Not fair

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Hi there. My name is dawn. I have shared my story a few times here. I know this is a safe place to share, & I know I won’t be judged. Right now, I feel as if the waves of my mind are crashing causing an erosion that is draining me. I am struggling with trying to make sense of something. There are still so many things that I still find myself in disbelief over. If I don’t acknowledge, then I don’t have to deal right?  Wrong! Sadly, I found the more I try to run & “avoid”, that’s when the waves come crashing around. I am faced with now the memory, but also having to process the memory. I am trying not to hide but sometimes, it just seems easier to do that then re- experience the pains associated with all my abuse/traumatic events. Then reality hits & I’m reminded that a memory is simply that & can not hurt me.

I have something else on my mind that is so frustrating. In fact, it causes an anger within. There’s an add on television that is regarding boy scouts. It states there’s a law suit that has been formed. If you were in boy scouts & believe you were molested while in boy scouts, contact this number…. You may be able to be compensated for your abuse. The issue I have is, it’s ok to have been in boy scouts & molested? Oh yeah, lets compensate you for your emotional distress this may of caused. Well, let me be the first to say this is so Not Fair! I went through hell my whole life until a couple years ago. There wasn’t any nor will there ever be any compensation for all I went through!  I am so frustrated! I get angry just thinking about this.  Oh, I was compensated, but not from any law suit. My “reward” (compensation) was being told from the child protective worker “you have to understand, this abuse thing is new as far as professionals responding & how they respond. But, I know childhood sexual abuse has been around like for ever.” so, fast forward, a little bit latter. My mom applies for a divorce. I tell everything to the prosecutor only to be told. “everything will be ok.” My mom was applying for a divorce & didn’t file charges nor pursued the abuse. Every thing is not ok! I was compensated with a life long sentence of memories, triggers & flashbacks, not to mention a whole mess load of other issues.  I mean justice in the form of this law suit/compensation for those molested while in boy scouts, is ok, but what about the rest of us? This is so not fair!


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41 comments

  1. meg Volunteer

    Hi Dawn,

    Thank you for trusting us with your story. I can feel how hurt you are and I am so sorry that you have experienced such pain. I am sending all my love to you. I can imagine how frustrating it is to have specific types of trauma survivors receive a lot of support when you’ve been fighting so hard for that same support. You are allowed to be angry and upset. It’s okay to not feel okay. Just know that you are healing, you WILL be feeling better and whole again. I understand the impulse to want to run away from the memories and have them catch up to you. When you feel the memories resurface and if you feel overwhelmed, text HOPE to 741-741 for a crisis counselor that will help you navigate what you’re feeling safely. You are working so hard and I am proud of how far you’ve come. You are a wonderful human. We are here for you. We love you.
    -Meg

  2. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi again dreid,

    Thank you for sharing and trusting us with your thoughts. Your thoughts and emotions are valid! All of this is definitely not fair, I agree with you. I am really sorry that your experiences have put you in this position. But, it shows how strong you are to continue to survive each and every day! What happened was not okay, but it was not your fault. Always remember to put you and your healing journey first. You are taking the right steps for your healing journey. We are here for you along the way! Please feel free to come back and share with us again if you would like!

    Sending lots of support,
    -Natalie

  3. Dayana143 Volunteer

    HI dzreid,
    I can understand why you are angry, and I agree it is not fair. It’s not fair that some people that experienced the same thing you did get treated differently. I promise you it doesn’t make your experience any less than theirs. I’m sorry that you are experiencing this. You truly did not deserve any of the harm you endured. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and in my heart I know you will get through this. We hear you, we listen, and we care. Sending you a big hug your way.

  4. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi Dawn,

    I’m sorry that you had to endure a lifetime of abuse, and are plagued by the aftermath. I understand how you are feeling. Sometimes it is difficult to see how other survivors are “compensated” or “favored” over others. It’s okay to feel like these things are not fair. Your feelings are entirely valid. Thank you for stopping by to share here with us. Please don’t hesitate to come by again if you’d like to share anything else.

    All the best,
    Becca

  5. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi dzreid,

    I’m sorry to hear that you have been processing these waves of memories. It’s really hard to feel like remembering is painful but avoiding the problem also causes pain. Generally, I find the longer I avoid internal trauma the harder it becomes to process unless the trauma is very recent. Though time can help, after a certain point it can be really tiring to avoid the situation, even if it hurts to process. It’s hard to feel that you weren’t compensated for what happened. I would like to think that the people behind that ad are doing it from the good within their heart to try and help the many boys that were hurt by that program. It isn’t fair that some people will get that kind of support and compensation while others won’t. We are always here for you.

