Monday, November 14, 2011

Penn State Horror

My dearest reader,

Thank you for the almost 200 hits in the first week this blog has been active. It means more to me than you could possibly know. The purpose of this blog is to not only continue my own healing from the inexcusable horror perpetrated upon me. Also to add light to what has been covered up for so long and help continue the healing in your own life. You, my beloved reader, are on the right track. We are not alone in our pain and misery.

I saw this post today on a survivors website that I frequent.  I wanted to share because it truly helped me in understanding how I felt on Friday, when I found out about this, and how I reacted on Saturday.  I spent the entire day in an almost uncontrollable rage about what I heard on NBC News with Brian Williams. I wish he hadn't gone into the gory details regarding the abuse. I really think the story would have been just as good without it.  For those who were with me Saturday I am sincerely apologetic.

When I saw the students rioting at Penn State because a head coach, who covered up the repeated rape of children over the course of 9 years (at the least) or 13 years (at most), I was furious. I was beyond furious. I still am. In many ways, for me, to see the students protesting hurt more than the cover up. The cover up was perhaps a dozen or so individuals. But the rioting and the importance of football being placed above victims of CSA, that was beyond the pale. It was not just a dozen or so individuals. It was hundreds maybe even a thousand or so individuals who placed football above victims. It was disheartening because it shows how far we have to go with this issue. Afterall, the students rioting are the future leaders of this country. And there was not an administration, at least from what I could see, that told the students that this is not acceptable behavior. I strongly feel that the season should have been cancelled to show them that there are some things greater than football. 
For the strangest reason, it has brought up my own issues. My anger. My rage with my own assaults. I was with some of my friends from AA and I ended up telling them about my own issues. I needed a release
Anyway. Here is a good opinion piece on that expresses how the Penn State issue has affected survivors. The beginning paragraphs helped me understand that I am not alone.

How Paterno Can Promote Healing
"Editor's note: Jeffrey W. Pollard is past president of the American Board of Counseling Psychology as well as the American Academy of Counseling Psychology. He has 33 years of higher education counseling service, including 29 as a campus counseling center director. He is the executive director of counseling and psychological services at George Mason University, where he is also a professor of psychology. 
(CNN) -- Victims of child sexual abuse woke up Thursday morning to television broadcasts of angry and violent Penn State students rioting because football coach Joe Paterno had been fired - effectively immediately.
Many of those abused were traumatized and victimized again, as they saw some people put the love of football above high and strict standards for protecting children.
Jeffrey Pollard is the executive director of counseling and psychological services at George Mason University.
The students' actions, past and future, will inhibit victims of child sexual abuse from coming forward to report their perpetrators. The fear, shame, contempt and loathing that many child sexual abuse victims face from perpetrators' defense attorneys and others, including skeptical or dismissive family members, are on display.
Child sexual abuse victims, especially those still young, must have enormous courage to report crimes against them, far more than it would have taken Paterno to call the cops. For many victims, it is ultimately concern about others who may be harmed by their perpetrator that leads to action.
Yet, there is hope and healing that can still spring from this multifaceted tragedy.
To its credit, the Penn State Board of Trustees got off to a good start when it sent a powerful though belated message: We will have zero tolerance for not reporting child abuse.
Paterno seems to have all but conceded that the board got it right, as he had already tendered his resignation for the end of the season and has not subsequently protested.
Ironically, it is Paterno who is now uniquely able to help child sexual abuse victims summon the courage they need and to use this tragedy as a teachable moment that will benefit many. What should he do?
First, Paterno should tell the student demonstrators to knock it off and point out that he is not the victim here. Paterno has made millions as coach at Penn State, and by his own admission he made an enormous mistake in staying silent. He should ask the students to think of the victims as their younger brother, friend's brother, cousin or nephew -- and to show sensitivity and compassion in their actions.
Second, Paterno should call for others to speak up. In a plain spoken, unadulterated manner -- through a press conference or interview -- he should make clear how wrong he was and how sorry he is. In other words, he should take complete responsibility for his actions and inactions.
Third, Paterno should ask everyone -- Penn State community member or otherwise -- to notify police immediately if they have witnessed a child being abused or know of such a situation. He should also speak compassionately about what victims endure and urge them to also come forward.
Paterno is in a unique position to educate the nation that reporting child sexual abuse, and supporting those who have been harmed, often involves more courage than standing up to a blitzing all-American linebacker.
Late in life, baseball legend Mickey Mantle admitted that his hard drinking had harmed his family. It also led to alcohol-induced cirrhosis of the liver, and Mantle's untimely death at age 63. In a Sports Illustrated cover story and other forums, Mantle urged others not to do what he had done and to get treatment for alcoholism.
Through humility, and concern for others, it was Mantle's finest hour, on or off the field.
Paterno's finest hour, which would facilitate healing for child sexual abuse victims, greater public education and more offenders' being locked p could still be ahead of him.
More than any other play Paterno has had to call, this is clearly the most important one. But this is not a game: it is about children's lives. Let us hope and pray he gets it right." 


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