Read it in the Paper

October 7, 2011


I read the letters section of the Advertiser recently. The Advertiser is the paper for people living in Adelaide and South Australia. On this particular day, there were some letters referring to child abuse and sex abuse. Some of the stories I read made me wish I could reach through the paper to give the writer a hug. These people knew the effects of these forms of abuse because they had lived through it.

It was obvious though that other letter writers just didn’t understand the issue. They felt the adults should have been able to ‘get over’ what happened to them years ago when they were children. But of course our childhood years are when we do most of our learning. When the things we are learning deal with abuse, sex and disrespect of our privacy, it’s difficult for the child to learn the best and most ways to behave.

If the child sees only abuse and twisted versions of love, what chance to they have of learning how to love properly? Fortunately, some of these  children meet people who may be able to help them better ways, but they may be terribly damaged before they get to that point in their life.

In prison, a significant proportion of the inmates have suffered various forms of abuse, often going all the way back to their childhood. When you don’t grow up with caring parents who are there to show you the proper forms of right and wrong, but show you a debased version instead, it can be almost impossible for a child to learn.

I’m not saying the abuse and criminal behaviour necessarily go hand in hand, but the statistics are there…

So if you ever hear of people still suffering from things that happened to them years ago, why not listen to their words and offer comfort to them, instead of telling them to ‘get over it’.

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8 Responses to “Read it in the Paper”

  1. I learned a long time ago that the most angry or difficult people have a reason. I give them space to tell me their story and then I can understand and have compassion. I LOVE your writing, your honesty and your Truth. If I had not found a good therapist to guide me to see an New Me and a New Way to Live. You nail it.

    Peace to you, really. This is an important blog

    check out my friends blog: sheisnotme Gut feeling….

  2. Thank you, when I can reach out to people and touch them I feel completed. I’ve taken a quick look at your friend’s blog and she is another survivor. We’re strong and making these connections makes us even stronger.

    • It is amazing! I felt so alone in the real world But here there are others like me, who have faced the same stuff and come out the other end. Mel and I go way back and we needed each other in a really hard time in life. Now we can be there for each other BUT it is not survival land (as much anyway, depends upon the day) I agree these connections are making a huge difference in my life. Thank you for your blog and for being so honest. Peace, Jen

      • gardendog said

        If I can’t be honest, I can’t see the point in putting my words up here. Connecting and sharing are things that bring good to both the giver and the receiver, if done with honesty and thought/heart. I share and I am given back lovely words.
        Thank you.

      • Here is a question: Do you find that people who have had a ‘challenge’ (putting it lightly there) in life are more receptive to being honest? I too, have little time or patience for small talk or subversion; others I know who have been through there own Hell are often of the same mind.

        Maybe I just choose to spend time with the ‘tell it straight folks’ Can we SEE one another in some way?

        Again, thank you. Really.

        Peace, Jen

      • gardendog said

        Jen,
        I think people who have had and dealt with their challenges are able to see ‘truth’ better than those who’ve simply led an easy life. But different people relate to others in different ways. I love idle chit chat, deep philosophical discussions and any other kind of reasonable connection. I don’t like anger and I don’t go in for name calling anymore if I can avoid it. Name calling is childish and I prefer to be more adult than that in my dealings with others.
        I love connecting with you, because you are dealing with your life, and you’re not afraid to show/tell others how you’re doing it. I’ve learnt this year that this kind of thing truly can help people. Helping people is my most important thing in life, or that’s how it feels to me.

        kindest regards to you,

        Carolyn

  3. johnlmalone said

    once again very wise words; I am reading a story now by Wells Tower which deals with an act of sexual abuse by a stranger on an eight year old boy; it makes very disturbing reading ; and of course when that boy grows up he will in all likelihood demonstrate disturbing behaviour which may lead to him being incarcerated; it’s just not fair

    • gardendog said

      John, given our current way of dealing in sexual abuse issues, I fear you may be right. There has to be a better way for people to come to an understanding of their life and hopes after abuse. I found my way, but it took a long time. I was so lucky to have been brought up by loving parents. If that had been different, my current life would be different too. It wouldn’t be the wonderful life it is, with many family members and friends who love me.

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