This is no joke my friends. In January I was asked to present for the Illinois Department of Public Health; April 8th for the Women’s Health & Family Wellness. Unbelievably the lead coordinator for this conference contacted me last week and stated they would have to cancel. When I asked upfront if it was something specific about my story or my presentation, she quickly responded;
‘Your story is really a bit too much in your face. Perhaps if you tone it down a bit and focus more on what we can do to help, then maybe we can invite you back. We’ll keep you on the list of presenters and see what happens.
Let me say first, any time that anyone has asked me to speak – all they have wanted is my horrific victim story. I have learned how to ease my story through but it’s not an easy feat, especially when you consider the true horrific nature of the story itself and how many persons circled through my childhood and adult relationships without ever saying a word.
Quickly I emailed this lead coordinator the presentation I have used to help more than 100 survivors, used on more than 200 radio shows, and have built a website for educational & empowerment for every person. It is NOT a VICTIM’S STORY. In fact, it is ‘Steps to Recovery’.
In this presentation I share first our protective law history, the stats of some 2.3 million discarded reports because the sole intake worker decided they didn’t warrant further investigation. The presentation also covers the very serious truth about molestation, a crime which leaves no physical trace. When someone has molested a child, there is rarely any trace because it’s not like rape. It is touching and groping, therefore without seeing a child’s physical response to another person, or listening to how they play and interact with other children or their toys; you may never know your child is being molested. If the person/s molesting the child are the parents/guardians, then this child may have been going through this since before they can remember. It could be that sexual contact and stimulation is all they know. If they have just started being molested, you will see the outward signs of trauma and challenges in the child’s appearance, interactions, and their school work.
Anyway, also in the presentation I go through the Five Steps of Recovery which came from what I had to do in order to help myself change from victim to victorious. These are goal lists, positivity lists, understanding the impacts of my specific trauma, and it is the work which VICTIMS have to do, NO ONE ELSE CAN DO THIS FOR THEM. It is about empowering every victim with the one thing taken from them which leaves them in a victim state of life, it is about teaching them to use their voice and not to be ashamed of what someone else has done to them. It is not a crime they did but rather a crime committed AGAINST THEM.
Think about this for a moment, if we tell victims they need to ease up on the facts of what someone else has done to them, isn’t this the same as the abuser telling them that no one cares, no one wants to hear, no one will help them? In my eyes, having gone through my own very challenging and life pattern changing recovery; silencing a victim is like putting them in a cage with a bowl of water and a blanket for comfort. It’s like gagging them and only letting them talk when you want to hear them. It’s like taking away their power and their strength to find their balance again. It’s very hard for a victim to find trust and safety to speak at all. They must reach deep down inside to find that one point of them that they feel matters and then believe that someone else will think that it matters as well.
Now, having the Public Health Department tell me that they had professionals who had seen video of me, had seen photos and read a few emails; then decided my story was just too ugly to sit through. If we cannot educate the professionals about the honest truth of how vicious these crimes within our homes, hidden under the parental control and inflicted terror against a child; if we cannot be honest then how will we ever teach our children that they have nothing to be ashamed of? How will we teach them to tell someone when they are being touched, probed, sold, traded, beaten and degraded by the people they live with, the persons who control their very existence? I ask you friends, although we should definitely use age appropriate measures when talking with our kids about these topics, how can we teach them if the professionals do not want to hear the details of their suffering?
I very much believe that the voice of a victim is the one solid tool which will lead them to feel victorious in their life. One step at a time they learn that as they release the details of their suffering that are no longer afraid of the sledge hammer of hell coming down to destroy them. It is the locked up silence which traps them in living a victim pattern of life. This much I’ve learned in the years of not having insurance or money for a therapist so I lay in bed crying for days, screaming about the how & why of what happened to me, why wasn’t I worthy of protecting as they protected my siblings? Why did I have to be a slave, forced to answer the ring of that little brass bell, whatever the ‘master’ needed? Why was I the only one forced to spend days scrubbing the corners of our house, then two years after I move out, the house is so over run with roaches, not even the exterminator can keep up with the battle? Why didn’t it matter that I was covered with filth and infection, my teeth black, plaque covered and broken, my body covered in bruises day after day? Why didn’t someone in that town help me, why didn’t I matter as a human being?
Because no one ever stepped up to say; ‘Hey Trecia Ann, you don’t deserve to be treated like this. You deserve to be safe, take a bath in your home, a toothbrush, some tenderness.’ Sadly as a result of all those people who either witnessed or took part in the sadistic games with me as the prize, but yet not one ever found me worthy to acknowledge as a human being; it is these types of actions which led me to believe this was my life. This is was what I deserved, and I should never think that I deserve anything better. It is all of this that left me living in a victim state of mind. I was everyone’s perfect victim and completely submissive for any person who showed me a hint of kindness. I just wanted to be loved, to be safe, and I would give anything of myself to not have someone hurt me, even to the point of regulating my breathing so as not to give cause for another attack.
I know many exactly like me and I hope you have taught the children you know the true power of their voice and our professionals need to know how monsters like this make it their mission to silence their victims. As ridiculous as it may sound, my stepfather still has me terrified of my afterlife; afraid that I might have to endure him all over again. This is a real fear for me. This is how evil and how horrific his actions were and not a single person in the middle of that town would ever want to hear my voice, my plea for mercy, my begging my mother’s help, my prayers for God to take me away.
Readers, I hope as you’ve read this it made some sense and that you will watch the children in your circle of life and family. I assure you, I am not the only survivor of such atrocities. I assure you, evil like this is happening in the smallest of communities across the country. As many advocates I work and share with have found, more cases of parental child sex trafficking & web-based exploitation of their children is happening in small communities across the country. The internet has a lot of great uses, but the deviate mind who wants to make money; they find that charging people to watch them molest, traffick and exploit their children is sadly more than our services can possibly take down. All of us within a community need to be aware of the children in our neighborhood. Do they seem like good kids? Are their people coming and going at all hours? Is there a lot of adult men and strangers coming to the house? Our educators can help by watching how the child’s school work is completed, are they up to date, interact in class, have reasonable social skills with others, are they reasonably clean and well cared for?
Our health care professionals & law enforcement are the frontline for their safety. You need to know how dark it can become and exactly what adults will go through to silence a child for what can turn into decades of their life, remember the fear and silence has to outlast any statute of limitations so that the predator is never held accountable or prosecuted for their harm done. We should never tell ANY victim to be quiet, ‘tone it back’, ‘get over it’. They may want to have us ease our stories, but for this victim who has worked so hard to become victorious and put every ounce of devotion possible into helping make sure we are able to help others trapped today, the frontline defenders will not tell this victim; ‘it just doesn’t matter’.
To me this reprehensible, and it feels a lot like the weapon and slap used to silence me a long time ago.
Empower every person to know their Civil Rights to life, liberty, and security of their person. They deserve a SAFE life, and no one has the right to inflict harm or sexual contact, unless they are consenting and accepting adults. No one has a right to inflict harm like this on a child who cannot speak up, cannot refuse, cannot fight back, cannot run away, and cannot escape the day to day torment & torture by the one who has control over their very existence. You can help us educate our frontline defenders by supporting our petition – ‘Family Terrorist Act – https://www.change.org/p/mr-president-please-enforce-the-right-to-be-safe-for-all-persons-especially-our-children-enforce-family-terrorist-act-trecia-s-law
Thanks for reading, have a wonderful day
Empower every person to believe they absolutely matter!!!
copyright @ www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com
Author; ‘My Justice’