I can certainly understand the fear that comes with traumatic events at the hands of people who seem to have some “control” in your life. We all have happened to us, to our loved ones, and we continue to sit on these secrets.
We spend so much energy trying to be safe and quiet, and the trouble with that is it leaves others vulnerable to harm.
We are taught very early in our young lives that tattles were not worthy of listening to; they exaggerate and over-react.
As an army brat, I can tell you many children and spouses tried to wear their parents’ rank as if it were their own. In the 3rd grade, a little boy tormented me on the bus. I told my mom after three days. I told Mamma what was going on. Her advice was simple – “the next time that little shit raises his hand, you – knock him onto his ass,” – so I did.
We ended up meeting with the boy in his father’s office – with the boy and his parents – the base commander and his mother. My dad was out on maneuvers. Otherwise, he would have been there too. Mamma and I sat patiently listening to the bold accusations and threats. They were going to take my dad’s rank; they were going to ship us back stateside, they were going to file formal charges and have me remanded to a “HOME” for problem children. It went on like this for a while. “What you have to say for yourself?”
My mother was a bit of an enigma to most people. She would go out of her way to help a person in need, even if it meant going without herself. However, bring harm to those in her care, and she would become a terrifying force of nature that you did not want to see again.
After the collection of ass-clowns picked their jaws off the floor, we headed out and down the stairs. Mamma stopped me and said, “Never be afraid to tell someone when you are hurt, you may not be the only one, and it is up to you to speak out. It gives others the strength to hear that it has happened to others like them. There will always be people who think they are more significant than others, and they abuse their positions. Never just let it go.”
There is so much truth in that 3rd-grade exchange that I never forgot it, and I live by it today still.
I realize it can be scary; you think you may not have a job if you speak out – you may fear violent retributions. But I promise you, the pain you suffer now will only increase as you hear stories just like yours – and you will wonder WHAT IF? for the rest of your list.
Pain is a part of life – it just is. Suffering is optional. Take that hate, that anger, and that fear and do something with it. Create a movement, purge it out of your system with art and words but never stay silent.