You’ve probably heard the news, heard the pundits and talking heads and everyone with an opinion talking about the Kavanaugh nomination and the accusations against him. You might have heard “due process” or “boys being boys” or some other variation on that theme. You’ve probably heard the question, “Why didn’t she come forward sooner?”
Here’s the thing: I tried to come forward. I was called a liar.
My case was different: I had been dealing with physical abuse from my mother for years. In my mind, this was what every child went through. This happened in every family. Since it was “normal” to me, I thought it was “normal” for everyone else.
It also didn’t help matters when my mother told horror stories of just how awful foster care was and how much I would suffer. This, I found out later, is a common thread in a lot of stories that are similar to mine.
Like many victims, I was shamed and frightened into silence. Like many others, it was easier for me to keep quiet about my childhood and just not mention it. Things stayed that way until 2010, when my mother told me the truth. Suddenly, everything I knew, or thought I knew, was suspect. That was when I started to blog about it.
That’s also when I had a friend all but call me a liar.
Now, in my case, I’m lucky. I wasn’t forced from my home and I didn’t get death threats. But I was told that I was wrong. I was gaslit. My pain was minimized, hand waved away because “it wasn’t so bad” since my mother didn’t “do that” to anyone else. Basically, I was “throwing a tantrum”. Oh and by the way, if I wanted to, I could email this person to talk about it.
Needless to say, an email never happened.
It’s easy to ask the question, but the answers are something most don’t want to hear. Coming forward with information like this will cost you. Because everyone believes the abuser but few believe the victim. The ones that do have been through a hell of their own. We know, we all know, what it can cost us.
Better to suffer in silence than face the alternative.