This morning I got caught in a web of toxicity blended with accusing tones and bad grammar. With the banter going back and forth regarding she said, he said, I realized that after reading post after post, my heart started racing, I became irritated, and my head was on the verge of exploding. I am looking forward to a time, when people will learn to keep their uninformed opinions to themselves, learn to spell, and for the love of God, punctuation saves lives.
These are serious times and we are going at each other as if we were on opposing teams. The reality of our society is that sexual abuse happens on a daily basis. Victims don’t always report it. And yet, there are individuals bashing the woman who has come forward. The woman who has put her life on display for public consumption. Our world is really screwed up. You see, I wasn’t there and neither were the millions of people who have an opinion.
Recently, I had a conversation with someone who told me that she didn’t understand why those young men, who were sexually abused by priests, didn’t come forward right away. She said, “If that were me, I would have come forward immediately.”. I have no idea what I would do because that has never happened to me. My point is that we can’t fully know our reaction until we experience it for ourselves. Fear is an evil monster that can easily silence the abused.
What about those who don’t have a voice? Don’t you think I worry about someone inappropriately touching Bailey? While he is high functioning, he also has the mental capacity of a ten year old. He is agreeable and friendly. He could be easily manipulated by someone who has an evil agenda. While I want him to have some independence, I am cautious. Even at the high school where he works, I don’t let him go to football games alone. While I should feel safe in doing so, I live in a state of anxiety that someone will take advantage of him. Would people believe him if he were sexually abused? Or, would they reference his mental capacity as a reason not to?
All I am pointing out is that sexual abuse isn’t gender selective. We need to be more compassionate to those who choose to come forward and prayerful to those who can’t. If you haven’t walked in their shoes, count your blessings. If you have, then share your experience, strength, and hope. But, let’s not tear each other apart. Remember, you weren’t there, so you don’t know.