자기 용서를위한 시간| The One with Theresa - Childhood, Interrupted : Episode 22 (2018)
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The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Theresa
Warning: This episode contains messages that might be disturbing to some listeners – especially those who May have experienced one form of child sexual abuse or the other.
This was easily the most difficult episode I have worked on this podcast. The prevalence of child sexual abuse is one that cannot be ignored (especially in a country like Nigeria with its burgeoning population and lax rules). Why? Because abused children grow up to become adults who may suffer from mental health issues ranging from substance abuse, personality disorders, conflict in romantic or interpersonal relationships, to eating disorders. Of all the things that can be done to you, rape is probably one of the worse because it is your body and you have to carry it along for the rest of your life; there is no escaping from it. Even when you try to physically escape from it, the body (and brain) always keep the score.
In this episode, I discussed these issues at length with a longtime friend and a lawyer – Theresa Odigie. As an author, Theresa uses her words to rescue people from grief, insecurities, or anything that poses as a stronghold in one's life. Follow her on Instagram as Theresa.odigie.
PS: We discussed a poem from Theresa’s new book, a collection of poems – Broken Porcelain. This book is a collection of pure sadness and connectedness which can be purchased on Amazon at a discounted price (for the next 10 days), courtesy of the show. Kindle version and hard copies are available.
Things not to say to a child sexual abuse survivor:
- “I know how you feel.” – [This minimizes the robustness of their pain]
- “It could have been worse.” – [Also minimization]
- “Time heals the words.” – [There’s nothing powerful about the passage of time. Memories don’t know time]
- “Tell me more details on how it happened.” – [Voyeuristic and misuse of trust. Let them offer up their story how and when they want.]
- “Don’t worry, it is going to be all right, God makes beauty from ashes.” – [Certainly not biblical.]
- “You need to forgive and move on.” – [I can’t even!]
Rather, try saying:
- “I believe you.”
- “I am glad you are talking to me.”
- “I am glad you are safe.”
- “It’s understandable. You are not crazy for feeling this way.”
- “It’s OK to cry.”
- “I am sorry this happened to you.”
- Find someone to talk to. If you cannot, talk to strangers, you are not really investing in them emotionally.
- Even better, find another survivor to talk to. They have lived the abuse, and are usually able to nurture another survivor.
- Don’t blame yourself for what happened to you. Give that baggage away; it was never yours.
- Healing is possible and a long journey, but it is worth it.
- If someone confides in you, you are obligated to listen
- When someone opens up to you, do not break their trust
- Parents should be more vigilant and strive to create safe spaces for their children to communicate openly with them on any issues.
“Leave the Lights On” – Beth Hart (2003)
“Some of us have things that happened to us that interrupted our childhood in such a way that we have grown up to become a version of the self that we are still trying to recognize. We are still trying to appease to that child in us that was bruised and hurt for one reason or the other. Real life changes won’t be made until we sit down and find a way to reconcile that hurt child with the adult we have become.” – Mo!
"Our reaction and behavior come from our bad experiences. So, if people wonder certain things like why you are this way, why you are always closed off and defensive, it is rooted from that one thing that interrupted our childhood.” – Theresa
“The way we were brought up. I don’t what kind of communal child-rearing style we were raised with that allowed a lot of sexual abuse to go on undetected. The double jeopardy is that the majority of those affected are not able to confide in any parent or other adults for fear of being blamed or punished.” – Mo!
US: National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline - Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) - https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotlineNigeria: Mirabel center - Managed by Partnership for Justice Tel: 08155770000, 07013491769, 08187243468, 01-2957816 www.pjnigeria.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://mirabelcentre.org/
- Holcomb, Justin. (2011): Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault. Crossway Publishers
- Child Sex Abuse: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuse