When Children Try to Tell About Abuse

Mary Armstrong (author of Confessions of a Trauma Therapist) and I are collaborating on a series of blog posts. In this post on Mary's blog, we tell our experiences as young girls trying to tell about the abuse:

I’ve asked author Jane Rowan to join me in exploring some issues surrounding child sexual abuse. Jane’s book The River of Forgetting tells her story of painfully accessing her history of child sexual abuse and healing through a therapeutic relationship with a gifted helping professional. Jane chose Authentic Movement, art and journaling to help her heal.

My memoir, Confessions of a Trauma Therapist is, as you know, my account of how my lost memories surfaced and how I healed through yoga, Focusing, psychotherapy and journaling.

Our books are complementary. Two different stories of two women who became outwardly successful in spite of the depression and anxiety they suffered inside.

Telling is a subject that intrigues me. Why is it so terrifying to tell the secret we’ve carried for so long and that we kept secret even from ourselves. Where does all this fear originate? What happened in childhood when we tried to tell?

In her book, Jane describes her attempt to tell her mother that her father was sexually abusing her. She was five or six.  In this excerpt from her book, she is telling her psychotherapist about attempting to tell her mother:

“What happened?” Over and over, she says sharply, “What is it?! Tell me!” Read more...

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