Every parent must read this open letter from a survivor

Dear parents,

I’m sitting in my car after a therapy session and I’m crying. I was at therapy last night and went again this morning. I’m crying out of pain and hurt. I was emotionally and religiously abused for many years by my parents and was then sexually abused by a mean and selfish monster who was in school with me, for five long and bitter years.

I’m a walking shell with no innards. My innards were removed by my abusers. They were stolen and burned. They are now lost in the universe somewhere and I can’t find them. Even if I would find them, they are too burned and mangled to reinstate them in my shell.

I’m in therapy for so many years trying and trying to build a new engine for myself. Trying to create a new sense of self that I can place inside of me. It’s an extremely daunting task with so many pitfalls along the way. There are ups and there are downs. There are times when I feel like my engine is complete and all I need to do is plug it into my body but then I notice a fault in it and need to take it all apart and work on it more. Then there are the days that I just say, it’s too difficult to build this engine, let me just live without an engine. It’s so much easier.

But I ask you, what kind of life is that? Living without any sense of self esteem, self entitlement and a healthy self ego is not called living. It’s called living a dead life. It’s as though you’re dragging a lifeless body with you wherever you go. You drag it to work. You drag it to shul. You drag it home until you can finally drag yourself into bed. In bed you’re allowed to feel dead and that’s the best part of the day.
Being that I refuse to live a dead life, I’m working and trying to build myself an engine. It’s so so hard with so many issues along the way but I don’t feel like I have a choice.

I turn to you parents and beg you, we all talk about educating your child about personal safety. Education is very important but from my experience, there’s a missing factor that’s not spoken about. From my experience, having gone through emotional neglect as a child I was starving for external love out of the house. I needed love and care. I needed someone to hold me and tell me I’ll be ok.

Abusers have an awesome power of recognizing these vulnerable poor souls and they shower them with the love and care that they never received at home. They love them. They listen to them. They give them privileges which they never received at home. After all the grooming process they advance into the sexual abuse and have the abuse victim keep coming for more because the poor victim is so desperate for the love and support.

Although on the outside it seems like the abusers are giving the victim his greatest need, in real truth he’s taking or rather stealing whatever sense of self worth and self esteem the victim had up until the abuse. With each abusive attack, he’s taking more and more and by the time he’s done, the victim is a smoking burning and hollow shell with nothing, absolutely nothing on the inside.

So I turn to you dear parents and ask you, suppose I would have gotten my emotional needs met at home, I would have never fallen prey to my abuse. I know many, many victims of sexual abuse who suffered from tremendous abuse at home, which directly lead them into the sexual abuse. The scars from emotional abuse is strong but the scars from sexual abuse are so deep and so heavy that it can take many, many years of extremely hard work to heal from. Even after all the work, the scars will always remain there. Eventually, my hope is that the scars will be a source of pride for me, to be able to show people what I’ve been through and how I came out alive and strong. I’d love to be a support for others and show them that healing is possible.

I ask you dear parents, please, please shower your kids with love. Show them how much you love them. Show them how they are the most valuable item you own. My kids always come over to me and tell me how much they love me. When they tell me that, I start crying because to me that means that they see my love towards them. Children need love and care and if they get it at home they won’t need outside and dangerous sources to get it from. Please listen to me and save them from the enormous pain that I’m living with on a daily or rather hourly basis!

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