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April 16, 2013

BEAM: The bonds that stick

(Continued)

One of my friends doesn’t agree with my theory on survivors finding one another. He says I give the perpetrators and their acts too much power. They didn’t change us on the inside. We’re friends because of our other likenesses, not because of the traumatic experiences we had as children. Then, he argues, there are the statistics. One in three women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. One in five men will suffer a similar fate. With those high numbers, how can you not be friends with a sexual abuse survivor? 

OK, he has some valid points. But maybe I wanted something good to come out of the abuse. These friendships have helped me cope. I can’t help but to wonder if there’s not something more to it than just blind luck. Everything happens for a reason, right? 

Of course, we are each on our own separate journey. No one knows the pain another is going through. But we can talk about it with people who have experienced similar circumstances. For those survivors who do not have anyone to discuss their feelings with, groups like SOAR ministries here in Southern Indiana (www.soarministry.org) help foster the healing process. 

Likewise, R.I.S.E is another organization that promotes exorcising those hidden demons by letting go of your secrets. Telling your story and opening up to others is one of the first steps. Visit their website riseaboveabuse.org to discover more. 

Most everyone knows what oil does in a glass of H2O. But did you know enough oil slicked over tumultuous waters actually has a calming effect? Only relatively small concentrations of the liquid are needed to spread out over the waves and quiet their crashing roar.

Survivors are the same. We too need to ban together and help each other soothe the anger and hurt of childhood sexual abuse. Like a drop of oil, a little spot of friendship could go a long way. 

 

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