I left to be alone for a while.

Still on the positive side, I was believed.