Hanging the Kids Out to Dry

February 7th, 2008.

The guy who writes Going Like Sixty had this to say recently about my last update:

It was so out of character it seemed to me.

I get that a lot, so I’m going to address it now. The reason I sometimes write things ‘out of character’ is because, quite simply, I’m not a character. I’m not some one-dimensional super villain out of a comic book. I’m a person. Furthermore, I’m a person who has no interest in playing the part of a hard ass with no feelings whatsoever. I am a very confident person by nature, true, but that doesn’t mean I never get insecure. I can be brave sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I’ve never wussed out. I’m blunt and I’m harsh and I tell it like it is. But, you know what? I’ve also stayed up all night, wringing my hands, and wondering the best way to go about helping someone.

I’m not a character. Are you guys OK with that? I hope so, because I’d hate to be painted into a corner where I can’t tell you certain things because I’m worried about protecting some bullshit, fake ass, ‘Bitch Goddess’ persona that no human on this planet could maintain in real life anyway.

Another comment I get a lot is:

V doesn’t strike me as the type of writer to appreciate her readers.

Of course I appreciate my readers. Without readers, I’m just fucking talking to myself and the last thing I need in my life is even more evidence I’m insane.

I know there are a lot of bloggers out there who try to pretend they’re above it all. Anytime someone criticizes them, they respond with some patented form of snark, all, “If you don’t like it, leave!”

I think those bloggers are full of shit. I also think they’ve repeated the ‘Click the X in the right hand corner, Mr. Troll’ comments so often that they’ve become tired and cliché. I hope I don’t get mixed in with these bloggers, because I really fucking hate clichés.

People tell me that I’ve crossed the line and they’re never reading my site again all the time. I guess I could be cool and pretend I don’t care. But I don’t want to be cool. I want to be honest. Of course I care. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I’d rather they instead considered the source, and just shrugged me off.

I’m not a good writer. I have no delusions about that whatsoever. But despite that, I do have stories I need to tell. If I don’t tell them, no one will and the very thought of that somehow seems tragic to me.

A friend of mine once told me that my site read like it had a running theme to it. He said the message seemed to be, “Don’t fuck up your kids or this is what could happen.” I thought about it a lot and decided he’s absolutely correct. As a formerly fucked up kid, I guess I use this site to offer myself up to the public as a sort of cautionary tale. So when I write about my impulsiveness or my temper, I am hoping the current parents of the world are taking notes on what prolonged child abuse does to a kid. I hope when they read an article about my Mother, they are thinking to themselves, “I’ve got to be very careful not to do anything like that. I don’t want my kid to end up like V.”

But more than that, I’d also like other formally fucked up kids to shake off some of the shame that accompanies having a less than desirable childhood. I’d like them to tell some of their stories, too. Fact is, the reason we’re not working harder to eradicate child abuse from our society is because most people aren’t aware of the epidemic it’s become. Hell, some people can’t even define child abuse correctly. They think as long there is no molestation or broken bones, the kid is alright. Unfortunately, there is a bit more to child abuse than that.

I remember when I first left home and people would ask about my family, how I would always dodge the question. If pressed, I’d outright lie to them. I could never just admit the reason I don’t speak to my Mother is because she abused me. For some reason, admitting this out loud shamed me.

But why should I be ashamed? Why should I have to lie about it? I didn’t do anything wrong. The only person who deserves to feel shame is my Mother.

I know I’m rambling, so I’m just going to get to the point. If you were abused growing up, I’d like for you to tell people. In fact, I think it’s your responsibility to tell people. Now I’m not saying you should blurt out your life story to everyone who asks a polite question, but if someone really wants to know, stick with the truth. If you don’t suck it up, shake off the shame, and tell people, you are hanging the little kids who are suffering in abusive homes right this very second out to dry. No one will ever help those kids until you make sure everyone knows exactly what kinds of things happen.

So yeah, I want you to read. And after you read, I want you to pass it on. And after you’ve passed it on, I want you to share with the group.

Or you can just read to be entertained. I’m cool with that, too.

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