    Stay strong,

    Tyler

  6. colton95 Volunteer

    I am really sorry for all that you’ve gone and are going through. You’re right. It’s not fair. Life is overall cruel and not fair, but for me personally the few moments of pure joy and positiveness make my whole existence worth it. I hope that you will be able to experience more of those good moments in your life.

  7. Nichole-SW94 Volunteer

    Hello Dawn

    Welcome back and thank you for allowing us to hear your frustrations. And you are absolutely right, the compensation for a life long sentence of trauma is nothing in comparison. But this also affects everyone who is not able to be compensated. I know the feeling of your memories flooding you and seem to be drowning you. But the fact you are able to realize this is not your reality and able to emotionally push through shows how far you have come on your journey. The flashbacks are hard to deal with and will always be but it sounds like you are being brave and overcoming this.
    I completely understand your frustration as it seems being molested seems to merit this “reward”. I do believe this is their way of trying to give justice to those affected but it is completely unfair that it has to come to that. Also, you are so brave for sharing your story to the prosecutor. Everything is not okay, you are right and this is completely not fair. But we have to be strong and focus on healing which you are being amazing at. And feeling angry is totally valid and understandable and can take a toll. But keep fighting and thank you for sharing your story!

  8. Neesha Volunteer

    Dawn,
    “avoiding” or distraction means shifting your attention away from your suffering, not that the pain isn’t there. You are wise to recognize that you have survived the original incident and the memory now might cause you pain, but ultimately cannot hurt you. I understand your frustration being abused as child and having to take on the difficult [and often expensive] work of re parenting yourself ,processing emotions, and trauma. Your anger makes complete sense.

    Feel your feelings you are moving in the right direction. Thank you for trusting us.

  9. Hugo Volunteer

    Hey Dawn,

    Thank you for sharing and trusting us with your story. I hear you, what you went through was not okay and you did not deserve any of it. Your feelings are valid and I understand your frustration, no kind of compensation would make up for the trauma that you are facing. You deserved justice and to be heard but your family did not do that for you. Talking about this shows how strong you are and its a first step in your healing process. Have you considered talking to a counselor or therapist? I recommend you do as it will help you along the way. You deserve happiness, to be loved, and appreciate the great things in life. Keep pushing, you will get through it. Please let us know if you need anything, we are here for you!

    -Hugo

  10. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Dawn,
    I can empathize with you. It’s difficult to feel the urge to hide while knowing that avoidance can make our problems worse. I encourage you to take as much time as you need. It’s okay to take small steps when you’re feeling exhausted.
    How you’re feeling about the lawsuit is valid. There is no way to ‘compensate,’ for abuse/trauma. You’re right – it isn’t fair for the rest of us. I wish the child protective worker, the prosecutor, and your mom were more proactive and supportive of you. You deserve that support, and you deserve justice.
    Thank you for updating us. Keep practicing mindfulness, journaling, and therapy! Those are incredible coping skills to have. We’re here to support you as well, so please write back whenever you want to share your thoughts!

  11. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Dawn,
    Thank you for coming back and sharing with us. Your frustrations about the whole boy scouts situation are valid. No amount of compensation will fix it and it isn’t fair to those who never even received an acknowledgement of their abuse. We have to find better ways to be in society. We have to help those who need it in order to end cycles of abuse. We have to explicilty teach consent beginning with the fact that many parents make young children hug relatives that they don’t like. The more we share and talk about these things, the better equipt we are to listen and make changes.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  12. rachelb098 Volunteer

    Hi Dawn,

    Thank you for sharing. Your feelings are completely valid and justified, and you’re incredibly strong for speaking up about this. I’m hearing that carrying all of this on your shoulders has been draining, and you’re a rockstar for continuing to push through with your mindfulness and journaling. It’s amazing that you know what helps, and it shows tremendous insight and resourcefulness.

    Wishing you all the best,
    -Rachel

  13. hina.jawaid Volunteer

    Hello Dawn,

    How are you? thanks for sharing your emotions with is. everyone here feels and understands your frustration and anger. I totally agree with you about the compensation part. There is nothing in this world can bring back your precious childhood. No one can ever compensate you for what you had lost. No money can help with the pain and the trauma you are bearing. I know that you want to be heard and want justice. Please check out our rescues page to see if you can ask someone for legal help. I hope you feel better. We are always here for you.

