To speak out or not to speak out, what do you think?

No matter how old you are, it takes courage to speak out, even if the sexual abuse, rape or sexual assult experienced was yesterday or years ago.

Telling somone else about such a painful and intimate experiences, even if it’s a friend, a teacher or the police, who ever it is its still tough.

Speaking out may help you…

To feel better about your life in general, build your confidence and self-esteem. It may also help you to feel less scared, guilty, angry and lonely.

It may also help you decide to report the perpetrator of the assult, abuse, rape to the police, and maybe, help stop it happening to another child.

Not speaking out may keep you…

Feeling ashamed, embarrassed and lead you to believing it was your fault.

Worrying about what others would say or think, of being called a  liar or not wanting to burden others with your stuff.

Being afraid that the perpetrator (s) will hurt you or your family, if you told anybody and feeling trapped, silent feeling unloved, uncared for alone.

My own reasons for not speaking out were…

Soap drawing

My mother never liked ‘washing her dirty linen in public’ which was ironic. When I told her about the abuse happening to me she called me a liar and immediately began her own form of abuse – washing my mouth out with soap. Dirty linen or what?

Believe you me it wasn’t very nice. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and this was just one of my reasons for not to speak out in the past however, there were many others however,  that’s for another blog.

So if you decide to speak out

Find someone you trust and feel safe with. Someone who will support you should you want to go to the police and who will help you to speak or speak for you, with your permission. Speak out only when your ready. Share only what you are comfortable with sharing.

Perhaps you may want to speak to

  1. A nurse
  2. A GP
  3. A friend or relative
  4. A police person
  5. A teacher
  6. A counsellor,
  7. A good friend

While I would encourage you to go to the police, remember the choice is always entirely yours.

If you do choose to speak out, what about the reactions of your family and friends?

They are likely to be shocked, guilty, angry, helpless or not believe you or indeed become overprotective.

We cannot predict how others will react, however, they usually fall into a few different patterns, which I will talk about in a further blog, and will help you in understanding why they react the way they do, can help ease the process for you.

Remember its up to you to decide how much you want to share, and who you want to share it with.

It is imperative for you to focus on your own thoughts and feeling and not make yourself responsible for the thoughts, feelings and reactions of others.

Your job here is simply to look after and take care of yourself as you go through this process and no one else.

So how do you look after yourself?

Here are a few suggestions to help you take care of yourself wherever you are on your journey towards healing following abuse. There are many ways of helping yourself however, whatever helps you is right for you. Learn to relax take up something you enjoy;

  • Sing
  • Yoga
  • Tia chi
  • Dance
  • Walking
  • Eat well
  • Bike riding
  • Join a gym.
  • Watch a film
  • Write poems
  • Eat some cake
  • Write your story
  • Exercise, keep fit
  • Get enough sleep
  • Open a bottle of wine
  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Playing some music you enjoy

Laughter is a known to be a good way of helping us to feel good, so why not watch funny things on TV;

“I love Mrs Brown’s boys, Billy Connelly and Morecombe and Wise” Why not watch funny films or a DVD listen to funny CDs or radio programmes. Keep a diary of your thoughts, feelings and  behaviours and what triggers them.

You can also record any frustrations, anger, doubts alongside fears and loneliness that you may have experienced. As you are aware dealing with the trauma of abuse is exhausting it drains your energy. It is important to take care of yourself, you have been through an appalling ordeal and you deserve better. So its important that look after yourself, you deserve it.

So to speak out or not to speak

Remember these are only suggestions and whatever you choose to do, make sure that its right for you, enjoy it and look after yourself.

So the speak out or not to speak out is a deeply personal decision and either way you decide to go is right for you.

I am totally aware of the bravery and strength it takes to speak out however, it’s important either way to know that you are an extremely brave and courageous person.

So if you find the courage to speak out you will find yourself taking back the power that the abuser had over you, and it may help to prevent it happening to others.

On a personally level I was able to find some peace within, by speaking out again later in life and this helped me on my continuing journey towards, peace love and recovery.

Speaking out also led me later to helping others on their own journeys towards recovery and in learning to find their own peace and love within themselves.

Maggie Irwin Portrait

Hi! I’m Maggie and as a Hypnotherapist, Master Practitioner of NLP, Mental Health and Wellbeing Professional with 35 yrs experience in the NHS and private sector, I’m here to help you release the past, recover your courage and design your most magnificent life.

Learn more about me here.