An open letter to parents of abused children.

Dear parents,

I wish that we could all come together and declare a war on all pedophiles. A fight to bring them down. A fight to right all the injustices. A battle to stop these injustices from ever happening again. It is a fight that all the little 8 year old boys and girls who are being molested cannot do alone. It is a fight that the teenage boys and girls being violently raped cannot do alone. The abused should NOT have to wage this war alone. But often times they are…all alone. They are left to struggle through emotions and pain they don’t even understand. They wander, confused, often down paths that hurt them even further. They even purposely hurt themselves. I can promise you that if the victims of abuse did not have to do this on their own, their healing time would be greatly diminished! Their futures would be brighter sooner. And hopelessness would not even be part of the equation. They stand there alone. Maybe a few will stand beside them.

There should be an ARMY of WARRIORS standing WITH them! 

I had no base or foundation after I was abused. I had no knowledge of who I was. I had no grounding strength. I was only 15 years old. I wandered aimlessly for years through abusive relationships. I was stripped at a very early age of my dignity and I had no IDEA how to get it back. I was lost. I was broken. I was searching and I had no idea what I was even searching for. NO ONE should EVER feel this way! It is reprehensible that I have ever felt this way. It could have been completely avoided and prevented had I had people in my life willing to fight for me.

My mother tried. She reported the abuse against me to the authorities. For countless reasons I was unable to tell the authorities all of the details of what happened to me. Reasons abuse victims know all too well. Fear, shame, guilt..oh and again FEAR! I was weakened by years of abuse. I was a child. I was in pain. I needed help. I needed strength. I needed someone to FIGHT! And poof it was over. My mother tried. But that WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. After the authorities came and went, so did all logic. So did all truth. My family decided to live in a fake, cover up, go on living like this never happened world. I am not unique to this situation. I have read countless stories of children who are virtually abandoned by their parents. Now my parents will tell you they loved me, they paid for my schooling, they helped me pay my rent, they fed me, they tried. Emotional abandonment is abusive as well.  I would have rather been homeless and supported, than fed and alone. 

Do you know how to win against a pedophile? You NEVER GIVE UP! YOU NEVER STOP FIGHTING! In that fight you show your child they are WORTHY. In that fight you become the strength your child has had ripped from them. 

A parent who has a child who has been molested absolutely must not give up. If you give up, your child will.

I am a living testament to that. I gave up over and over again because no one gave me back my WILL! My will was taken from me. I was left empty of direction. I was left empty of life.I was literally a lifeless being floating through life. I needed a parent to BE that direction. The man who molested me was a pilot. He was also the head guy on our ski team on the lake we lived on. He lived directly across the lake from us. I had the continued suffering inflicted upon me to watch this pedophile continue on with his life like he never took part of my life from me, day in and day out.  Do you have any idea how it felt to have my twin brother still allowed to ski on the ski team with the man who molested me???!!! My parents CHOSE THAT. That choice hurt enough to make me attempt suicide.Do you have any idea how it felt to have to live on that lake and watch my twin brother in the same boat with the pedophile that molested me? Enough to attempt suicide AGAIN! Do you know  how it felt to have my father shake the man’s hand that molested me?  With the excuse my father just didn’t know what else he could do? It made me feel worthless. Do you have any idea the significance of feeling worthless? The choices that follow are dangerous, damaging, and deadly. Then to know that other people in that town supported this man who molested me, at such a young age nearly killed me. Don’t they realize that Billy is STILL molesting children? Are they so ignorant to think that it was only me! That man is still damaging children in ways that it takes a lifetime to repair and NO ONE has done a THING about it. Because……they are all cowards. Every last one of them. Cowards. And cowards fail in a war against pedophiles. I am an adult woman who still has nightmares about the fear and helplessness that the abuse caused. I have PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks all results from abuse and a family who chose to live a lie. My brother just decided a few years ago to not ride in the boat with Billy anymore. We are 44 years old. This is too little and way too late. My family has told other family members that the ball is in my court as to mending our relationship. A relationship that stalled because I chose to finally tell the truth. A relationship that then was destroyed by my family’s inability to even acknowledge what was done to me. This is appalling to me. There IS NO BALL. There IS NO COURT! There is a little girl, me,  and my family who did nothing to repair what was done to me,  who grew into a 44 year old woman, who now is repairing herself. They NEVER EVER fought for me. They rolled over and played dead while their daughter fought to stay alive.