    Take care.

  14. Lex Volunteer

    Hi Dawn,

    Thanks for coming back to share with us. I am glad that you feel safe sharing with us! I completely understand why you are feeling these emotions, and you have every right to feel them. I am sorry that you did not receive the compensation that you deserved. It is so saddening how the justice systems fail to bring justice to so many survivors.

    I am glad that you are journaling and talking with a therapist. These are all amazing tools to help you work through your emotions.

    We are here for you, always! Stay strong!
    – Lex

  15. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for coming back to share with us. I understand your anger. Society has not only failed to protect victims of abuse, society usually ends up traumatizing us more when we try to come forward about what happened to us. And you have every right to feel angry. We all deserve to be cared for and protected. I hope it helped to vent here with us, and please come back whenever you need.

    Erin

  16. Jordan Volunteer

    Hey there dzreid,

    Great to hear from you again <3 I understand your frustrations and I gotta say I 100% agree with you. I get what the lawsuit is trying to do- they are trying to exercise some form of justice for these poor boys who had to endure this kind of abuse. However, all of the pain and trauma that these young boys had to endure for what will probably be the rest of their lives- will never ever go away no matter how much money you give them. Being 'compensated' does not erase the fear, the horror, and the shame that follows with you for the rest of your life due to something like this. To your point, what about the thousands of other survivors of sexual violence/abuse? There have been so many times that the justice system has failed to bring justice to survivors such as yourself Dawn, I can only hope that with time that we will start to see things change in the courts regarding how cases like these are handled. Keep your head up Dawn, sending you love and hugs your way <3

    – Jordan

  17. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi everyone! Thank you for you thoughts regarding my sharing! It means so much to have support! In response to what a few has said, mindfulness was one mentioned. I use this as a tool daily.(Thanks for suggesting this) I also journal,(writing, but also an work on art journaling~~ I take words, phrases, & pictures from magazines & some my own sayings/thoughts & put them into a book) I do see a therapist (but haven’t shared yet about my frustration regarding being compensated.) Thanks also for all your comments regarding avoiding my feelings. This all means so much to me & I take each comment to heart! Dawn

  18. Ryan4121 Volunteer

    Dzreid, this is such a well thought out viewpoint. It’s not fair and will never be. I’ve felt a comparable anger and passion that you are. For me, channeling has been the best route. Maybe acknowledge that you won’t be able to make sense of it. People suck somtimes. If running doesn’t work, maybe become and advocate. Take that anger and use it as fuel to help others, maybe as a mentor, or maybe you even go to law school, become a lawyer and change how your community handles sexual assault. It doesn’t sound like suppressing or over thinking this is working for you. That’s OK. Your calling might be to take your emotions head on. Whatever you decide to do next, we are here for you. We support you. Let’s get it.

    Ryan

  19. pvb Volunteer

    Hi dzreid,

    It is not fair. It is not right that money should cover up someones pain. I absolutely agree with your feelings. Thank you for coming back and sharing with us. I appreciate you finding comfort within these forums post. Never stop sharing with us. We are here for you. Acknowledging those feelings is a start to a newer beginning for yourself and your future. It saddens me to know that the professionals working in these fields don’t always seem to either take it serious or do not provide as much effort into making serious changes, but there are those out there who are really trying to make a difference. I am sorry you were put in that situation and are having reoccurring memories of your trauma. I would really like hearing some more insight on how you could feel some closure or fairness, just to understand more on what really helps, or how I could help others. Please keep sharing and do never give up on what you believe is fair. You will find that closure to the past trauma and I hope it is soon. Stay strong ! 🙂

  20. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi dzreid,

    It sounds like you’ve really been feeling a flurry of emotions lately. It can be really hard to process everything when we have memories flying in and out of our mind, some of which we don’t want to think about. I’m really sorry you’ve been dealing with all this and I hope you’ve had someone to talk to about it whether that be a good friend or therapist. And I’m also so sorry to hear that your mom hasn’t been supportive in helping you with what you need to start the healing process. I really hope she comes around and realizes that no only is it important to you, but it’s also the right thing to do. Compensation regarding abuse really is a weird thing – it will never take away the experiences or pain it has caused and for those who are never able to receive anything there is certainly a disparity between those who do. The community here continues to support you whenever you need it!

