The Survivor Struggle – Part 2

On July 5, 2011, many people, including myself, were shocked to hear the words “Not Guilty” resonate in an Orlando courtroom at the Casey Anthony murder trial. Despite our need or desire to put the puzzle together, we will never know what really happened to beautiful Caylee — not that knowing would make anything better.

I really hope that George and Cindy can cope with the result. I sincerely wish them well and hope they do not take on the emotional burden of this murder. I was a victim of severe violence and sex abuse as a child and I felt guilty for doubting Casey’s story. It troubled me because when I spoke out about my own family, they were so well behaved in public, people doubted me. I told the truth and have real trouble with anyone who concocts these stories.

In addition, during this long trial, I took offence to the characterization of survivors as liars, sluts or promiscuous (while men enjoy the double standard), and that that could be a possible excuse to murder a child. That upsets me because of what I survived at the hands of my stepfather and mother (beaten with fists, a baseball bat, slashed with  knives, and an arm broken – all injuries never treated because of the attention it would bring). Let us not forget the words used against me: bitch, stupid, tease, clumsy, haughty, pig, idiot. Finally, the worst, I was a victim of a multiple rape by their friends, something with which I was always threatened.

Sadism. Madness. Make no mistake; it is not mine. I was just born to these people. I am by no means perfect. However, I am not a prolific liar; have never had trouble with the law; and struggle with all my might to do things the right way. Study. Work. Do not compare myself to other people. Be good to others. Do not think anyone owes me anything. With decades of help, I eventually made progress and seem to have turned out okay.

Still, I would have given my blood for loving and helpful parents (like Cindy and George Anthony). Of course, no family is perfect. But how much better could it be with love and nurturing from day one? How could one abuse that and the privilege of having a gorgeous child?

I have no children. After an ectopic pregnancy, I did not try again. I was so terrified that what I read was true: “All abused kids grow up to be abusers.” I vowed never to be like them but had no guarantee. How would I cope with no emotional or financial resources of any kind? That was just not good enough. I could hardly stand myself as it was so being a third-generation child abuser was simply not acceptable.

One last thought for the sceptics out there. I write about these issues sporadically but with a purpose in mind. A car could hit and kill me tonight and I would never have a chance to share my only legacy. I must talk to people about it. I am on a mission to share my experience, successes and hope–not for pity, to seem holier-than-thou, or to engage in a useless “Woe-is-Me!” pity-fest. That is mind numbing and accomplishes nothing. It bores me, as it would my readers.

Besides, I must get back to chiselling away those negative word associations that haunt me still. I try to remember the gems people bestow upon me these days:  Kind, Strong, Funny, Caring, Honest, and Motivated. My goal is to mince and memorialize only those word-strings that make me smile and have a good belly laugh.

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