Mr and Mrs. Duggar,
Today, I noticed on Facebook that you are scheduled to be interviewed by Megan Kelly on Fox news. According to the post, this interview will give you the opportunity to share “the pain you walked through as a family and the tears you all shed.”
As a mother, I understand your desire to try and explain your son’s actions. But as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, I would like you to consider what daily life is like for a survivor of sexual abuse.
I was abused between the ages of eleven and fourteen. My father would invite his friends into our home. These friends would pay my father a fee, so they could rape me. I never knew when it would happen, sometimes I was woken from a deep sleep, sometimes I arrived home from school to find these unwanted visitors. The abuse left me feeling alone, frightened, angry, confused, betrayed and unworthy of being loved.
Thirty-eight years later, at the age of forty-nine, I’m proud to say that I’ve done a lot of work to heal my trauma, I have created a relatively good life for myself and my family. But that doesn’t mean the pain is gone. That doesn’t mean I forgot. That doesn’t mean it all went away.
Triggers are all around me, some I am conscious of and can avoid, some pop up out of nowhere. If someone touches me the wrong way, or if I hear a motorcycle engine rev, or if I hear a particular song it can trigger a flashback. Flashbacks are vivid memories that can show up as images or physical memories that show up in the body, meaning I get to relive the physical feeling of being punched, kicked or touched. I don’t get to choose when flashbacks happen. I don’t get to put them aside until I’m ready to deal with them. They appear out of nowhere, when I least expect them. And I have no choice to relive the pain, the violation, the abuse.
Believe me, healing trauma is a multi-layered process, just when one thing is handled, something else comes up. Over the years, I’ve released most of the anger, pain and resentment, but it never really goes away, it lingers in the back ground of every moment of my life.
I have transformed my pain into something positive. As a yoga teacher, I work with inner-city children, recovering heroin addicts, veterans, the LGBTQ community, the incarcerated and the general population healing their own trauma.
I believe we all have a voice and we all deserve to be heard. Because of this belief, I have to admit (albeit reluctantly) that you too are entitled to your moment to share your story.
I would just like to invite you to consider a few things before you go on television:
Consider what it might be like for victims to have to sit in silence because they are so ashamed they can’t articulate what was physically done to them.
Consider what it might be like to have to live in fear of it happening again.
Consider what it might be like for the victim to know that in this case, due to the statute of limitations the law is protecting the molester, not the molested.
Consider what the victims and their families might want to hear from you.
And finally, please consider how your interview might impact your daughters for they have to live with their abuser and his family for the rest of their lives.
Lockey Maisonneuve is the founder of the Let It Go Workshop. This workshop is a combination of yoga, discussion, journaling and meditation. Upcoming workshops in Ca., NJ. Click here for workshop registration. Lockey and the MovingOn program have been profiled in magazines, television, radio. Print: Shape Magazine, Origin Magazine, and Yoga Mantra + Health Magazine. For more information about Lockey and to sign up for her weekly Tao of Bacon, go to www.lockeymaisonneuve.com.
Image courtesy of Rob Bye.