  21. jna0297 Volunteer

    Hello Dawn,

    First off thank you for sharing with all of us. We all understand you are frustrated and feel like you deserve more support. We are here for you and everything you went through is valid. Thank you for sharing with us.What happened to you is very wrong and whatever you feel you want to identify this as you can, its your truth and nobody can tell you different. Be strong and fight through the unnecessary nonsense. Thank you again Feel free to check out our “Find Help” tab to see if there are resources near you that may help you work through these experiences. Or if things get too emotional Text “VOICE” to 741-741 to be connected with a trained crisis counselor.

  22. JWorks Volunteer

    Dzreid,

    I’m sorry you’ve had so much happen to you.
    I totally agree that “compensation” isn’t a way to solve people’s traumas. I’m also sorry your mom didn’t file charges against your abuser. He shouldn’t have gotten away scot-free as he did. Keep on fighting and come back again if you need to talk!

  23. Amysue43 Volunteer

    Thanks for coming back to share with us your current thoughts and feelings. We are here for you. I would definitely agree that the “compensation” doesn’t make it right and it doesn’t make anything fair. I’m sorry for the things that you now have to experience because of it. Like you mentioned, suppressing the memories may do more harm than help unfortunately but there are healthy ways to approach your memories. Perhaps journaling may work for you in converting your thoughts and feelings to paper (kind like you are here) but you get to decide what you do with the paper afterwards: you could rip it up, burn it, keep it to reflect on later, or something else that may come to mind.
    Stay strong <3

  24. Jay Volunteer

    Hi Dawn,

    We understand your frustration with everything you are going through and feeling. There is ultimately no FULL compensation for what happened to you but I agree that you deserve better support for this trauma that you went through. I am so sorry for what you went through. Your mom should have been there for you and should have fought for your safety and protected you by following up with the abuse. Do not ever think that this is your fault, you are strong. You continue to fight everyday and push through all the hardships in your way. Please continue to do that, and please continue to update us on how you are feeling! We are all here for you.

  25. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi Dawn,

    Thanks for posting again. I completely understand how you’re feeling and it’s totally normal. It’s not fair! However, the only way abusers will be held accountable is if victims find their voices. Just one person speaking out makes a difference!

    I can’t remember if you’ve touched on this before, but have you spoken with a therapist about your past trauma? Revisiting those memories is certainly difficult, but maybe they could help you work through them. Please take things one step at a time, though!

    Let us know if there’s anything we can do for you. We’re here for you!
    Marissa

  26. avahalliday Volunteer

    Hi Dawn,

    Thank you for coming back and sharing with us again. I am so happy that you feel comfortable and safe here at AVFTI! We will always be here for you without judgement <3

    All of your feelings here are completely valid. You are right. It isn’t fair. I am so sorry that you are not getting the compensation that you deserve and that you were treated so poorly by people who were supposed to be on your side.

    We are here to listen and support you. Sending you love and strength!

    Ava

  27. lizzi

    Hi Dawn,
    Thank you for trusting us and sharing your pain. It would be great if ignoring your feelings and trauma would make it go away, or allow you to forget it. But that’s just not how it works, and unfortunately hiding from it can just make it harder and more painful to deal with later when you have to bring it all back up. But you do need to take care of yourself, and if that means sometimes hiding from the memory until you feel like you’re okay enough to face it, that’s perfectly alright. We aren’t always in the position to deal with things. We can’t run from our pain but we can choose when and how we deal with it.

    I’ve seen those commercials quite a bit recently. I’m so sorry that it has caused so much anger and frustration for you. Your lack of “compensation” was unfair, although money will never make what happened to anyone that’s been molested go away. Sure, it can pay for counseling sessions (which for some may actually be the only way possible for someone to afford them) but money doesn’t buy happiness or reverse what happened. I’m sorry that your mom didn’t pursue the abuse when she had the opportunity to. And I’m even more sorry for the pain you’ve had to suffer. I hear you and I’m sorry. Your anger is valid and I hope you’re able to see that by sharing your story, you are speaking up for “the rest of us.” Maybe one day the court systems will be better and abusers will actually pay for their crimes and it won’t all be so messed up. But that takes people like you sharing what happened and sharing your anger like you are here. You’re making a difference for people in the future, and I hope you can find some peace in that.

