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Why is it so hard for one to open up about an abusive past?

How to you summon the courage to share? What are the reasons that one may keep such terrible things locked inside? How does one overcome this fear of sharing?

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    May 17 2013: The main reason is that the abuser does not want them to open up about it.
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      May 17 2013: Another good point Pat! As kids, we were always told..."what goes on in this house, stays in this house...don't tell anyone about it", and the warning was often delivered with threats if we ever did talk about it outside the home. If there is intervention, the abuser may lose the control s/he has over the victim.
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        May 17 2013: Not wanting to get caught is the primary reason that abusers kill their victims and why snitches are despised. Either way this can encyst that area of a person's life. IMO it would be cathartic for the OP to talk with someone about the incident.
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          May 17 2013: Agree Pat, and now there ARE people who are listening! When I was a kid, there were no shelters, and anyone who reported abuse (medical professionals, educators, etc.) were opening themselves to a liability suit. I went to 12 years of catholic schools, and a couple times I tried to talk with a nun or priest about what was happening in our home. They told me to keep quiet about such things....my father was a good man!!!

          Sometimes, my mom would give me a note which asked the nuns to please feed me and let me sleep that day because I had not eaten or slept in the home. Do you think any of those nuns wondered why a 6 or 7 year old kid could not eat or sleep in her home???

          Now, medical professionals and educators are required to report abuse if they even suspect it, so that has changed for the better.

          Also agree about snitches being despised. Those of us who recognize abusive behaviors are not well liked by abusers, because I think they sense that we recognize them.
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        May 17 2013: Colleen you could not have gotten worse advise from the Nuns, ironically the road to hell is lined with good intentions.

        This is one part of regulation I agree with.

        Complacency or tacit agreement with the status quo are the epitome of evil.
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          May 17 2013: I KNOW that NOW Pat, but as little kids, we were told the nuns and priests were god's representatives, they had all the "right" answers because they were so holy, so we were supposed to listen to them and obey! That was one of the first contradictions I started seeing in the church even as a little child. We were taught to love and respect each other.... and.... it's ok to abuse and beat up people you supposedly to love?

          I, and 7 siblings went to catholic schools, and over all those years, there were many signs of abuse, which were ignored. One of my brothers fainted at a football practice because he had not eaten for 3 days. The coach took him to his own home and fed him, but nobody asked why he had not eaten. They would have found out that our father decided that week that the grocery bill was too high, so he put a chain around the refrigerator, and we didn't
          eat!

          You're right...complacency and agreement with the status quo is another reason it is difficult for people to talk about an abusive past. If everyone around them (parents, educators, religious leaders, etc.) is accepting the behavior, what is a little kid to think?

          That was one of the factors underlying the sexual abuse of kids by priests. There were quite a few cases in this area, and I read some of the testimony. These kids were told to obey whatever the priest told them, and do what he wanted. One 65 yr. old man said he KNEW it was wrong, but his parents had told him to obey the priest, and the priest reminded him that he would go to hell if he didn't obey!

          The concept to obey, no matter what, is detrimental to kids. They need to be taught to think, feel, act and react, and NOT simply obey!
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        May 17 2013: The most important thing is to LOOK, I might of mentioned it a few times?

        But basically I agree
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          May 17 2013: Yeah....you might have mentioned it just a few times...LOL:>)
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        May 17 2013: You would think I was trying to get someone to study grammar?
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      May 17 2013: That is so true; one of the first things abusers do is insulate their victims from family and friends.

      As Leslie Morgan Steiner said in her TED talk,
      www.ted.com/talks/leslie_morgan_steiner_why_domestic_violence_victims_don_t_leave.html
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        May 17 2013: Agree Don....isolation is a big factor with abuse.

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