Tuesday, February 7, 2012


(This post is from Tom Scales of VoiceToday.org. It was published on their blog in a slightly different form.)

“Dear Lord I pray that today you will make me invisible.”

Growing up in a world of childhood sexual abuse, I was preoccupied with being so invisible that I never attracted attention. It was a challenging path. I wanted to fit in with others and be part of groups and teams; I wanted to have friends. Yet I wanted to keep my inner self hidden.

I dreaded it that others would find out. I feared that my distorted sense of right and wrong would surface in embarrassing ways.

I mentally wrote scripts for conversations to avoid the risks of vulnerability that openness and honesty could bring. I analyzed and planned everything I could.

Silence and isolation become my friends. They offered safety with no judgment. Over time, they helped me to build strong and impenetrable walls. As an adult I couldn't afford the vulnerability of youth because the stakes of job and family are higher. The longer I held the secret, the more powerfully I feared exposure. As a result, I sacrificed joy, friendship, intimacy, and other life-fulfilling pleasures to fortify those walls.


Heather Marsten said...

I understand the need for invisibility. For me it meant the difference between life and death. I was threatened with death if I told what my father did. I also was so shamed and felt I was the only one (little did I know that more than one of four of my peers were similarly abused), so I tried to appear normal. I wanted friends but kids saw through my act. I was isolated and alone - finally finding safety in that. It took years before I dared let my defenses down even a bit. Thank you for sharing your story. It touches me in the depths of my being.

TomsVoicetoday said...

Thanks so much for your comment. I went from having no devenses (as in no boundaries what so ever) to building impervious walls that let noone and nothing in or out. Thankfully, as I have healed, I have been able to establish appropriate boundaries that allow me to enjoy friendship, trust of others and joy in my life.