  28. nessa1695 Volunteer

    Hey there Dawn,
    I’m glad you find this community as a safe zone where you wont get judged, that means we’re doing great. Memories as lovely as some are there are others that we rather not remember so we try to hide it but we’re left with having to process it. Although having to process a hard memory is difficult it is good to remember that they are just memories and they can’t hurt you.
    Regarding the commercial your feelings of anger and injustice are 100% valid. You did not deserve your abuse and you deserved better it was not fair. I hope you can find peace knowing that although the Boy Scouts were compensated they also have trauma about their molestation so you are not alone.
    Wishing you happiness and relief.
    Nessa

  29. haesol Volunteer

    Hi Dawn,

    Thank you for sharing this with us, we truly appreciate it. First, your feelings of frustration and the struggles that you are going through are completely valid. Running away–or escaping–from bad memory is a very common route the brain takes to avoid dealing with trauma and the pain it may bring back–even if it’s not successful sometimes. I’m sorry you’ve been struggling with those feelings, but it’s good that you do know that memories can’t hurt you. You’re already doing a great job by acknowldging that, and healing doesn’t really have a written rule or only one known path, it’s different for anyone, and I assure you you are doing just fine in your own journey of healing.

    As for the commercial–It’s understandable that it makes you feel upset. There is no price-tag for abuse. So many victims are left alone after the incidents happen, it surely isn’t fair. It sounds like they’re trying to downplay the affect the abuse had on victims by giving them out money, like a little band-aid. I am sorry you didn’t get the support you deserved when you needed it the most.

    We are here to listen and help if you need to vent out or just share what you have in mind, we will continue to welcome you warmly.

    Stay safe,

    -sol.

  30. yoceline_02 Volunteer

    Hello Dawn,

    Thank you for coming back to share more! I’m so glad you feel like this is a safe place for you to share your feelings. Everything you are feeling is completely valid! It is okay to want to avoid the memories of your traumatic experience but sometimes people have to acknowledge their feelings, in order to move forward. Everything that happened to you is completely unfair and I wish the child protective workers and your mother could have done more for you. Just know that you sharing your story is encouraging myself and many others to work harder to pursue careers in this field and be better social workers or better mothers to help keep kids safe. You and your story do not go unnoticed. We are here for you. Unfortunately, there is no way to compensate everything you and many others go through along with childhood sexual abuse, and I’m so sorry for that. You deserve better! And it is okay for you to be mad, don’t be hard on yourself for this. I hope this anger can turn into something beneficial for you, maybe finding an outlet can help? Please keep us updated. Stay strong, we are all rooting for you!

    – Yoceline

  31. zelda Volunteer

    Welcome back to AVFTI, Dawn! ????

    I understand where you’re coming from; I sometimes have those same thoughts. A couple of days ago, an ad on the radio was playing. It was a law firm in my state telling victims of clergy abuse that they could be compensated for their trauma. I was super upset. I didn’t feel happy that other survivors could get what I couldn’t. I just felt pissed and wronged.

    You’re right; it’s not fair.

    In general, life isn’t fair. It’s just eventful. Good things happen to horrible people, horrible things happen to good people, and everything in between. At times, it makes no sense, and it can be very upsetting.

    For me, I have to work on making peace with my past, forgiving my attackers, and moving forward. I tried getting two different law firms involved in a particular case. No dice. I tried going to the cops about two particular rapists. Nothing happened. I even tried pressing charges after a life threatening event. He got off, plus his record got expunged. As much as these events make me livid, I just have to accept that it’s just the unfair reality I was given. Life isn’t like a Disney movie. There are way too many times when the villain actually wins. And the princess ends up with her heart broken, and her spirit crushed.

    You have a right to feel any way you want to feel, don’t get me wrong. Just don’t let yourself drown in the anger, sorrow, and disappointment.

    Sometimes, the best type of revenge you can serve is to live your best life. Your abusers may have taken away so many years of your life, but you don’t have to let them take away any more.

  32. rohina_kumar Volunteer

    Hi Dawn,

    Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your story! We’re glad you find this a safe space and feel comfortable sharing your true feelings!

    I’m really sorry you’re feeling this way and completely understand what you’re going through. You’re entitled to what you’re feeling and I understand that all of this seems completely unfair. Society as a whole and the law have disappointed a lot of people who’ve been abused in the past, as well as in the present, and although their current solution is to provide “compensations”, it doesn’t make up for the persistent mental trauma it causes. I’m sorry that you were not surrounded by people who understood where you came from and you had to deal with remarks telling you to just deal with it and the misleading “everything will be ok”. You deserve much better and just know that we’re all here to support you through your healing journey. Stay strong and keep fighting. All the love.

