It bleeds incessantly. Most days you try to ignore it, relegating it to a continuous throb in the back of your mind. Then are the days he wields the knife again, cutting deeper and deeper each time into the wound that never quite heals.
It is your fault, somehow, it is your fault. You ask for it, he says. You want it, he says. You don't, you hate it. But you second guess yourself, are you asking for it? How? How do you stop? You don't even remember what it's like to be normal. Is this normal?
You build and build the courage, finally confessing and revealing the wound to your mother. She stares for a long time at the cut, saying nothing. Finally, she opens her mouth. "It isn't really that bad, is it? Just don't say anything about it, I will take care of it."
She leaves you and you wait. He comes again. And again. You try to speak to your mother again, ask her why she doesn't help you, but she never lets you get that far. She gives you new clothes to wear, longer sleeves to cover the wound. As though if it is out of sight, it will fix itself.
The blood dries, hardens and becomes a part of the sleeve. You tug at the cloth sometimes, trying to separate the clothing from the wound but mountains of tears well up in your eyes from the pain. Is it so embarrassing that my mother can't tell anyone? Is this all my fault? What have I done God, that you punish me? Is this the destiny of my life?
How much more the pain of the abused child? Sexual abuse much like a bleeding physical wound (I am focusing on sexual/emotional since that's what's been on my mind lately). Sons and daughters alike, their innocence stripped by someone they love and trust. And not only that, but their pain is covered up and forgotten, treated as though THEY should be the ashamed ones.
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. - John 3:20
What if someone had the ability to get inside you, to cut you from the inside? Someplace that has no visible effects, somewhere nobody could find unless you told them. They could shame you into thinking there is nothing you can do, that you deserve it, that you are unworthy of real love.
Is that pain lesser than the gaping wound on your arm? If you ignore it, will that change its effect on you? How is emotional/spiritual/mental abuse and pain any "less" than physical? And why do people - especially Christians - feel such a need to cover it all up? Covering for the abuser only enables him/her to continue abusing!
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11
"Oh, we're just going to love the abuser." Well...what about the victim??
"It will ruin our witness/reputation." It's already ruined!
"I don't believe it." Well, you'd better! Someone's life may be at stake.
"He's changed." He/she won't be changed unless they take responsibility and accept any punishment for their actions.
"It isn't that bad." Who are you to judge the extent of someone else's pain?
Are appearances really that important? More important than the well-being of a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend? (And that goes for boys as well!) I guess this hits just a little close to home for me (not my own experience, but someone very close to me). It angers me that people rob children of their innocence, and that others will willingly cover up for them!
So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. - Matthew 23:28
(This link is actually a power/abuse wheel for abused wives, but is helpful just to see what the different types of abuse are, some obvious, others more subtle.)