I share my story because I am an example of what happens when a family leaves a little girl to walk the road of recovery alone. I am wounded. I am hurt. And they STILL cannot accept or acknowledge their role in any of that and their role was HUGE. It was everything. It was the difference in a life long struggle versus peace and security.

My parents and my family utterly and completely failed me. They failed me then and they are still failing me. 

So if your child is abused, molested or raped, know this…You as a parent have a choice to make. That choice will either save your child or it will absolutely destroy their chances of healing anytime soon, if ever. If nothing else it will postpone their very existence until they are much older and able to regain strength on their own. When I say “existence” I mean having the will to live and experience joy on this earth again.

Be your child’s advocate. Be your child’s voice.

If you hit a brick wall, keep trying. If your child cannot find the words, help them find a person who will. Search until you find the right person your child feels comfortable with to speak to. Your job is to make your child feel heard. Your job is to make your child feel safe. At whatever cost. Hold them. Hold their hand. Ask them what you can do to make them feel safe. They may not be able to tell you. they may not know. They are a child. They may need you to make every single decision for a long time after. Sit with them until the fall asleep. Validate. Acknowledge. Do whatever it takes to allow your child to feel like a child again.  At whatever sacrifice you have to make. MAKE IT! If it means moving, then move. If you want your child to not only heal,  but to thrive and be victorious over this abuse, it all starts with YOU. You have a choice. If you make the right one, your child will know he or she is loved. They will know they are safe, believed, and worthy. Tell them they are loved and worthy. Tell them you are so sorry that this happened to them. Tell them over and over again that you will not abandon them. They will  then know that you value them over everything else. In that alone, they will find their will again. That will turns into hope. That hope turns into healing. That healing turns into regaining strength and dignity that was lost. All meaning for your child will be restored. We simply cannot live without meaning. If we do it is an empty life. Fill your child up with so much love there will be no ROOM for emptiness. A lot has been stolen. It will take a lot more than you think to make them feel whole again. But they are worth it.

It is up to you. Please. I implore you. Fight for your child. Never give up. If you give up, then they  feel like I have felt. They will feel  the war was lost, and the child molester won.

Let us fight a battle against these pedophiles. You take away an abuser’s power when you EMPOWER the victim. Your children are too tired to fight.

 

They already had to go through abuse alone, don’t make them go through what happens after alone too. 

Fight for them.

Their lives depend on it. 

Their futures depend on it.

Sincerely, In hope for children everywhere,

Bethany Kays

 

71 thoughts on “An open letter to parents of abused children.

  1. I am so sad your parents didn’t do more. You deserved much more. You deserved to have their outrage spilling out all over the ski team and the lake and your community and the whole world. You deserved to have them champion you and your needs in every part of your life. I have no doubt they loved you, but they backed down when you needed them to be fierce. My mother did the same. It is so sad and messes us up for years.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I love this and have reblogged. I feel for you, and am proud to (almost!) know you. My heart feels your feelings. I understand, I really do ❤ Lottie 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A very informative blog. I feel your pain and struggle Bethany to rebuild a will-hope-healing-strength-dignity-meaning to your life….EMPOYERMENT. Well done on surviving and bouncing back showing your parents up for what they are……liars and cowards for sure. You deserve to feel whole and I admire you and thank you for sharing your traumatic story. I hope this whole issue of abuse is talked about more openly in the future and that parents don’t cover things up Here’s to your full recovery xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for this post. All adults must commit themselves to protecting our children from predators. In an ideal world adults accept their responsibilities to the future and do everything possible to provide children with safety, good food, and protection against the men and women who prey on the helpless. This is not that world. We need more voices like yours.

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  5. I came over here because Rob reblogged your post. I cannot understand how parents can leave their kids suffering like this. How they do not listen, don’t take it on board and don’t back the kids up. It’s hard enough for the abuse victims to be let down by the system. Even if nothing can be done there, even if parents try as hard as they can to put a creep like this away but it doesn’t happen, the parents can still be there. By just saying and showing that they believe the child. And for sure not include the predator anymore. In no way. I’m sorry that you were left alone. This is a powerful message to all parents. I for sure have taken it on board and I promise my children and you too that I will always support my children if something like this would ever happen to them. I might even have to go to jail because of it. But they will not be left alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What amazing love and devotion you have for your children. I wish all moms had this point of view. Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to reply. It really means a lot to me. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess you can’t change the past and the way you parents deal with it. All you can do is focus on the future. Leave behind what you can’t change, which can also mean leave behind people you thought you can build on and trust. Let them tell the story the way they want to tell it. They do know the truth and they have to live with it. It’s easy for me to say but with all challenges we were given I see it like carrying a backpack along. At one point you need to decide that you either carry what’s in it with you or you throw it out. The backpack you will never get rid of. But all the stuff that is weighing you down still can be left behind. To be clearer: Ignore what your parents say about you and think about you if it’s not supporting. They do not belong in your life if that is the case. And it is your decision. You know the saying about getting rid of toxic people in your life? Well, parents, family, they all can be toxic too. Just because they are family doesn’t mean that we have to deal with them forever.

