Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Saturday, April 19, 2008


This works perfectly. I've been hoping for my 500th post to be special, and I have special news. Very special news. News I've hoped for. But you must all wonder a bit longer, because this is #499 and I have something else on my mind.

April is Occupational Therapy month. I always make sure some kind of fuss is made about it, and our company bought us (ugly) shirts and a cake.

Apparently April is also the month for something else near to my heart: child abuse. I do not and will not write very specifically about the abuse I lived through as a child, but there was a lot. I lived with a molestor and a family member who cared for my while my parents worked was also a molestor. My father was also physically and verbally abusive, gradually worsening as I got older.

Everyone knew in the town I grew up in; everyone knew everything. Once at a sporting event the coach had to physically intervene when my father was going after me for some stupid infraction of a stupid rule. I literally was locked in the school alone for some time. I don't know what happened and I don't care, but I will never forget the big, strong coach who threatened my father into leaving me alone that night. Reports were made, protective services provided counseling, but nobody changed the main problem.

When I dealt with the abuse in counseling that was the most difficult part, that people didn't help me. I was a child and I was given choices I wasn't qualified to make. I was allowed to choose for no physical intervention to be made; I thought I would be removed from the home, not that my father would have been.

Apparently someone decided the best way to draw attention to child abuse would be to place pinwheels prominently in communities, showing the number of substantiated claims in the last year. I saw a display today, and it struck me that this truly irritates me.

Child abuse can potentially ruin a life. I'm so fortunate to have had the help I did to not be snared in it forever, but even so I have plenty of not normal parts of my life, parts that are forevermore damaged from how I grew up. Among many things, I have no doubt that I wouldn't have as severe bipolar if I'd had a stable life the first 22 years.

Child abuse isn't fanciful like a pinwheel. I realize the symbolism, but children don't. And my own memories of my past aren't symbolic, they are real, and horrifying. Child abuse displays need to show that child abuse hurts, and there is nothing lovingly spinning in the breeze. In fact, a more accurate depiction would be one of those enormous windchime things from the movie Twister with Helen Hunt, blowing completely out of control, loudly.

No comments: