When we are young, our parents teach us that there is no monster in the closet, but are they right? I don't think so. No, the monster isn't dripping saliva down it's fangs, the monster is usually someone that could live right next door to you, sometimes even within the same house! Monsters do exist and we need to share that fact.
This isn't my story, but it easily could have been. Today I want to share a story with you about a beautiful woman. A woman, that if you met her, would know that she is very happy, very upbeat - but inside, struggles with wanting to end her life at times. Most people never get to meet that side of her, although she is speaking out about the traumas in her life that led her to this point.
Imagine, for a second, that you are her. She thought she had everything in the world. Those that met her thought her life was perfect. She did too. One day, all that changed for her, leaving her suffering from PTSD. The day that was to change her life drastically started like any other normal day. Then came the disclosure. She found out that in the past, for over 2 years, her children were being sexually assaulted. No, there was no penetration involved, but I want you to know it doesn't end there. She was to find out that it was one of her best friend's husband doing this, a man that had always been welcome in her home and them in theirs. Now, take this one step further. Her friend knew this was happening! As I said, monsters are real and they can be very close to you, without you even knowing!
There were no outward signs - it was all hidden, for over 2 years. At one point, this beautiful woman, who had endured so much distress, had decided that enough was enough. She just couldn't take it anymore. While people say how hard it is to get prescription drugs, the truth is, anyone that really wants them can get them. Well, she took quite a few, including Oxycontin, and ended up on life support.
Events, like abuse, leave a lasting mark on your very soul. As Moms, we do our best to protect our kids from harm. When something happens, as things always do, guilt comes into play. "I should've known." "How did I let this happen?" "I let my baby down." "I should've done better." I can give you so many quotes, but the fact of the matter is, we can't lock our kids away in a safe room and keep them safe from all the monsters that are in the world. What we can do is educate others.
How do we educate others? We share our stories. We let others know that they are not alone. We let others know that there is NO shame in being a victim. We let others know that there still are going to be times that are very hard. This is a traumatic experience and there are long-lasting side effects. Go for counseling if you need to. Know that as a victim, therapy can help. Also know, as a victim, you are in unique position to help others going through the same thing. Talk about it. Share your story and end the shame. You sharing your story could easily be the gateway to reveal more monsters and put them out of our lives.
As a victim, you also have to understand that there will be triggers that will hit you. Triggers that can slap you so hard that at times, it will still feel like the only way you will ever have peace again would be to end your life. You need to also find a counter-trigger. Something or someone you can turn to that will let you know that yes, you are strong enough to overcome this. You are strong enough because, you are worth it! You are a good person that had something very bad happen to you.
One day, this beautiful woman, was at the end of her rope. She just wanted to end it all. She wanted to hop on a bus to New York City, find a beautiful hotel room, find some heroin or something similar, and just end her pain, once and for all. In the back of her mind, she thought about my beautiful Heather and how we are sharing her story. That was the trigger to say, no, I will not take my life. I will keep going and I will keep sharing my story and let others know that there is hope.
If you are being abused in any way, if you hurt and are suffering for any reason, please remember this, you need to end the abuse and get the help you need. We all have to do our best to rid ourselves of the monsters, we need to shine a light on them. The light, the exposure, is what puts them away.