        Liked by 2 people

    • It is how I mother and more! Love and devotion are just the starting points..,time, listening, being involved, laughing, teaching…so much goes in to being a good mom. Fighting fir your child should be instinct. It is with me!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way!, blessed to have my daughter. She brought light into the darkness of my life that had been shrowded by abuse. She is a true joy. I have shared with her my life and she will use thise lessons through her life. She is glad i protected her so fiercely even if that meant she didnt go to a slumber party with people we didnt know. She was taught to listen to her instinct and that has served her well!

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  7. I am struggling for words here but will use the same words as said by several other commentators. This is very, very powerful.

    As a father of 4 children (the youngest is 18), I am very fortunate that my children have been unscathed from being the victims of a predator, and truly I hope this never happens. What you have been through over the years is so extremely heart wrenching.

    It would have been so difficult for you to share this, but it is something we all need to know.

    What bothers me if there is one victim, there is probably many, many more. Ignoring the situation when you know what is going on, and not being an advocate for the victim almost seems like a person is on the side of the pedophile. I can’t imagine the pain for you that your certain family members did this very thing for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Something very bad had happened to you, and now you are doing good things with it. You’re right, it’s not only what happened, but, the long aftermath. It hardly seems fair. I’m happy to know you:)

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  11. Very Powerful!! I am so sorry that this happened to you and that your parents did not fight for you. You carry a very important message with your testimony. We have to fight for our children… whatever it takes to make them feel loved, safe, and secure. You are an overcomer and will help many with your story. God bless you!!

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  12. I had so many emotions as I read this. Foremost is OUTRAGE. Your twin brother continued to ski on your rapist’s ski team, and to ride in the same boat with him? You continued to live across the lake from this evil man? Your father actually SHOOK THE RAPIST’S HAND because he “did not know what else to do”??? Punching the pedophile’s lights out would be a good start. Cutting off a certain body part so he could never hurt another child in that way again, also strikes me as being far more appropriate of a thing to do, than SHAKING HIS HAND!!!!

    The mental image of your dad shaking that man’s hand, and your brother on his ski team and riding in his boat, makes my blood boil. And you having to look across the lake at the rapist’s house every freaking day….. I can’t even fathom the ongoing pain and humiliation of that.

    Some of my intense emotions are because I was also raped at the age of 15. The rapist was a man in his forties. He was my psychiatrist. He drugged and raped me, more than once. When the truth of this came out, my parents did not care. But then, my parents had already abused me, in different but in equally horrible ways, throughout my childhood. Which was why I’d had a post traumatic breakdown at the age of fourteen and needed psychiatric help in the first place.

    The last time he raped me, he overdosed me on whatever drug he gave me and I nearly died. After he was done with me, two nurses found me lying on the floor of the ward, with no pulse. My soul actually left my body. It seemed like I was floating in the air above my body and the two nurses. I saw them trying to wake me up. I heard one nurse say “Her lips are blue!” I heard the other nurse say “I can’t find a pulse!” Then suddenly I was back in my body.

    These two nurses walked me up and down the long hallway between them for what seemed like hours, until I was awake enough to ask to go to the bathroom. One nurse accompanied me to the bathroom and saw by the condition of my underwear that I had been raped. She called the other nurse to come and see.

    A third nurse told me later that she had heard me “screaming bloody murder” behind the doctor’s locked office door, earlier that night. She said she had tried to get in, and the doctor had told her through the locked door that he had me under deep hypnosis and I was reliving a terrible trauma.

    Presumably it was after this that he injected me with more of the drug, to stop me from screaming. I remember the drug burning as it went into my vein in my left arm, and then my heart felt like it was being squeezed by a giant hand. The pain was crushing, the pain was unbearable. I told him my heart hurt and he took my pulse, then injected more of the drug. And then he told me that if I ever told anyone what he was doing to me, “I will stick you in a hole so far that you will never see the light of day again.”

