Wednesday, April 29, 2009


By the telling of my story, I hope to free anyone reading from some kind of abuse-related fear. You might fear of telling about or facing your own abuse. You might fear victims because you are unsure of what to say or how to act. You might fear of hearing about abuse, because you have children and you worry about them. You might fear for yourself in the future if it ever happens to you. Fear is something to move past. Talking about abuse, facing abuse, sifting through the wreckage of abuse is what forces fear out. The truth will set you free.

If you are one of those people who has not been through abuse, but would like to know how to talk to a survivor, then please visit some of these websites. Of course, if you are a victim, then please visit these sites as well, but please seek professional help if you can.

I was abused sexually a handful of times when I was in elementary school. My father was the perpetrator. My mother never saw it. However, my mother was depressed and unable to take care of me and my siblings. She depended on her children to emotionally to take care of her. The stress of the role reversal (feeling like I had to take care of my mother at the age of 5), left me feeling different. The sexual abuse that happened a few years later (I was 8 or so), only solidified my solitary nature. This was difficult as a child, and I look back now realizing that it was adding insult to injury to be abused on top of being pretty sensitive to begin with. I would have had difficulties with my extreme sensitivity even if I had nurturing, helpful parents who were not caught up in their own problems.

My sexual abuse may not be comparatively bad, but as they say "once is enough". Regardless, it gave me classic abuse victim problems. I did not trust people. I was sexually confused. I was depressed, but also experienced extreme highs. I gained weight to protect myself. I would dissociate in painful situations. The list goes on. Becoming aware of the symptoms was my first step. Then I could see what was causing those symptoms: my unresolved abuse. Admitting that what happened was "abuse" was my next step.

Arguably, that was the biggest step I ever took. It started me down the path of facing my problems instead of running from them. If anything has happened to you that you think might be abuse, try to face it. You are not alone. I will talk to you, and I will accept you.


gretchen said...

Bringing awareness to child abuse has the potential to help so many people. Thank you for shedding light on the reality of it. I have seen some of the work that you have put into overcoming your past and I admire you more than you'll ever know. Love ya, k!!

Jacque said...

Kendahl, you are so sweet. I love you. I think it's amazing how much you've worked through. Even though it isn't over, you are a success story to me. I think that abuse happens much more often than we think and the victims don't always have a chance to recover and regain a sense of "self" like you have. I'm glad you can be a voice for them.

Kristi said...

You are an amazing woman K! I think that your dialogue will help so many others, those who have been abused and those who want to help those who have been abused. Keep sharing and educating.