Why do we tell our Stories

Many of us were victims of various kinds of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual, and definitely spiritual abuse. As we aged many of us have created an atmosphere around is where it is finally safe for us to tell our stories. We do this for a variety of reasons. We tell our stories because:

  • we were silenced for so long and it just needs to come out so we can heal.
  • we need to know if it only happened to us. 
  • we are finally free to talk to others and share our stories
  • we hope to get support
  • we want to offer support to other victims and let them know they are not alone
  • we need to empower ourselves and take control over our recovery
  • we need to know that we are believed, especially if we were accused of lying about it
  • we finally need to be heard

We want to protect other people. Silence only makes more victims. Abusers and those who protect them threatened us with all kinds of terrible things. They told us it was our fault; that we are unclean or that we deserved it. They tell us we are worth nothing.

The only thing that an abuser wants from any one who finds out about the abuse is silence. When other family members or elders give him what he wants - that precious silence - he is empowered to continue abusing us and others. He is empowered to find more victims. He thinks he has it made. Many of them actually believe they are not hurting anyone.

But we care about other people. We have no desire to see one more person hurt. So we speak out now that it is safe. We speak out now that we know somebody is listening.

Sometimes it is too painful to read our stories. I ache for each story I have read. Sometimes I need to take time before reading another story. It hurts but I read them.

I know how much it takes for a person to tell his or her story. When I tell my story for a new group of people I shake. My body reacts to the telling. It releases a lot of fear but it stirs up a lot of fear too. What if they don't believe me? What if no one responds? What if they think it wasn't that bad? What if they think I caused it or deserved it. It isn't easy to tell our stories. It means we relive it. Few of us can even begin to tell you how bad it really was. I try to do that with my poetry. The feelings are raw. But it takes a lot to do that. I doubt there is one person here who has told their story and not suffered that night because of the memories. It isn't easy.

The WTS wants one thing from its victims - Silence. They silence us by disfellowshipping us. They silence us by demonizing us so other JWs won't listen and if they do listen they won't believe us or care. They isolate us from family and friends. And they say we are bitter, we deserved what we got and that we lie. The abusive WTS follows the pattern of all abusers: protect the organization at all cost even if that means continuing the destroying people and families.

There are so many of us here. Some tell their stories for the first time. Even if you cannot express any words just let them know you took the time to share their pain.  

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