Sep 27, 2008

Every child deserves a chance

Good news today. Legislation has passed in New York to treat minors used for sexual exploitation as victims rather than prosecute them as offenders. This is certainly a step in the right direction. I would hope other states quickly follow suit. From my perspective, legislation needs to go that one step further to provide the same services to adult survivors of child exploitation who, through no fault of their own, don't remember until later in life. Assistance provided by this Safe Harbor Act includes counseling, emergency services and long term housing solutions.

I read something yesterday that made me think how the situation would be different if the nation went after pedophilia at its source of gathering. The issue was why pedophiles were not being given appropriate help to heal from their own child abuse. Without delving into the research, I believe it has been proven that, by the time the individual reaches a certain age, it's too late. It's true that pedophiles do train boys to become pedophiles. But if those boys were rescued and provided with resources for long-term therapy and safety, imagine the impact that could have for the boys who were saved as well as the nation. Getting help for young boys "in training" would reduce the pedophile population for the future.

I recall one of Katie's disclosures. Typically it was "older boys" or the "bad men" who came in groups. One day she told me a little boy was with them. She didn't know numbers but knew the boy was older than her. He could write and count. For some reason, the perps left the young boy with her for several hours while they went off to heaven only knows what destruction. She relayed that the little boy said he didn't like being with the men. In fact he helped her by hiding the "little phone" (the cell phone) so it would not be taken from her when they returned. That little boy told Katie. Even if the adult part of her was able to hear (co-consciousness) of the child's plea, her report to authorities would have been dismissed. Knowing about it and having no resources to report feels very helpless.

If I become aware of a child's abuse, I am compelled to report to Children & Youth within 24 hours. Since I had already been rebuffed by law enforcement several times and knew how they treated both Katie and my other client, I had no resources. In Tyler's case, he reported his toddler brother was also being hurt by bio mom and her boyfriend as well as the boyfriend's teenage son. I can only hope that Tyler's stepbrother was rescued from that situation. Tyler was terrified of the toddler, viewing him also as someone who hurt him. My mind has only one concept of what might have been done to cause that to happen, but just is no telling. Maybe one day Tyler will have the vocabulary to tell.

In my memories, my younger sister's mere appearance in a dream caused me to wake up screaming in terror. It took several years to fully process what that meant. The answer I got was that I had been told repeatedly that she could kill me if she were told. That made sense because she was so aggressive as a child. She would fight at the least provocation with fingernails digging, biting, hair pulling. My older sister and I were nonviolent and tried to protect ourselves from her. Of course any complaining we did to our parents about the little sister being so mean led to scolding or worse because we were older and were supposed to know better or set an example. It wasn't until we were all adults that we could get along together. You can see how subconsciously I would avoid my sister for any type of affectionate bond.

No matter what I remembered, it made perfect sense in the spectrum of my conscious life. It was self-validating. Those who would ask, "Where's the proof", I would answer "in the healing". I was lucky. I didn't have to wait for ten misdiagnoses before I knew I had DID. I found a good therapist within two years. I did heal. I've been at home for a year recuperating from a medical disaster learning I was the therapist other psychiatrists and doctors were referring their dissociative patients to. There is such a shortage of trained therapists. It's not fair. I know that life is not fair. But this whole issue of survivors having to go through hurdle after hurdle, fighting to heal, is so not fair.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When you wrote this..."Where's the proof", I would answer "in the healing". It touched a part very deep in me because I am ALWAYS asking myself HOW WHY I have NO proof...and your answer clicked and makes total sense...I guess I don't need physical proof, I have proof