    The nurses who saved my life, went to the police and told them that they believed I had been raped by the doctor. There was an investigation and, as I was later told, the police found tape recordings in the rapist’s desk, recordings he had made of his rapes. They discovered that I wasn’t the only victim, there were many others.

    He was immediately fired. A few months later, as he faced prosecution, his new bride left him, and he committed suicide.

    And my parents did not care. They made it clear that they did not even believe me, despite the man being fired. But the nurses who saved me…. they are my heroes and I am forever grateful to them!!!!

    The rapist doctor had been very popular with the hospital staff. He had the type of fake-caring personality that drew people to him. He was handsome, warm and friendly, and he seemed very wise, too. One psychiatrist, one social worker, and one nurse verbally attacked me after the doctor was fired for raping me. They blamed me for “ruining a wonderful doctor” with my lurid sexuality! The psychiatrist and the social worker were the worst, they actually accused me of “throwing myself” at the “wonderful doctor.” Which was So Not True! I was very shy, inhibited, and subservient. I was a very young fifteen.

    Within a couple of days of the last rape, the one that nearly killed me, after these three people came to me individually and said these horrible accusing things to me, I was put in solitary confinement for calling the nurse, the last of the three to blame me, a bitch. I did not threaten her in any way, I was sitting on the toilet quietly crying at the time, when she came at yelled at me and she demanded that I stop crying and I said “Bitch, I can cry if I want to!” — and she responded by calling the big burly male goons in white from the male ward, and several of them came and physically dragged me off the toilet with my panties down around my ankles, and they put me in a solitary confinement room.

    Then, I made a noise from the bedding and hung myself. It seemed like the only way out of my hell at the time.

    Today, I am in my sixties and my life is now the best it has ever been. I have three adult children, two of whom are in their forties, one in his thirties, and I have a twenty-four year old granddaughter in Harvard. So I am very, hugely grateful that I survived my hanging!!

    Because I was so broken by my childhood, I made many horrible mistakes as a mother. I probably never should have had kids, honesty, although I am so glad I did. But, as imperfect as I have been as a mother….. I cannot imagine ever, under ANY circumstances, shaking the hand of my daughter’s rapist. I cannot imagine ever, for any reason, allowing my teenage son to stay on the rapist’s ski team. I cannot imagine, at the very least, NOT MOVING AWAY!!!!!!!!

    I am so sorry these things happened to you. The lack of caring, the lack of loving emotional support after being raped, hurts as bad — if not WORSE — than the sexual abuse does. I know this is true, because I lived through that lack of caring, myself.

    And you are right, Bethany, when you say that some abuse wounds may never completely heal. I see only women doctors, whenever possible. Even my dentist is an awesome forty-four year old woman. But, every time that I have ever needed anesthesia for any reason, ever since that evil “doctor” drugged me to the point of death, I have a major panic attack. I think I am dying, every time.

    Being an “old woman” now, I have recently torn something in my right shoulder. I have an appointment to see a male orthopedic surgeon on November 9. Almost fifty years have passed since I was drugged and raped. And yet… I am seriously considering if it wouldn’t be better to just live the rest of my life with this crippling pain, than to face being put under anesthesia again. It does not help that this surgeon, whom my female doctor so highly recommends, has the same unusual first name as the rapist doctor.

    Whew… I have been known to write some long comments, but I think this one beats them all.

    ((HUG))

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      • I knew what you meant. Unreal. The nurse yelled at you. Where was EVER the compassion. The love. The IM SO SORRY THAT HAPPENED TO YOU. The ARE YOU OK. The WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP. I’m so sorry you didn’t get to hear that and you should have.

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    • I have to first thank you so much for writing to me. Thank you for sharing your story. It is a horrific story and I am so very very sorry that you had to go through such horrors. That you were not believed, that you had to experience any of that is just beyond wrong. I have no words for how wrong it is. He committed suicide. Wow. I wonder how did you feel about that. Did you wish he had gone to prison or were you glad he was gone? Is it even ok to ask?
      It is also incredibly hard for me to see male doctors. I also have an injured right shoulder due to my muscle disease. Doctor’s who don’t believe me or who question my pain or the severity further makes me feel victimized. It is hard not to. I would hate for you to live in pain but I would hope there was an alternative plan for your shoulder. One that you would be comfortable with. Thank you for all of your understanding words and comforting comments.
      I was not actually raped by the ski coach. I was molested for many many years by him. Starting when I was 11. But he took away my childhood. He violated me in many ways repeatedly. And yes, my father shook his hand and yes my brother still lives across the lake from him and did for many years continue skiing with him. And my family, does not speak to me anymore because of my decision to speak openly about what happened to me.
      I understand, all the years go by, and the memories and pain, the leave marks that leave triggers that keep us very hesitant to be in a position to feel vulnerable.
      I send hugs and compassion to you. And thank you for speaking out and telling your story. That kind of bravery is just amazing and inspiring to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for your very precious, sweet reply.