  33. smarti14 Volunteer

    Dawn,

    Thank you for considering this your safe space. We are all always open to hear you out. It is important to remember that our trauma’s and memories can show us a path we think we need to take, but it doesn’t define who we are. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Unfortunately, the laws, society, and even our parents sometimes don’t know how to properly deal with the abuser and even our traumas. Stay strong Dawn. You’re one step closer to healing!

    Warm Regards,
    Suzy M.

  34. brookeallnutt Volunteer

    Hi dawn,

    Thank you for coming back and sharing with us. I’m so sorry that you are struggling right now. Your feelings are totally justified, and you deserved more caring responses from the people you shared your trauma with. We are always here for you when you want someone to talk to.

  35. Ashley Day Captain

    Thank you for coming back to share more of your story, Dawn.

    When you are faced with those painful memories and have to work on processing them, I’m thinking it’s a relief when reality reminds you that the memories can’t harm you. I’m sorry that the abuse has left you with flashbacks, memories, and triggers.
    I wish that the child protective worker and your mom would have responded differently to the abuse.
    In regards to the child protective worker, even if responding to childhood sexual abuse was new to professionals, wanting her to be caring and supportive isn’t unreasonable. The same thing applies to the prosecutor; you took the time to confide in them and it’s not okay that they left you with a short phrase that everything would be okay. As Shari mentioned, our criminal justice system is definitely flawed and everyone deserves better.

    Ashley

  36. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hi Dawn, thank you for coming back to share more with us. I’m happy that you’re here! You are correct, this is a place of non judgement and we’re here for you. I’m glad that you feel that way and have decided to share more with us.

    I like what you said about when you try to avoid things the waves come back around. This reminds me of something I read in a book, where it states the more you avoid your feelings the stronger they become, as feelings are like a person who doesn’t like being ignored. You are very strong for putting up with these feelings and you are doing a great job!

    And you made an excellent point about the Boy Scouts scandal it seems like people only care about helping people who were abused if there’s money involved for suing someone else. There has to be a better way to handle sexual abuse for others not abused at workplaces or places where lawyers will actually get involved as they can make a profit. I would love to see some sort of program someday where they can make therapy free to those who went through this.

    Thanks for sharing!

  37. Edjay Volunteer

    Hi Dawn,

    Thanks for sharing. You are right that sometimes it feels easier to just run away from problems rather than facing them head-on, but avoiding them may not always be the best solution. It’s good to hear that you recognize that a memory is just that and can’t hurt you. It’s completely understandable to feel frustrated and mad about what’s happening, especially with how you were treated.

  38. Solongago Volunteer

    Hi Dawn,

    Yes, I have seen that commercial and yes, I too think that just because the boy scout organization may have some money, I don’t see how compensating some boys that have been attacked at boy scout events is going to help anything. And yes, the vast majority of sexual abuse victims will go through their lives without ever having any compensation for what happened to them. Well, you can’t put a price tag on a lost childhood. You can’t put a price tag on a series of failed relationships. You can’t put a price tag on suicide attempts, or even successful suicide. You can’t put a price tag on addiction. You can’t put a price tag on the loneliness of never being in a romantic relationship, never having children. You can’t put a price tag on the low self-esteem that causes us to make poor choices and accept jobs that consistently pay less than jobs of similar work. And the list goes on.

    Instead, those of us who have embarked on the long path of recovery find we have to pay through the nose for all of it, even when we have insurance. I fantasized about someone coming out of the woodwork and saying I have paid enough, that they will now foot the bill for my therapy. That gremlin is a lot more likely than either of my brothers ever shelling out a nickel. So we are damaged and then presented a bill for having the audacity to try to heal that damage. It sucks.

    Oh, I can make up some happy, motivational statements: nothing worth having is easy; If you pay for it, you will be more likely to work hard and can be proud of your progress; no one ever said life is fair, we have to take what comes and make the best of it; think of it as an investment in you. And that list can go on and on too. And it can be true. But it isn’t something that helps you out of the quicksand, when you are deep in it.

