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Use your own pain, to heal another’s pain – 12 Ways to handle your child’s sexual abuse situation

God can use your pain to help others struggling with the same pain

Story-based on real events: Names changed to protect the client:

“Susan’s story:” I was busy trying to carry on, rebuilding my life once again, starting from scratch, and fighting to keep head above water financially while learning what it means to keep the faith, as I started to work for myself.  It felt like God did not want me to work for an employer full time, so I had to do whatever I can,to create income. Trying to be creative and learn to think out of the box was not easy, plus having to cope with what God wanted me to learn and do, as I was chosen to minister unto others (something I never wanted but had to accept).  Then you, my precious daughter, Linda, came and decided that it is time for me to deal with your pain and to take responsibility for all the hurt, which you went through in your life while you were living in my house.

So many of the things that you are blaming me for, I did not even know existed.  And all I was trying to do was to provide for my family and to find you a good father to fill in where I was lacking as a single mom and  while working gruelling hours as a bartender after being retrenched for the how “manyeth” time  

I was stunned by everything that you wrote me in your letter and the accusations, on what happened to you during the hours that I was working and it felt like I was reading a horror story,  it was real, but it did not feel like it. 

I had to read it a few times to realise what was written in it, and the realisation that I did not know how to process it.

  I have been through so much in life, yet now my beautiful daughter went through the same and worse things than me. 

The questions came, why did I not see it?  Why did I not protect my daughter?  Why?  I started to blame God.   “ You promised me that my daughter will not go through the same or worse as me. How could you allow it?”  The hatred started to dwell up inside of me toward that man of my past.  I felt like getting in my car, to go find him, and to take him out with my bare hands.

The horror story was playing out on the paper in my hand, and I could not even imagine, how it all must have felt going through something as bad, repeatedly without me knowing.  Guilt also started to show its face.   I felt like I was the worst mom that ever walked the earth. “

Now when Susan, came to me, asking for help, on how to deal with her and her daughter’s situation,  I did not know what to say or think.  I felt her pain so deeply, as I went through something similar.   The blank stare of knowing that you need to handle this, but have no idea where to start.

I asked the Holy Spirit, “How am I going to help Susan and Linda?”

Then the Holy Spirit reminded me to go back to my own situation, the day that  I told my story to my mom and her looking back at me with a blank stare of not knowing how to process the molestation and date rape story that I  just told her.

The Holy Spirit gave me these words: “Jesus can succour us because He was succoured”- Hebrew 2: 18

That meant that I have an understanding of what she was going through because I went through something similar.

I could understand what my daughter went through because I went through something similar.

12 Ways How to handle your child’s painful situation:

  1. We needed to go back into our past, to dig up those  old memories and feelings of hurt we endured.  The pain came back, as the memories were recalled.
  2. The blank looks on our mother’s faces when we told them our story, and them staring back at us like they almost did not believe us.  Thus we realised, that we had to believe Linda, no matter what we felt inside.  We could not allow any doubt to surface.  No one will make up such a horror story and dump it on you years later.
  3. Linda had to know that Susan understood  Linda’s pain, by drawing from her own past experience.
  4. Susan had to share her story with Linda, for her to see that Susan, her mom,  also got hurt and that her  daughter, was not the only one whom carried scars.
  5. Susan had to then guide Linda  through her own story, on how she learnt that the pain is terrible, and that it was not Lind”s fault.
  6. We used the one chair therapy, where you put your abuser in the chair and just go at him. Telling him everything that you always wanted to, no holding back.
  7. Susan and Linda had to constantly deal with the yoyo effect, the battle in the mind which goes over into your emotions, of hate, then to forgive, then hate, then forgiveness.
  8.  BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP OF ALL THE ABOVE STEPS IS TO APOLOGIZE FOR NOT SEEING, FOR NOT KNOWING, AND TO TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY WITH THE BLAME. This way you lighten the burden and start to help, carrying the weight, so that the healing process can start in Linda.

After your child broke the silence and decided to inform you, the first question, which will pop out of your mouth, will be: “Why did you not tell me?”

Their reaction will be, the same as to why you did not tell your mom when it happened that time.

If you search your memories, you never told your mom, because you believed that your mom would not believe you, and will accuse you of being the culprit, or just plainly, would not speak because of fear.

