North Korea has been brandishing its nuclear power and is becoming a growing threat to the world. Our President has been in a war of words with their leadership and it has escalated lately. Careless and rash actions have been mentioned flippantly, that if indeed acted upon would assure the deaths of innumerable innocents.
If we would just refresh our memories with the resulting horror of the last time nuclear bombs were dropped it might dissuade us from considering such action. But we are not known as a people who learn from their past actions, mistakes, or even widespread genocide.
It apparently takes only a generation or two to fully remove the consequences of war and its inevitable atrocities from the minds of people. Just take an afternoon and watch some documentary footage of WWII and man’s inhumanity to man becomes clearer once again.
For us, the stark images of 9/11 and cruel beheadings by terrorists are most fresh in our minds, but throwing around nuclear weapons and their possible use brought an analogy to my mind this morning.
I am always and forever going to be vocal concerning the repercussions of the sexual abuse of a child. Having suffered such things I have a desire to help others understand the implications. I will tell you that there is no statute of limitations on the pain and agony, no expiration date for the devastation. There is no recovery to a point that it didn’t seem to ever happen i.e. “time heals all wounds”. No, it is a lifetime maiming of spirit, soul and emotion; in some cases a progressively destructive poison that spreads without restraint throughout the entire being of an individual.
When a child is sexually abused, especially by a parent or family member, this is the equivalent of a nuclear explosion. There is widespread and immediate damage that is clearly present, but then there is also long-term ruination of hopes and dreams, strength, will, joy, peace, security and stability. Scars are obvious, but even when they heal outwardly they are still visible. Depression, suicide, addiction and relationship problems all plague the abused who have now grown into an adult.
As I observe the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there are personal parallels that are easily evident. I feel emotionally what the child felt when having their flesh burned away by the searing heat of the bombs explosion; only for me it was my innocence being stripped away. As I look at the flattened cities, I see my life and how all of its structure has been laid waste. And when I consider the slow poisoning of radiation sickness stealing life itself, I feel the drain of my years seeping into the ground, uselessly.
So what can any of us do to help someone already in the throes of this horrific death? Sadly, it is too late for many of us, but for those who find the courage and strength to come forward today and bring revelations of abuse, it is our responsibility to give them all possible levels of help and support. We must punish the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law and we must realize that this never, ever goes away. The person harmed will need care for the rest of their lives.
There is another consequence of this abuse and it is the affect it has on all those around the individual who was abused. They are the second level that feels the results of abuse and must often deal with what others refuse to recognize. They are the husbands and wives, children, the brothers and sisters and friends who see the results of this atrocity and are helpless to fix the hopelessness firmly entrenched inside the individual.
Isn’t it funny that when someone murders another person, they are imprisoned for life or even executed? But when a sexual predator in essence takes the life of a young one through an attack or abuse they are forgiven or never even prosecuted?
Something to think about today…and maybe even do something about.