    This may be just for me, I don’t know. But I believe that part of going from victim to survivor is letting go of the fantasy that someone will financially rescue us from our past. This is something that I struggle with. Because yes, I have made choices directly related to my abusive past that have kept me financially in ruins. And I have paid and am still paying a small fortune on therapy. And it is so unfair. Therapists should not work for free, they went to college and their time and skill is worth money. Good money. And most of them did not cause the harm we are suffering from. I don’t know what the answer is. The fact of the matter is that lots of the scumbags that hurt us when we are small are sorry-assed losers who can’t afford to make reparations or dead.

    There is no making this fair for everyone. If you were abused by Michael Jackson, and stand to get a million dollar settlement, the next person was abused by an alcoholic old step grandfather that lived in his wife’s home and lived off of her, and doesn’t have two nickels to call his own. It is impossible to make this fair by imposing financial punishment on perpetrators that goes to the victims.

    And yet, the cost to society for the damages of childhood sexual abuse are immense. We pay, pay, pay, pay for prisons and drug treatment centers, and only a handful are able to turn their lives around. We as a society need to make mental health treatment lucrative for those who do a great job as providers and affordable for victims. Because victims/survivors are not at fault. Because victims/survivors suffer financially from the low self-worth, and are often unable to provide for the care themselves. And, unfortunately, free or cheap therapy that is currently available, is likely to be poor, even harmful or punishing. So many of the addictions, mental illnesses, poverty, and other societal issues have a common denominator in abuse/sexual abuse, and we, as a society are dropping the ball.

    Sorry for going off a little on your post, but if anything, it shows that you are not alone in these thoughts and they are totally valid.

  39. musicislove

    Hi dzreid,

    Your anger and frustration are valid and completely understandable. It’s not fair that you didn’t get the justice you deserve, and you deserve compensation just as much as anyone else that has been traumatized this way. I’m sorry you didn’t get that when you were younger and I agree, none of what happened is ok. Memories, triggers, and flashbacks are really hard to deal with and I’m sorry you’ve had to go through so much. I’m glad that you feel this is a safe space for you, we’re always here for you and please come back whenever you want to share more. Thank you for continuing to trust us.

    Delaney

  40. Shari Volunteer

    Hi dzreid,

    Thank you for sharing with us. Your feelings of anger and frustration are valid! I want to address that preferring the escape route over confronting memories is a completely common response! Traumatic memories are aversive and they can be difficult to confront. Thus, we find it better to hide from it. It can be painful! However, take this one step at a time. If you are uncomfortable, back out. Only proceed when you are comfortable and emotionally prepared. Remember, healing is not linear. Sadly, we cannot erase our trauma no matter how hard we try. It’s something we learn to live with. It gets easier with time and as you heal along the way as you use any coping skills available to you.

    I also understand your feelings in regards to seeing the boy scouts ad. A lot of people do not get compensated for their abuse or sexual violence they experienced. I agree with you, it is unfair. Our criminal justice system is currently flawed to handle cases as such. There needs to be a revamp of some sort to emphasize survivors of sexual abuse/violence. It’s such a complicated process and the way to begin modifications is proposing changes in policies and equip our criminal justice system to empathize with survivors. I think our main goal right now is to pursue healing and justice, for sure. If you’re angry, definitely vent that out! I suggest finding an outlet to channel your emotions and to alleviate some trauma.

    I just started working with teens with sexual trauma and a lot of them are learning skills such as mindfulness. Mindfulness is where we are aware and present in the moment, we acknowledge our surroundings and analyze why we are doing the things we are doing, this is a way to snap yourself back into place and not get overwhelmed in your feelings. We are also doing challenges where if someone’s anger festers a lot, we can have them use a squishy to blow off some steam. It helps! You’re using touch as a sense in order to not focus too much on your emotion at hand. Lastly, I would suggest getting a journal and writing your thoughts out! It helps to just have that outlet and you have that power to be creative as well. As I learn more, I will inform you as to what else can be done to encourage some healing or at least some alleviation. I encourage you to keep sharing your experiences with us. We are always here to listen and provide support at AVFTI!

    Sending lots of strength and support,
    Shari

  41. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi dzreid,
    You are allowed to be mad. You are allowed to have feelings. You are allowed to think that things aren’t fair. You do deserve compensation just like the boy scouts.
    If you need to talk more about what happened to you we are here for you. You can write in as much as you want. It is hard to just avoid thinking or talking about what happened because it sadly isn’t something that will go away if you ignore it. We are always here for you or if you want you can talk to a therapist. Going to therapy can help you talk out all your feelings. If you don’t want to go to therapy, you can write everything out here. Thank you for updating us. Continue to stay strong.
    -Alyssa