Yesterday, April 7th 2020, George Pell’s conviction of child abuse through the Catholic Church was overturned. It has triggered many victims, reinforcing that they are not being believed (a typical abuser’s way of controlling their victim) and leaving them feeling exposed and vulnerable.
In this blog I am offering 7 vital steps to take when you are triggered as you heal your heart from sexual abuse.
I feel this court decision has put child abuse prevention back 50 years. It has given a green light to the Catholic Church to say ‘go for it’, do what you like with children, there will be no consequences. It has also given a green light to abusers in general to go for it, and say ‘look at what he’ got away with’.
There is sadness in my heart for the vulnerable and exposed. Yes, I am a survivor of abuse and no, my abuse was not from a religious figure. Abuse is abuse whatever the origin, let’s not sugar coat it. It is insidious, it flows through all levels of society, it knows no boundaries and it is not gender specific.
A comment from a lapsed Catholic. Non-Catholics can never understand the reverence that brain-washed kids had for priests – they were pseudo Gods!! No one and I mean no one would have been believed if they had said anything against a priest or even a nun. It was a religion of fear. I have never been so free since I left it behind along with its guilt!! These victims bared their physical and mental pain before the Royal Commission and some again in court… my heart goes out to them for the courage they displayed
To the victims I say ‘WE HAVE HEARD YOU AND WE BELIEVE YOU’.
Thoughts I have gathered about what release.
- It makes you wonder how the bedrock of our legal system, the judgement of a jury by our peers can be overturned by, I understand, 7 High Court Judges. It makes you think about the privilege and resources available to those who sit in an ivory tower.
- Law is certainly not my area of expertise however I have been told that in a criminal case, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the crime for which they have been accused.
- It is a common misconception that an acquittal means that the accused was found innocent. This is not the case.
- The jury does NOT consider guilt or innocence. The jury only considers guilt.
- If the jury is persuaded by the prosecution, the verdict returned is “Guilty”. If the jury is NOT convinced, they return a verdict of “Not Guilty”.
- It does not mean that they found him innocent.
It makes a total mockery of all justice when money and privilege can get you out of any crime despite overwhelming evidence and even admission of guilt. Remember during the initial trial that Pell’s lawyer was trying to water down the accusations of raping a child by saying it was only vanilla sex.
And did you know that April is Child Abuse Awareness Month
https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-child-abuse-prevention-month-april/ George Pell’s release yesterday has triggered many. Yes, it triggered me also. Whatever the cause of the abuse, the steps and strategies are applicable
7 Vital Steps That Helped Me
1. Reaching out and talking to someone I trusted where we had a discussion with love and compassion.
2. Reaching to those who I knew would also be triggered as support. These two points open empathetic discussions where you set the seeds for seeing more clearly then making the choice to hold yourself and others to a higher place.
3. Sitting in meditation – Yesterday I used a guided one, it can be difficult or nigh impossible to meditate when you are stirred up or in overwhelm. Then I chose a different one with music and no dialogue when I went to bed. It relaxed me and I slipped into a deep peaceful sleep.
4. Journaling extensively, writing helps me to bring calm to a chaotic mind. It makes order of what has triggered or maybe overwhelmed me. It helps me to put my thoughts and feelings in perspective. When you do this and later look back at that journal, you will see how you overcame a challenge. This helps you have a strategy for next time you are triggered.
5. And I tapped, and I tapped. EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping on specific points unwires unwanted conditions. Tapping works on the memories and beliefs behind your emotions. It clears the energy attached to those emotions.
6. Decide where you will use your energy. Then you feel free to make prudent and supportive e decisions about how you will expend your energy. Beating yourself up is counterproductive. Remember Mother Theresa said she ‘would not attend an anti-war rally’, she would attend a ‘peace rally’. How can you compare that to today’s circumstance? By not ‘raising war’ over what has happened. We can’t change that. What can your ‘peace rally’ be? Developing the art of forgiveness. That does not mean that something did not happen. You are letting go and taking care of you. Could it be learning to reactivate and tap into your inner you bringing new energy and joy into your life some you can know yourself as peaceful, complete, whole and safe
7. Access professional help if you need to.
Tips just for you… remember that
- You are not alone
- You are believed,
- Your voice matters
- You have been brave and you have been heard
- Keep rising and don’t allow yourself to be had by the energy of it.
- Embrace the energy of love and moving forward.
Healing After Abuse is Not a 2 min Job
Healing after sexual abuse is not a 2 minute job, It does not happen in a heartbeat. For me it has been an ongoing journey to grow personally, to become softer, calmer and quietly confident. That could be for you also.
There are great contrasts in our troubled world. We can’t control what others do, we can control how we act and react. When in a state of chaos and confusion that is difficult to do by yourself.
#1 Buy my book ‘Beyond Abuse’ a recovery guide for men and women in an era of me and all of us too is available in hard copy and as an eBook on Amazon
#2 Follow my Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/hearthealingafterabuse/ and https://www.facebook.com/YourVoiceMattersTVwithDIRiddell/
#3 I invite you to share this blog and book details with someone you know it can help.
‘There is always love and hope waiting for you’ Di Riddell