Thus with my experience, the same answer will be given almost every time:” I do not know.   I was scared. You would not have believed me”

9.It is not your fault “

Story: “I told my Dad the first time his friend did something to me, and my dad was angry with me.

Thus the guilt that I carried all those years, not understanding my Dad’s reaction, but then 20+ years later, I faced my dad and told him, you were angry with me.   His reply was, I was not angry with you, but with my friend.

My reply was, but you never told me that it was not my fault.”

Thus with my experience, I would highly recommend that you inform your child, that it was not their fault.

5         Reasons as to why your child did not speak up:

  • Scared because the parent might not believe them, which  might have happened before.
  • Scared that the parent will punish them, which might have happened before.
  • Scared that it will make circumstance worse.
  • Scared that it will make the parent hate them, the child.
  • Do not want to burden the parent with more things, because of circumstance already being tough.
  1. You, as the parent will need to step up to the plate now, and will need to take full responsibility for your child’s pain, by apologising and sympathizing.       

Now is not the time to deal with whose fault it is, or who is the rightful owner of the blame.

First things first.  Your child decided to trust you one last time, to see if you are going to step up and be the PARENT again.  The reason also why the child will come back to the parent / s to inform them of her or his pain, is the child wants the pain to go away.

It is never easy for a parent to hear of their child’s pain, or that they have failed their child in some way, but what the child does not always know, is that sometimes the parents are still sorting our their own hurts they picked up in their mother’s house, which was also still not completely resolved.  Or, that the parent was working so hard, trying to provide for their family, that he/she never realised that things are not kosher at home as you were relying on what you have taught them.

But, it is not time for that now either, you need to be MOM/ DAD right now, you need to stand by your child and feel their pain, cry your tears with them, comfort your child,  and apologise, as your child needs proof now, that you actually really care.

The pain will hit you as the parent from both sides, the guilt of you indirectly causing your child pain, and the pain and disappointment of trusting another adult, to keep your children safe.  The hatred and anger towards the person who victimised your child will come to you, the parent, like a wave, and you choose to forgive and forgive, along with the image of taking the person out.  The battle in your mind of hatred, then forgiveness.

You cannot sleep, your eyes are swollen because of all the crying, as the torturous emotions wash over you.

I have learnt to forgive fast because it becomes harder the longer you wait.   Yet it does not make the pain go away, and it does not take the memory away. 

Facing this traumatic situation, opened up old childhood wounds of my own.  Once again I had to face those, now deep scars, along with my child’s.      

Your child will only find out once they are a parent themselves how painful it is for a parent to take responsibility for a child’s pain, after years of silence, and the shock of finding out that you were not a good parent at all, according to your child. 

Because you are responsible for your child, your child will hold you responsible for their pain in their childhood years, as the parent was supposed to be the adult.  The parent was supposed to know better and be wise, however, you as the parent know, that you have to write a new manual for each of your children depending on their personality.  

The child does not know how it feels as a parent when you are sometimes so overwhelmed by life, children, circumstance, that you sometimes also just want to give up.

10. Forgiveness.

10.1.You will need to forgive your child for scratching open old wounds, and memories.

10.2.You will need to forgive yourself for not being able to protect your child.

10.3.You will need to forgive God, as we are living in a fallen world

10.4.All healing starts with forgiveness.  It is a choice, not a feeling.

11. See the positive in the suffering.

This does not make sense, but you become so much stronger when you have been through a traumatic experience, and it is to me almost a universal law, remembering that a diamond is forged under great pressure.  The grape gets crushed to before you can get wine out of it.

11.1. How this trauma or trial affects you, is your choice.  Choice not chance determines your destiny.

11.2.NO SCARS NO STORY. You can only assist other people in their pain if you have walked the path of pain and suffering yourself.

11.3.Romans 8: 28: Everything works out for the good of those who love God, who walks after the Spirit and not the flesh

11.4.Romans 8: Be glad when you fall into various trials, as trials bring about persistence, character and hope

I really hope that this article assisted you so that you can start to use your story and scars to help others.

Disclaimer: I am sharing with you, my own experiences and how I learnt how to apply them. It is not to say that my reasons or my way to handle a situation are the only way, or that the outcome will be the same as mine.  I am just sharing with you, as it is my passion to teach people that they already have the power inside of themselves to change themselves and their circumstances, and how to apply it in their life.

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