Monday, November 21, 2011

The Penn State Scandal, how it has impacted me

Like too many adults I was the victim of sexual abuse as a child. Reading and listeining to the Penn State Scandal has made me remember and feel things I do not want to. Being sexually molested has damaged my life in ways that I am still trying to deal with and move beyond well into my middle age.

Also like many victims, I have lived with someone else's shame. I did nothing wrong, I was just a child but like so many others like me, I felt like I caused the abuse and was responsible for hiding the secret. There is so much pressure to hide the secret when the abuser is a relative, there are so many ways for them to seek and get retribution on you.

Young children do not have the language to tell you what is happening to them. I told my mother that this person hurt me and that I did not want to be with them but she did not know that they were sexually molesting me. She listened with her head not her heart about what I was telling her. She did not understand the level of terror and fear I had of being left with this relative. I think that this is issue is compounded in an extremely religious environment where sex and anatomy are usually never discussed. All things sexual have a hushed secretive nature. The message is often we don’t touch or talk about anything “down there” so if you are not allowed to talk about that part of your body, how can you describe that someone was touching you inappropriately? You really do not have the language to explain what happened to you.

I beg any adult that has a child or knows a child that is unduly fearful of an adult or older child, listen with your heart to what they are telling you, not their words. A small child does not know what words to use other than "Help me, they are hurting me" I know it is so hard to face, but the neighbor who likes to babysit or the aunt or uncle who comes over all the time could actually be child molesters. Child molesters are people who work hard to blend into the community and appear to be helpful so they have access to victims. The damage this does to child is unimaginable unless it has happened to you. They lurk in churches and in schools. They do their best to be respected members of society so that their word is always believed over the word of the child.

I also beg anyone else like me that has stayed silent that now is the time to talk about this and get changes in how our society is dealing with this issue. The statistics are staggering; something like 1 in 4 of girls and 1 in 6 boys are being sexually molested by the time they are adults. This has got to stop.

If the child molester did it to you they will do it to someone else you love as well. It breaks my heart to know that the same thing happened to another one of my relative’s years later because I was not able to get my message to my parents about the pain that was inflicted upon me. It is a club I wish they did not belong to. And what terrifies me even more is to think how many other members of this special little club there are because nothing was done when I was a small child. Just like the special little club created at Penn State. No one wants to be a member of this type of club.

My heart aches for all the children and the inner children that were hurt by this man at Penn State and not helped by others that were in a position to do so. I wish I did not know the pain they feel of thinking that the person that did this to me is somehow more important than me. We have got to break this cycle and one of the best ways to do that is for people like me to stand up and tell our stories.

If you have a story to tell like mine tell it!


  1. Bravo my friend.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, Miss Dimond. I like your explanation of how child abusers appear to be just like us.

    When it comes to sex, nice is part of the game. It does not mean much, unfortunately. Usually, abusers are the people closest to us because they have the opportunity.

  3. Hellmut, thank you for your kind words

  4. I am sorry to hear that. I hear you and feel your pain. For it said, I refuse to close to or to know any men because I have a little girl and a young boy. I hope you over come that pain and move forward. Thank you for sharing your painful experience. You ARE very brave woman.


  5. Yes, I'm in the club also. I never talked about how my grandfather touched me or forced his tongue into my mouth because I was too embarrassed and not surrounded by people that I felt were on my side. Those are terrible, lonely feelings. My children are 7 and 5. Without getting too explicit, we've coached them on what you've said, and taken them to a defense class. The most important point is that the predators are people lurking in your circle. Kids need to know that if an adult tells them to keep a secret or threatens to hurt their parents if they tell, THEY HAVE TO TELL.

    I love you, Carla. You're not alone. xoxoxo

  6. Carla,
    Thank you for sharing your story. More of us need to be brave like you. I'm not quite there. Still trying to find my voice more than 40 years later.
    Another victim

  7. @Mimi, please do not forget to be careful about other adults in leadership roles that your children come in contact with. Single mom's do not have an easy life

  8. Kim, I am so sorry you are part of the club but I commend you on breaking the cycle with your own children, it is a very real issue in their lives. Listen with your heart if they tell you anything about an adult

  9. Dear Anonymous, I am not brave. I am tired of having others lives be more important than mine. I am tired of feeling shame and guilt for something I did not do. If you ever need to talk please reach you, you made a really big step by talking about it at all

  10. Thank you for sharing Carla. This is an incredibly candid admission of something that no-one should have to go through. It is said that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing". Too many women (and men) say nothing through fear of retribution of our supposed "moral" superiors. I hope your voice as a victim, especially as a confident, articulate and, no offense, "ordinary" person such as yourself, that is able to state "NO - THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AND I WILL BE HEARD" will make a difference... stevep

  11. Steve, thank you and no offense on the "ordinary" as I was hoping an ordinary person could make a difference, unfortunately sexual abusers are everywhere. Even in small safe extremely religious towns like the one I grew up in

  12. Carla,
    I am so very proud of you!! This could not have been easy to talk about, but it is necessary for you to heal.
    You always have been and will continue to be in my prayers.