HOUSTON, July 15, 2012 — Now that the FBI internal report is out, people can see how deep the sexual abuse cover-up was at Penn State, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Considering the stats that 25% of women are sexually abused and one out of six boys are sexually abused, it’s nearly impossible that Penn State is the only organization to not only turn a blind eye, but to cover up these heinous acts that rape the innocence of people.
Far too many of us are abused, and far too many of us don’t do anything about it.
As a child I was sexually abused from ages 4-7 by my next door neighbor. It took me until the age of thirty to come out in the open about this, I am hoping the wide media coverage of Sandusky will help others to come out about their abuse as well. No one should carry that burden on their own.
Normally when I write about this topic it’s to help spread awareness of this taboo subject that so many wish to ignore, that so many can’t ignore, because it happened to them. I am writing this today to let the abused know, that true happiness, inner-peace, and a sense of normality is possible.
Low self-esteem, no self-confidence, anger, depression, rage, and loneliness, amongst others symptoms, are some of the baggage the abused are left to carry, perhaps for the rest of their lives. But it’s up to us, to make a different decision. We can’t control what happened in our past and how we lived then, but we can control how we live and feel now.
In, When Jonathan Cried For Me, I talk very openly about my journey to healing and the blueprint for my success in doing so. I also explain how I will never be “normal.” Because the abuse I suffered happened at such an early age, it’s impossible for me to have the average personality traits. But the anger, depression, self-esteem and self-confidence issues that I used to suffer from have now been transformed. And the oddities that my personality has because of the abuse during my developmental years, I try to use as an advantage now. I accept my eccentricity and to me, normal is just a setting on a dryer.
So how does one start to rebuild? Clearly in one article I can’t sum up all of the steps, but the most vital one is acceptance: You have to accept this happened to you. If you can’t admit you were a victim in the first place, then you can’t move past being victimized. I do not regard myself as a victim now, I love my life far too much, but certainly I was a victim as a kid. That doesn’t mean you have to have a woe-is-me attitude but don’t shrug off what happened to you.
It’s also important to take action. Almost anyone who has been abused has self-esteem issues, impacting everything in our lives: relationships, work, friendships, and happiness. But self-esteem is programmed, and it can be re-programmed.
Clearly therapy may be needed and I recommend it especially during the beginning stages of admitting you were abused, but it’s up to you to put in the work. Change, true transformation, doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen and it can happen for you.
Do not give up hope. Realize that your life is yours, and it’s up to you to choose its destiny. The abused are often the forgotten, set up for disaster from day one, left hung out to dry; don’t let this be your life’s story. Take control, take action, don’t give up hope, and realize that it’s now up to you.
Carter Lee is a sexual abuse survivor, the author of When Jonathan Cried for Me, President of Innovative Social Dynamics LLC., is a professional speaker, and is the co-host of Really Genius Radio. To learn more about his media appearances, radio show, book, or to schedule an appearance or speaking engagement visit www.innovativesocialdynamics.com
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