SILENCE

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“Quietness does not always equate shy.”

You ever see a child who is quiet all the time? You ever wonder, “Wow, that must be one good kid.” Or, “Their parents really done a good job at rearing them.” Maybe neither one is true; maybe it’s because of something more sinister. Have you ever thought for once, maybe just once that a good is being abused at home. Not only mentally abused, but physically. And what do I mean by physically, I’m talking about sexual abuse.

Now, I myself have never been a victim of sexual abuse, but over the years I have heard about some people who have been. They’re either too quiet or acting out way too much. They either over eat to bury the pain or starve themselves to the point of some physical ailment like anorexia or bulimia. There is no average, moderate, nor overall standard for them. Everything they do is in access. Now, that is not to say people who have certain sicknesses are directly linked to sexual abuse, but it’s the extremities that I have noticed.

But going back to the silence for a moment. Whenever I see a small child between the ages of 7 years and 11 who is more secluded than the rest of the kids, I start to question. Why is a child who should be a lot more energetic, cheerful, and full of vigor & excitement live so recluse? Are they shy, or is something else going on that needs to be addressed? Are they afraid to have conversations because whatever is going on at home may result in further punishment.

Ok, let me try to internalize this for a second. When I was young there were a lot of times that I decided to shy away from a lot of people. I wanted my space and wanted to just go to school and play sports. But now that I think about it, I was a late teenager becoming an early adult. Well, when I was a child, I was a class clown. Uh oh, there is another sign, acting out in class. Yet still, there was nothing that happened in my life traumatic. Then again, there were those times of extremes in my life. But, on the other hand that occurred during puberty when a lot of people my age experience those extremes.

So what is it? What are some signs that kids are being molested? Acting out is one of them. Now, there is a difference between acting out and an abused child’s acting out. My acting out was waiting until the teacher turned her back to entertain the class. I was fully aware that I shouldn’t do this, but with age I changed. Abused children acting out may be skipping classes or an inability to fully focus in class. Developing patterns in failure to turn in coursework do to home life. More common acting out is becoming more sexually promiscuous at a younger age than normal.

Sexual promiscuity is quite common because being abused makes one unsure about their sexual readiness. Children start to experiment with other children, and at times introduce other kids to sex too soon. Sometimes young children because of age can’t be too active with those their own age because those their own age have no experience. So abused kids become engaged sexually with older children. Such in the case of a 12 year girl with a 16 year old boy. Neither are ready for any real responsibility, but she really isn’t ready.

Which brings me to the gender topic. We are always looking at females as it pertains to sexual abuse, but what about boys. It’s so hard for boys to deal with sexual assault because as a male you’re expected to be tougher and more aggressive. So being taken advantage of could make you appear weak in our eyes. So we tend to bury things just as deep, if not deeper than females. Especially if the abuser is another guy. Now we are forced to ask ourselves questions that we are not ready to ask.

Am I gay? Why because sex is pleasurable. I enjoyed it, but I don’t like boys, but the molester’s touch felt good physically, but uncomfortable emotionally. And the craziest thing about everything I have been saying is that there are some parents who never talk to their children about sexual abuse. Why, well you might have a parent who was abused themselves and have no confident means of approaching you in an educated manner.

I guess in the end, the sad part is that we may never know why a kid is behaving a certain way. They could be just shy, but when I see a child so young, yet so recluse it makes me wonder. What is their household like where they would rather ball up in a corner than to communicate with other kids their age. Sexual abuse robs you; robs you of so much. Your confidence, your innocence, your sexual identity, and your mental stability. Unless a child know there is someone to converse with who will listen without conviction, they will continue to remain silent.

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