This year’s conference theme was “extreme Home Makeover”. Setting up the keynote message was Karley Houchin, the prayer team coordinator for the conference. Karley shared her story of childhood sexual abuse and adulthood recovery. A common theme for childhood victims is to not recognize or recall the issues until they can no longer be silenced as an adult. One thing she said(among many)that really stood out to me was the idea that the road to healing begins with opening up about the past. She says, “guilt-ridden and shameful things lose their power when spoken out loud”.
Over the last 2-3 years, I started to “go public” with my own sexual abuse as a child. I hadn’t wanted to because although traumatic, there are many other victims who endured much worse than I. Also, I felt that I would be looked at as trying to get attention which I kind of know is not true. And finally, I didn’t realize I had been abused until years later. It never occurred to me that anything was wrong until I started to hear others’ stories. And then, I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon while they were going through their stuff. See attention-getting fear above.
So Karley’s story, especially the idea of stripping the guilt-ridden and shameful things of their power, gave me some peace and made me feel like just maybe, I wasn’t as stupid as I’d thought for “letting” myself get taken advantage of all those years ago. It wasn’t my fault.