Breaking the Silence
In horror, I stared at my 11-year-old daughter as she, with tears running down her rosy cheeks, recounted the times and places my own father had molested her. I was torn from my place of denial with a vengeance that knew no mercy. A war waged inside of me. The little girl in me, who never faced her own issues, and being the mother who was always overly protective, fought for freedom from reality. The very thing I thought I had so protected her from had happened. I was in shock. The stark realization of it began to sink in as I tried to make sense of everything I had been thrust into.
I was 35 years old and had never told a soul that I, too, was an incest survivor. I was totally convinced I would go to the grave with the “secret”. Now, because of my silence and denial, my own precious little girl, whom I thought I had protected with my life, had fallen victim to the very same thing I had endured. “Dear God, how does one survive so much pain,” I prayed. I honestly thought my heart would break. My whole foundation of belief was shaken to the core. I had convinced myself that I would never again have to deal with what happened to me as a child between the ages of 7 and 12 years of age.
I had very vivid memories of every incident down to the details but, until then, I felt nothing emotionally. I had blocked out all feeling but remembered everything. I taught myself as a little girl to separate from my body when I couldn’t deal with the trauma. The real me floated on the ceiling playing with the butterflies while watching what was going on below. I would feel sorry for the little girl below, because she looked so sad. But I was just glad it wasn’t happening to me.
Interesting enough, I had been in ministry for years, teaching and praying for the needs of other women when the force of my own past hit me like a ton of bricks. I slowly realized that I, just like the women I ministered to, must begin the journey of walking through the pain of what happened to me to reach the shores of deliverance. I had been in denial for so many years. I had no idea where the journey would take me and I was scared. I knew I had to break the silence. I started with my daughter.
I went to work immediately to give my daughter all the care and love that I had so desperately needed as a child, but never got. My mom instincts took the place of my own victimization. I listened, validated, and comforted her with assurance that I totally believed her and would be there continually as she worked through her emotions. I didn’t realize it at the time but I found that in validating her, I was also validating myself, as no one else ever did for me.
Confronting and exposing within my childhood family was the hardest thing that I ever had to do but I knew if I didn’t the incest would continue. I felt like a wicked person at having to make my mom look at the truth. It was horrible and heart breaking for me to watch her pain at my disclosure in detail. But she soon accused me of lying and regressed into denial of which she was always good at doing. Our relationship, faced with truth and not pretension, was never the same. She could not accept the truth. She did confront my dad. But somehow they excused themselves of any responsibility and continued living as if it never happened. I eventually had to release any expectations of her and accept the fact I could not change her, nor make things better for her.
The moment I released her from any of my expectations was the beginning of freedom for me. And when I realized I would receive nothing emotionally from either of them, I released myself from the responsibility of protecting anyone ever again from this kind of violation, nor would I keep their secret. I was the victim. But that is the day I became a ‘survivor’. And that was the day the generational pattern of incest was stopped in my family. It was at that point that I knew my grandchildren would not be victims to the same crime. The darkness had been exposed to the light. The power of the “secret” was gone. I felt empowered and free from the entanglements and emotions of the past.
Today, my daughter and I both are still learning to “live loved” by our real “Father” in Heaven.
DIXIE DIAMANTI is a Certified Life Coach, author, speaker, and teacher, Dixie has reached out to women and men on the Central Coast of California for many years, leading them into freedom. She believes that every child of God has a distinct calling, and through her work, she assists and coaches them in finding their unique purpose in life. Dixie loves to encourage and challenge clients to move forward in uncovering and making use of the hidden treasures within themselves through the coaching process of self discovery. She is a wife, mom, and nana, to a large and supportive family. Website:www.reflectionsofgracehome.com
Dixie’s book: “Climbing Out of the Box,” My Journey Out of Sexual and Spiritual Abuse Into Freedom and Healing, can be purchased on Amazon.com.
SONIA MARSH SAYS: Dixie, thank you for opening up and sharing your story of how you broke the cycle of incest within your family. Your strength and courage in confronting your mother and releasing the “power of the “secret,” will help others see how you have healed and stopped the cycle of abuse within your family.
Dixie Diamanti’s is the 2nd story of our second series “My Gutsy Story®” Anthology #2. Mary Hamer’s is the first one.
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