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  • Writer's pictureJ.L. Whitehead

Can a licensed professional help you

I never went for counseling when I was abused when I was 13. It never occurred to me to seek treatment from a licensed therapist. Why would I? I was too young to find a doctor much less go to sessions that would help me deal with the emotional trauma that was inflicted on me.

To this day, I struggle with my wanting to be abused with the adult that wound up abusing me. I think about that often.

How could a young boy who secretly wanted to have sex with an adult that he found attractive be at fault for having sex with said adult? I keep telling myself that it was not my fault. I tell myself that I was too young to make the call of what to do if I found myself in my abuser’s bedroom.

And then I think of the choices that I made once I moved out of my mother’s house and found myself on my own, free to make any decadent choice that I wanted. I was eighteen when I moved out of my mother’s home…still a child by most people’s definition. Back then, I lived off ham and cheese sandwiches and apple juice and did not have a care in the world.

Hindsight is always 20/20. I look back on when I came out as a young black boy who tended to be attracted to white boys. I learned the hard lessons of racism in a community that knew all too well the meaning of repression. I found out very quickly that being a jerk was not constrained to the race you belonged to.

Still, I never went to see a therapist about my molestation. I thought that I wanted the intimacy that each molester gave me…or at least most of the abusers. Perhaps I should have.

But you see, most of us would not have gone. We were kids. We didn’t know, at least for the most part, that harm had been done to us. We know the difference between right and wrong; and we knew that something was happening to us that just didn’t feel right…even if we wanted it. And that is where the abuser buys our silence. They purchase our silence with a lie; that lie being that as a child, we are in control of what happened to us.

We aren’t nor can we ever be.

No matter what we think happened, there are two things that we must believe.

1. The adult is always in charge of what takes place between an adult and a child.

2. A child is not emotionally equipped to make any decisions regarding sex.

These two truths should be a balm to every emotionally damaged soul. However, there are millions of us that carry the shame of believing that we deserved what we got when we acted out with an adult.

We know that we are not responsible for what happened to us. But for some reason, it is easier to believe that we were somehow at fault for the abuse that changed the trajectory of who we were supposed to become.

I never connected my emotional shortcomings with what happened to me all those years ago. And yet, I wonder who I would be today if I had.

Or maybe it is not too late to get the help that I need to make me whole. I can still see someone that can talk me through the parts of me that was shattered.

For most of us, we pick up the pieces and put them back together and grow into the man or woman that we ultimately would become, burying our pain in things that would assist in helping us lose control of our lives. We’ve learned that we were in pain but don’t know how to calm the voices that tell us repeatedly how broken we are. We try to work it out despite the triggers that causes us to become upset, get angry or burst into tears.

I don’t get upset anymore. I don’t cry anymore, and I don’t want to. I want to live the life that I found for myself. In some ways, I want to pretend that what happened to me never happened. But you can’t do that and remain whole because there will always be a piece of you that is missing because someone took it for their own pleasure.

I spent years burying my pain in choices that I wish that I could take back. Those choices only added to the pain that I was in; but I didn’t know that at the time when those choices were made. And this is where a licensed professional could lend a hand in helping you right your life before it spirals out of control.

Life would have been so much better if I had.

I would have avoided falling in love with a narcissist who always put his needs first and never factored me into the equation of our life together.

I would have learned to talk to a trusted partner about what happened to me and why sex was only a part, albeit a big part of a relationship.

I would have understood that you couldn’t force someone who was blindly in love with you to repeat the same mistakes you made when you were younger.

The healing for me would have started sooner rather than later.

I never sought the help of a licensed professional; and yet even though I have a picture-perfect life now, I can probably use the assistance of someone that could help keep my ship upright.

It’s not too late.

Not for me and not for you.

I have come to realize that life is a journey. You can choose to learn and grow while you are on that journey or you can remain stuck in the spot that you’re in.

The choice is yours.

~J.L. Whitehead

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