Sometimes we get stuck on the “why’s” and the why questions. We can talk endlessly about what happened, we can realize that it was not our fault, we can face the pain of having been devalued, used, unprotected, powerless and disregarded, but the why questions still remain.
~Why did my mother seem to take pleasure in humiliating me?
~Why did my own mother publically tell men they could sleep with me? She even told my cousin that he could sleep with me because I was on the pill.
~Why would an adult sexually molest a child?
~Why did my mother’s boyfriend come into my room when I was a young teen, and why didn’t my mother believe me? Why did she blame me?
~Why did my mother hit me with a belt and then say that she was going to give me something to cry about?
~Why didn’t my Dad do anything to protect me? Why didn’t he notice?
~Why did my teacher hate me and threaten me every day until I was too sick to go to school? Why didn’t my parents believe me when I told them?
Thanks to the Emerging from Broken facebook page readers for participating in this post. Here are some of the questions that came in from readers on our Facebook Page:
~“Why are churches so closed minded about sexual abuse? Why do they put programs in place to prevent abuse, but not put programs in place to help victims?”
~“Why is it that in churches they tell you that if you read your Bible and pray, all the things from the past sexual abuse will just go away. They think you don’t need counseling or anything; you just need to get over it. Why is that?”
~”Why are the accomplices (those who ignore or allow or even assist in the abuse or hiding the abuser) are not charged or punished in the case of sexual or domestic violence abuse. Maybe more would speak up if a precedent was set. I know a lot of these people were/are victims or survivors too, but that is no excuse not to protect your own child.”
~ “Why is it that you feel as though you have just told someone you were abducted by green aliens when you talk about being sexually abused? They look at you as though you just said something that only a delusional person would say. AND that you have the audacity to put them in a position of having to respond.”
And this last question along with a very personal comment; ~ “Why is it that sexual abuse is one of the most heinous crimes out there, but most of the abusers never serve a maximum sentence? My father got out on good behavior; of course he did! There are no children in prisons to molest so he was on his best behavior! “
These questions are really just a handful of the “why questions” that we all have when it comes to having been abused, hurt or devalued in any way. Some “why questions” have possible answers but do they make us feel any better? When we hear that some people don’t care about their own children, but only their own selfish desires it only adds to the frustration that we already feel. Some why questions have no answers and sometimes the reason that we keep looking for answers is not just because we want so badly to understand but also because we believe that if we could understand that we would be able to move on. But think about that for a minute.
There is a danger in getting stuck on the WHY questions. Part of my victim mentality was made up of always seeking to understand others, and what that transferred into was that I made excuses for some of my abusers; there are as many excuses as there are abusers but really do any of the excuses help? I whispered in the dark to myself that my mother really did care, she just didn’t understand. I assured myself that my father didn’t know so he couldn’t do anything about it and that deep down he loved me as much as he loved my brother, it was just that he wasn’t interested in me because I was a girl and I assured myself that all fathers are this way. I told myself that some of my abusers were in an “altered state of mind” and really they just had no conscious clue what they were doing. I felt sorry for some of the women abusers that I had and told myself that surely they too had been abused and therefore it was not really their fault. I thought that I needed to try harder to “love” them and do what they wanted so that they would stop hurting me.
And as I have said so many times before I had been groomed and trained to believe that the reason that I was devalued is because I was not as valuable and because I deserved no better. I was convinced over time that I had done something; brought it on myself. I tried to understand my mother and I felt sorry for her, so I excused her behavior for many years and in excusing it, I allowed even more of it. I thought that if I found the reason “why” I could find the proof that really they did love me and then I could excuse them if only I understood. In reality, I was still looking to prove to myself that it really was my own fault or that I was still missing the “key” that would make them stop hurting me and start accepting me.
I had to let go of the why questions for a while. I had to in order to heal.
Today I still have why questions, but I also know that some questions don’t have answers and even more important than that, if there was an answer, it wouldn’t change anything, it would not make it alright, and it would not heal me.
Please feel free to add your own “why questions”,