Finding our voice after childhood abuse is a powerful – indeed empowering – step forwards in healing.
The past two weeks have seen the IICSA (Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse) investigate abuse within specialist music schools and some residential schools. My former school, Chethams, being one of those investigated.
The accounts at the inquiry, and further accounts related by former students are harrowing to read.
Both links carry major trigger warnings – you may find the content deeply upsetting.
It has been a triggering, upsetting time for many.
Memories locked away for decades. Memories perhaps holding shame. Fear.
Yet Shame and Fear can both be broken – and they are broken by speaking out, by looking people in the face and seeing acceptance.
We are not what happened to us in any way. The guilt lies solely with predators, perpetrators – and with the multitude who turned a blind eye.
Yesterday a link on Facebook sent me here https://lucidwitness.com/2015/09/25/peek-inside-a-classroom-jose/ – A poignant, powerful account of a young child’s dissociation during lessons on account of traumatic events unfolding in their life.
It reminded me of my own childhood in class, the ultra-quiet one, the spacey one. Working in education now, these are the children I am mindful of, the ones who are just too quiet. They may be the joy of their teachers in the midst of an otherwise unruly bunch of young people, but the extremes of withdrawal are not normal, and should be flagged up.
Children experiencing abuse at home may not even know what they are being subjected to, due to stronger depths of dissociation; one self functioning at school and in the outside world generally, while another part tries as best as a child can do to survive the abuse.
Thank you, Daun Koffman, for writing about – and caring about – traumatised children.