        You said that the abuser did not rape you. I don’t think that’s any less abusive. Sexual abuse of a child is still rape, in my opinion, even when it does not include “everything.” For your family to minimize what happened, and now, to have the audacity to be upset with you for talking about it — I can’t even find the words to express my outrage. They should be telling you to do whatever you need to do to help yourself heal. They should be supporting you all the way and cheering you on!

        You asked how the rapist doctor’s suicide affected me. I was shattered when I was told about it. I had taken to heart the warped message that it was somehow my fault that he had drugged me and raped me and almost killed me with an overdose in the process. So when I found out that he was dead, that he had committed suicide, I was overwhelmed with guilt.

        But I was only fifteen and a patient in a psychiatric hospital when he violated me. He was in his forties, with kids older than me, and he was my doctor. I did not in any way shape or form flirt with him or flaunt my body at him. I was shy and very modest. In fact, I tried to fight off his sexual advances, which is why he had to drug me. But, despite all these things, the message that it was somehow my fault, was overwhelming.

        I think the reason I felt that way is because this was the message I got from my parents for their abuse. “Something about you brings out the worst in people” my mother would say. There was something inherently wrong with me that caused people to want to abuse me. That was what I had been told all my life and that was she I believed.

        It took a lot of years, some good therapy, and reading a library’s worth of self help books, for me to understand that I am not in any way responsible for the abuse that was done to me.

        Today, I think it is a good thing that the doctor died before he could hurt anyone else.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Your mother telling you that, ingraining that into your brain at such a young age would of course create questions. What a cruel and heartless and victimizing thing to say to a child or to anyone who has been abused in anyway. Drugging you and raping you is just one of the worst things I have heard. Horrific. I am so sorry that that happened to you. And that someone even put the seed of doubt that you would have any reason to believe it would be your fault. Nothing. Nothing you could have done would have made what he did ok. He was a rapist. You were a child.
        I used to think or wonder why things had happened to me. As a child and growing up I thought I did something that made this happen. I just happened to be in the same place at the wrong time with an abuser and I was prey. And that was all that was to it. I did nothing to deserve it or instigate it at all. Children are children. Adults are supposed to protect them. I am glad the man who raped you can nolonger hurt anyone else. I m glad you now know it wasn’t your fault. We always have to put the shame and blame on the criminal. Thank you for sharing your story.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. You nailed it! I found myself nodding my head in agreement the while time I was reading. Very well written, very powerful message. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story and for being the voice of so many abused children. The sexual abuse I went through as a child was confusing, without logic or understanding, and horrible, but my family doing nothing about it was so much more devastating and damaging. Parents NEED to be more attentive to their children’s needs. Pretending nothing happened doesn’t make it all go away; it just further scars the child. Thank you again for sharing and getting this message out.

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    • I am just so sorry to hear that no one validated and protected you during or after. That is just criminal in my mind. Total revictimization. I am so sorry you went through that. Thank you so much for reading my letter and commenting and supporting me. I really do appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. I’m processing through it all and healing a little more every day. And you’re welcome. I enjoy writers who write with such depth, honesty, and rawness of emotion. I lay my heart and soul out for my readers. I feel, as writers and readers it connects us more to one another.

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      • I completely agree. If you read some of my other blogs you will see I dont hold back. I express all of my emotions, say all the words never said before, and put it all out there. There are so many masks and people wearing them and illusions i wanted my blog to be the opposite. Sounds like you are doing the same.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh for some reason i thought you were commenting on a different post called details of the abuse. So my reply may not have made sense!!!
      Ive read this letter i wrote a few times and every time i read it i get angry at what should have been done and isn’t done. All you and i can keep doing is speaking our truth! And hope that the we inspire others to, and help others to know they arent alone, and maybe help parents of an abused child actually do the right thing

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