Part 3 – The Important Truth
What about false accusations? How do I know you’re telling the truth?
I cannot speak much into this question about false accusations, as I have not personally met anyone who spoke of their sexual abuse/assault that I have come to believe was a falsehood. False accusations do definitely happen, but the truth is: they are EXTREMELY RARE. I would encourage you to do a bit of research to learn more about the incidence of false reporting for sexual abuse/assault. The only thing more I will say on this is that there is no one on earth who can corroborate any of my own incidences of sexual abuse/assault. As is typical with most any sexual act, there simply was no one in the room. And, I’ve no doubt it would be even more rare for a witness to be present (and come forward!) if those sexual acts were illegal (like abuse or assault), just as there were no witnesses present when I was sexually abused/assaulted. But, just because no human witnessed the truth of what happened to me, my sexual abuse/assault are absolutely and positively no less real or truthful.
What if I am reading this and I am a survivor of sexual abuse/assault? What does all this mean for me?
If you have been sexually abused/assaulted, my heart aches for you. I can tell you that I understand the quiet pain and consequences of that abuse that have no doubt affected many areas of your life – even if you don’t currently see it. But, if you look closely and honestly, you will see you are struggling in at least some areas of your life. It would be my prayer that these words of my truth encourage you to speak your own words of truth, that you gain at least somewhat of an understanding for what you have been through, and that you find help to gain healing in your own life as well. So, please, if this write-up does nothing else, realize that the internalized pain and shame you feel is not your own. Without our allowing the dark truth to come into full light and get healing, we are blinded to the following truths: It is not our darkness to live with; it is not our burden to bear; it is not our secret to keep or to keep quiet; it is not our shame to foster. And, it is positively NOT your fault! No one can make another person cross over the sinful, dark, and horrific line of sexual abuse/assault. Every single one of us is responsible for keeping OURSELVES from crossing that horrific line. But, remember, even if there are some lessons for you to learn in all this, you are NOT responsible for anyone else crossing that dark line! Not ever! As long as you do not currently face any fear of being subjected to any physical harm/abuse from your speaking up, I encourage you to gain courage and to tell the truth to yourself and others! If you do fear physical harm, it is important you seek safe shelter before speaking up! But, either way, don’t let the darkness steal, kill, or destroy anyone anymore. God never intended your life -or theirs – to be this way.
Telling the world what happened to you is scary, REALLY scary. I know. I am REALLY scared even now. Many of your fears may come to pass, as mine have. As unfortunate as it is, the world may outright reject the truth of our words or try to stifle them once the truth comes out. Honestly, no one wants to hear, face, or deal with this kind of dark truth. But, keeping it buried does NOT bring light to the darkness, and keeping it in silence actually prevents growth and healing for everyone. Keeping it in silence may also allow your abuser to do the same thing to someone else. And, the darkness WILL continue to prevail and hurt much more, and much more deeply, than the truth ever could.
So, you must…speak up and tell the truth! For yourself, as well as others. Yes, others may hurt from the truth, but each person is responsible for summoning their own courage to live in the truth – both for those who speak the truth and those who hear the truth. Please do not listen to anyone who tells you not speak about what you endured. Many people want to silence the truth due to their own issues or fears in having to face it and deal with it or deal with the person who caused this to happen. You are NOT helping anyone when you keep the dark secret in silence! Instead, find people who care about you and will support you with love, grace, mercy, empathy, and wise counsel about whether you should pursue criminal charges. Find people who are willing to face their own fears in facing the truth with you. Silence, deception, denial, and darkness is where evil prevails…and it is stealing, killing, and destroying every minute. Speak up, tell the truth, seek counseling, get healing, and leave everything else in God’s very capable and righteous hands. Keep focused on truth/light, even if no one else will join you. Know this: God sees the truth with you, whether or not anyone else does. And, God is unbelievably good at comforting and restoring those who have been victimized/oppressed.
There is healing and restoration in the light for all who seek it. Don’t stop seeking God or counseling until you have eradicated the darkness, you are healed, and you can forgive your abuser. God knows the truth and will one day reveal it, even if no one on earth wants to believe you. Be courageous! Be who you were meant to be, before darkness came and stole it! Bring the truth to light, get help, and let that truth finally set you free! The world prefers to live in safety where denial can pretend it never happened, and others do not have to work through their own feelings surrounding the truth, or deal with the actual person who caused the abuse/assault. After all, it is easier for people to call us liars, crazy, laugh at us or try to force us to stop talking about it than to come to admit someone they know or love did a horrible, horrible thing. But, whether or not anyone else wants to live in the truth should not prevent you from doing so! The truth IS what will set you free!