I can’t speak for all who have suffered sexual abuse as a child … but … I do feel this will resonate with many.
I have had the need for control, to the point of which I was sometimes puzzled. I don’t mean “control” over someone else … as much as I do … control over what affects me. I have always had to lock my bedroom door … yes … all of my life, even now. I also have to have some light in my room … even bedroom … while sleeping.
I always felt I had to be in control of relationships. I needed to be the one to call it off before someone else did. I was my own worst enemy. I needed space … lots of space (and, to some extent … still do) in a relationship.
I hate being lied to or manipulated. I’m sure most people do. But with me … it’s something that can break a relationship, no matter how small the lie or innocent the “manipulation.”
For years, I was very guarded in my personal and my business relationships. I did not allow people to get too close. It’s really too bad, because I believe I missed out on so many wonderful people. And, I know that I have, intentionally and unintentionally … hurt a few … on the way.
Why am I telling you this? Because, I believe that much of this was brought on by sexual abuse, as a child. I believe there are many others who recognized this in themselves.
A child most often feels helpless, and confused when abused, especially if it’s someone they know. Especially, I feel, if it’s an authority figure in their life. A child can become so overwhelmed by this feeling of having no control in these situations … that lack of control can later become … an obsession … for control.
I admittedly still do have some control issues … overly cautious when out alone … locked doors … lights, etc. … but now … because of the wonderful people who surround me … including my very patient and tolerant, sweet, generous, (and funny) husband … I welcome new friendships, and I cherish those around me. I hold them close to me. I am blessed.
But … I know there are many who never quite get through their anguish, frustrations, lack of self-esteem … and, uncommon need for control. I am writing this for them. I want them to know what they are feeling is not uncommon. I’m hoping they will seek help and will open their hearts to others.
I want to make it clear that I do not feel everyone who shows signs of “needing control” have been sexually abused as a child. That would be a fallacy. I am saying that the “need for control” is something that does arise, often-times, when someone has been abused.
And … I am hoping that parents with children will talk with their children … at the earliest age one feels appropriate … about child predators. I am hoping that, if you see this … it will give you a glimpse of what their lives could be … if the child predators get to them first. I am hoping that parents make their children aware that they can come to them … about anything … and anyone … who attempts to touch them in ways that are not appropriate or that make them uncomfortable. To arm your children with knowledge and security … is to disarm the child predator.