Our Culture of Silence Promotes the ‘Cancer’

I am likely to do many blogs on this topic.  I have a lot to say about this issue. 

The word cancer strikes so much fear in our world, a diagnosis of which usually entails serious medical intervention, suffering, and maybe death.  Breast cancer seems to be on the news regularly, as well as movements to raise funds for breast cancer research.  I am not a physician or a medical expert in the physical realm at all.  The point here is that there are many types of cancer, including many different types of breast cancer and the same is true for sexual violence (SV).  In fact, the disease of ‘SV brain cancer’ is rampant.  There are many different types of SV, often unidentified even by the survivor.  The damage it creates inside the brain usually goes unidentified, undiagnosed, untreated,  and can fester into all kinds of super painful symptoms.  Though I will write a bit more on those symptoms later, I will say at this point that the most common we might readily recognize are depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions of many sorts, and relationship problems, e.g.divorce, rage.  The ongoing lack of accurate diagnosis and qualified treatment causes this ‘brain cancer’ to grow and continue to get worse.  Like I wrote earlier, Ted Haggard knew as a young man that he was having attractions to other males.  He did go for help, and due to the silence and ignorance he was immersed in,  he was not diagnosed or treated properly.  Essentially, he was given a band-aid for his ‘cancer.’   His internal damage grew and festered, causing more and more damage and struggle for him.  He eventually gave in to desires he had been doing his best to fight off for so many years.  The cost then has been heavy for his church in Colorado Springs, his family, himself, etc.  He had been molested as a young boy.  Since the exposure of his secret inner and outer life, he has been on his own Unintended Journey.  He is getting help and he has been in the process of recognizing the damage that was done to his brain when he was molested.  He has been learning that his attraction to boys/men and his other addictions have had their tentacles linked to the SV.  He and his family are a great example of the healing that can take place if handled well.  From what I understand, there has been appropriate reconciliation with his former church and his family has stayed the course with him.  He is getting counseling.  It sounds like it is well qualified counseling, based on what I have heard him say.  His brain is healing from the incredible ‘cancer’ for which he has been trying to find a cure for many, many years.  What a brave and courageous man. 

If we really want to we can help avoid the above story. We can reduce the incidence and the escalated damage.  We can learn how to break the silence and how to support survivors on their Unintended Journeys.

Next time I will start writing about the different types of SV I have identified.  Then, I will do some more on the ‘brain cancer’, followed by more on the Unintended Journey.

Comments

  1. You mention Ted Haggard – can you reference your source?

  2. Excellent question, thank you.

    Yes, Ted Haggard was interviewed on Oprah, at least a couple of times. Full accounts of his interview may still be avaialble at Ophra.com. The documentary The “Trials of Ted Haggard” is available on DVD. The following is a quote from one of his interviews:

    “In addition to confronting his sexuality, Ted says therapy also helped him address sexual abuse he says he suffered as a child. “I never saw it as abuse,” he says.” (“Is Ted Haggard Gay?”,http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/oprahshow/20090115__tows_haggard/3)

    This statement is from his first interview with Oprah. There is much, much more to his interviews with her and hopefully you can find the full context on her site or on the DVD.

    I would like to point out that his statement about never seeing it as abuse is very, very common. In fact, Oprah did a show on that subject recently too.

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