Just like me, this writer posted her story of abuse on the web, then her abusers found it. This is her story of what happened next:
Breaking Through the Fear of Speaking About Child Abuse by Kylie Devi
In February, I got a phone call from my main abuser saying: “I read your little blog post, what are you doing? Trying to get attention? Who abused you, and why am I hearing about it in this way?”
(I would like to say that “your little blog post” was kind of comedic to me, since this is a highly trafficked website that has helped thousands of people.)
And then 3 more phone calls from my other main abuser.
Phone Call 1: “Kylie, we got a phone call today about your blog post. Someone in the family has read it and we really need to know what is happening and what is going on here. It’s really obvious that you are accusing someone in the family of sexually abusing you and since we know that isn’t true we just want to find out what is going on with you.”
Phone Call 2: “Kylie, one of your aunts has read the blog post and she can’t sleep. She hasn’t been able to sleep in 3 nights. She is so upset.”
Phone Call 3: “Kylie, one of your uncles has read the blog post and now he is wanting to beat up the person you accused in your article.”
Kylie: “I am really sorry for all the drama this is causing for you. I genuinely was trying to help people. I do whatever I can to help people heal from what I have overcome and been through. I had no idea it would cause anyone else any stress or pain. I was very conscientious not to point any specific fingers, so I’m not sure why people are making these assumptions about who abused me.”
Because her abusers still frightened her, she
actually stopped working on a book on overcoming sexual trauma that I have been working on for over 10 years. I stopped commenting on EFB and OSA Facebook pages and sites. I stopped offering the recovery-based courses that women were participating in with life-changing results.
In short, I stopped speaking my truth.
I silenced myself.
But she goes on to describe how she pulled out of her paralysis and began speaking out again. I noted that she was helped greatly by this post by Christina Enevoldson.
I’m not sure if Christina wrote that post directly in response to a question I asked her, or if she was already working on the post.
But I had just read Christina’s post about her mother threatening her with legal action and accusing her of lying about her childhood sexual abuse, and asked her,
I noted the similarity between my story and what Christina’s mother wrote to her. I also note that she accused Christina of some kind of “threat.” What happened after this? Did the police get involved? How did you get the courage to keep telling and keep the story online, Christina?
My parent’s threat actually emboldened me to speak up more. The reasons for that is a little long to include as a comment, but I’m working on it as a separate blog post. I’ll post the link here as soon as I get it up. Thanks for your question! It’s really good to consider all the ways their threat helped me.
Now her post has helped not just me, but many others as well.
And this is one major reason why we should keep blogging about our abuse/bullying experiences.
Also, here is another post by Christina, about confronting her father. She wrote,
“It stirred up a lot of feelings when I heard you wanted to talk to me. I felt like a vulnerable little girl who wanted to be able to trust in your love. In the years since our separation, I wished for either of you to call me. I wanted you to say that we could talk about whatever we need to talk about to resolve this.
“When I heard that you wanted to talk to me, I thought it could be one of two things. That you wanted to have peace by finally admitting the truth or that you wanted to talk about pleasant memories and good times we’ve had so you could say goodbye.
“But in that case, I have the rest of my life to live knowing that all of our relationship was just about taking care of you. You get peace either way and I’m willing to give you that, but I want the same thing I wanted four years ago. I want to talk things out.”
This is how I still feel, wishing for Richard to call me. But Christina has made some important points about that:
“My dad has displayed his selfishness for as long as I’ve known him. I’m not under some delusion that he’ll suddenly develop a conscience and confess how he hurt me.
“He covered up his abuse when it happened without regard for how that would hurt me and he’s still doing that now.
“Holding out hope for some kind of healthy, compassionate response from him would keep me under his control and I’ve spent too many years there. I’ve moved on without involving him. He’s the one who would have destroyed me; he’s not the one to repair me.”
Of course, I also struggle with this because Richard was not the one to hurt me directly: Tracy was. As for her, I no longer hope for her to confess and apologize for her sins against me or anyone else.
