The ‘UH OH’ FEELING
I remember a time growing up as a little girl, actually it was most of the time, where I had the ‘Uh Oh’ feeling – a feeling in my stomach …. A feeling like, “I’m in trouble”, or “I have done something wrong”. I was actually a ‘perfect’ child (in my own mind) up until I turned 14 years old. The youngest of 4 children, I felt I was spared most of the physical abuse that my siblings received. There was a story I remember hearing in my family when I was growing up. Apparently, my dad used a 2′ x 4′ board to discipline my 3 older siblings. As an adult, I was at a hardware store and looked at a 2′ x 4′ and I couldn’t imagine being hit with one. So, in reality, it may have been a 1′ x 4′ board – but my heavens, can you imagine being a kid and having your dad ‘spank’ you with a 1′ x 4′ board? No matter what the size of the board, what can a child learn from being hit like this, except FEAR. Pure fear.
Luckily I never was hit with ‘the board’. My dad hit me twice in my life, and it was with his hand. Yes – I know – it sounds like I am minimizing my own pain. And to a certain degree I am. It’s what I do – or what I used to do. I felt like what happened to my brother and sisters was always worse than what happened to me. Growing up as a Navy Brat, the NORM in my family was having my father be away at sea for many months at a time, and then the trepidation of his return.
But the physical abuse was not all that I experienced growing up. I was also sexually molested as a child. This is the reality of the ‘Uh Oh Feeling’ – The root cause of my feelings – as if I had done something wrong. Or that I was wrong, or bad. I truly didn’t understand. And even now, at the age of 58, I still can’t quite believe that it happened. And yet, IT DID.
There was a sitcom back in the 80’s called Webster. I stumbled across it recently while I was searching for validation of the ‘Uh Oh’ feeling. Here is a short clip from that TV Sitcom back in 1985.
This was 32 years ago. We have to ask ourselves what has changed? And yet, I know we haven’t changed enough because there are children every day in every part of the country and world experiencing the ‘UH OH’ feeling.
The time is NOOW to take a stand, find your voice, speak your truth. We, as survivors, thrivers and even warriors will no longer remain silent. We are taking back what was once stolen from us. We have lived the pain and are healing daily, together. Talk to another adult, talk to your family, talk to your Church, talk to your friends.
Let’s begin the conversation that child sexual abuse, ALL CHILD ABUSE, is an epidemic that is killing the souls of our children. No longer can we pretend it doesn’t happen in our community, in our neighborhood, in our family. Because it does. And ignoring it will not make it go away.
Child Abuse is not a Social Norm and it is time we found solutions to help create healthier families, healthier communities, healthier organizations. Because everything is mirrored in itself. The solution? Or at least the beginning of the solution: EDUCATION, COMMUNICATION & COLLABORATION