She has no more power over me, no control over my healing. She cannot and does not define me. She has no business telling me my “faults” until she stops blaming others for her own temper tantrums.
But Richard did betray me, contributing to the undeserved and vicious hurt, pain and abuse which Tracy inflicted on me. I still hold out hope for him because he may have been doing it to save his own skin.
My readings on Stockholm Syndrome show that victims of abuse will even turn on their own friends and family members if it will gain them favor with their abuser.
But at the same time, I have evidence that he himself is a narcissist who used me for my kindness, generosity and narcissistic supply, so he may never have actually cared about me.
So I don’t really know what I should think or do. My husband does: He says I should stop hoping, and he hates Richard and has a very dim view of his character. Richard’s criminal conviction (child abuse) does support this. But then, my husband is also a pessimist….
Time only will tell….
Repressing my memories did serve me when I was a child. There wasn’t any way to escape my childhood sexual abuse except to forget. But I continued to repress the memories of my abuse for years.
The past followed me wherever I went and in whatever I did. There were ghosts of the abuse in every relationship I had. I couldn’t run from them fast enough.
When the memories threatened me, I tried to escape through food, sex, entertainment and all kinds of destructive distractions. During my “forgetting years”, I was exposed to many, many abusers and I exposed my children to several abusers.
When I allowed the past to surface and faced it, it stopped haunting me. When I acknowledged my feelings and expressed them, they ceased to be painful reminders.
Now, I can remember the abuse without feeling threatened. It was only when I remembered that I started to heal and began to protect myself more effectively. Forgetting didn’t serve me.
…The only ones who are served by forgetting are the abusers….
I will NEVER forget again. In fact, I’m vigilant about remembering. It’s not to rehash the pain—but to protect myself and others from the continuation of pain.
I won’t forget that I was abused. I won’t forget who the abusers are. I’ll do everything in my power to remember the things I’ve learned so the cycle of abuse stops. I won’t let myself be abused anymore and I won’t stay silent about other’s abuse. I will NOT forget! —Forgetting About Abuse: Who Does That Really Serve?
“I want you to know that if you have any plans of writing a book, we will sue you and anyone who has anything to do with it. Your defamation of your father’s character will stop. You will not enjoy one penny from any book published about this gross lie.”
I thought it was interesting that the threat to sue me was only if I wrote a book. The audience that I’ve reached through my story has reached tens of thousands already.
Yes, I plan to write a book, in fact, several books, but why not sue me now? If they truly had a case against me, there is plenty of “evidence” of my “slander” and they don’t need to wait for me to write a book.
“And I should let you know that we filed some of your inflammatory statements about your father and me, along with your threat against me, with the Mesa Police Dept.”
When I first read that, I was a little girl again, terrified of getting in trouble. It was one thing to be sent to my room and another thing to be sent to jail.
But what had I done wrong? I’ve done nothing illegal or wrong. My dad is the criminal, not me.
I’m doing something right in telling my story. I’m standing for the truth and making it easier for other abuse survivors to tell their story.
As more of us speak out, maybe more abusers will think twice about hurting other children. Maybe more parents will be diligent. Maybe more survivors will heal.
I’m helping to make the world a safer place by talking about how dangerous my childhood was. If telling the truth was illegal, I’d still tell the truth.
Though my mom claimed she and my dad reported me to the police, I don’t know if that’s really true. There’s one thing I have to keep reminding myself: abusers lie. They will say anything to preserve themselves, which to them means maintaining their position of power.
I’m more motivated than ever to stand up for the truth. Even if my mother and father do sue me, the burden of proof is on them and I’d actually love to have my day in court.
I doubt they want to give me any more opportunities or other platforms to expose them, but if they pursue legal actions, I’d welcome the chance to tell a judge and jury what my dad did to me.
My mom did everything she could to appear as powerful as possible. That’s as much as she had and it was nothing. She meant to intimidate me into silence as though I was still that little girl that she could manipulate and control. She did her worst but she can’t shut me up.
[Update 12/23/15: Her mother did sue her, but lost.]