The Duggar Story is Mine

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I know this is not what I normally write about here but the subject is incredibly important……

My soul has so much to say but I find the words aren’t there. You see, this story is mine. I am very open about my life but up until now have chosen to keep the finer details private. I feel God’s calling very strongly. I am terrified because of the implications this could have for me, but I know I cannot ignore God’s pressing on my heart. I have already seen how opening up has touched other people. If the remaining post is a little jumbled, I apologize. My soul is still trying to put words to the mess within.

About 2 days before the world exploded with the Duggar story about the oldest molesting girls, I felt a heaviness on my heart. I was in constant prayer asking God to reveal what it was, or at least who it was for. The moment I read the first story that popped up in my Facebook trending story list, I knew. The light went on and I begged God that this wasn’t what that heaviness was. Being the good gentleman that He is, He did not push me. He merely whispered in my ear, “Such a time as this.” WHOA! A verse from my favorite Bible story, Esther. I began to see how a few circumstances that have happened over the last couple months have paved the way.

After a day or two of pondering this, I told the man. Of course, in his usual nature, he offered any help I needed. This first time speaking it out loud, peace spread throughout my body. I have no idea what He is calling me to or where it will lead me. He is faithful and I know I can trust Him. He has proven that over and over in my life.

Let me not skirt around the issue any longer. As a young girl, I was molested by my older brother. It is very scary putting this out into the world. For me, the implications in my life weren’t so much what he did to me, but how my family handled it. Just like the Duggars, my folks tried to sweep it under the rug. After we were kicked out of our church and private school, our family started over. We never again even hinted at that very dreadful year when it all came out. Without droning on and on about the details, I was under A LOT of pressure. There were things I had to say and do that no child should ever be put in the positions I was forced into. The only counseling I got was one court ordered session and a book. I seethed with anger and bitterness for all that was done for my brother by my folks while I was pushed to the sideline and forced to become responsible beyond my years. In the end I was left with not one friend, bitterness, and a family still to this day I feel blame me.

The Duggar's Story is Mine

Because this is my story, I have 2 friends who were also molested by their brother’s, and now the Duggars, my natural curiosity and scientific brain have taken over. I have had years of therapy so I can now use my logical brain instead of getting caught in the whirlwind of emotion. I have taken to searching studies. I am on a hunt to find the amount of occurrence, as well as the reasons why a boy chooses this path. If you know me much, you know I rely solely on facts and don’t listen to opinion.

One of the very first studies I came across, left me speechless. I was reading my life and the life of my friends on the pages of this study. With the situation of my molestation, I have never had this experience. Although each of our parents handled it differently and the extent of other girls being affected was different, we fell right in line with this study. My academic curiosity is piqued to say the least. How many of us are out there? According to one study, 800 out of 1000 sibling relationships experience violence. Read that again! This in contrast to 23 out of 1000 for parent-to-child violence. The man’s response, “So what you are saying is we need to focus less on the parents and more on sibling relationships?” How many of us still suffer in silence because we feel we will still be blamed? How many of us wish we could change our family dynamic but know we can’t?

This story sheds light on a very embarrassing, complicated family issue that I think many aren’t aware of. Unless you are a victim, you can’t understand the complex web of emotions that run through our head. I think this may be more prevalent in the Christian world than we want to think for obvious reasons. I am a huge advocate of sex ed in school for this very reason. That same study confirmed some of my suspicions which I think make it more of a religious problem than anything else. From my experience, growing up in the Christian world, Christian parents think the school has no place to teach their children about sex or anything relating to it. They are the parents that opt out in school when the paper comes home. While that is their choice, it adds responsibility I don’t think they anticipate. They are now responsible to teach these important lessons to their children. How many actually do? I would venture to say not many. You have to be savvy finding correct, scientifically based information, not an opinion. You have to be comfortable talking to your kids about such intimate subjects and you have to have already fostered a trusting relationship with them.

Not only does the school teach the nitty gritty but it also provides a safe place for questions. For me, I have put myself in the position of getting to know the adults in middle and high school that would be the ones talking to my children. I know their hearts and trust them. One of them is even the father of one of my daughter’s besties.

We need to put aside our religious beliefs and support our children where they are at in the culture we live in. Sure, I wish my kids were virgins when they get married but statistically I know I will be lucky if even one is (93% of people have sex before marriage). My job is to guide them to make healthy choices. The more information they have, the better choices they can make. Our boys can know the boundaries and know what their body is doing without having to experiment on their younger sisters. We can start at an early age and teach our girls that their bodies are their own and the word “no” is a sentence.

If my research is going where I think it is, this is a much bigger problem than just my family or the Duggar family. If you are a member in a family that has walked through this, I would love to hear your story (in the comments or an email)! I feel my brain beginning to form questions for my own unscientific study of sorts. Even if you just want to raise your hand, I will stand next to you in solidarity.

I am a wife and mother, creator, dreamer, and memory maker.

4 Comments

  1. by Robyn on May 28, 2015  6:54 am Reply

    Hey Shay, wow that was awesome and brave of you the words you spoke. I truly love you inside and out for who you are. I'm so sad thinking of how things like this happen and rob so many of us of our innocence. Brings tears to my eyes thinking about how so many parents are obliviant to what is going on with their children and how to handle a situation when they find out. This is so difficult on so many levels. The pain and the healing. The forgiveness and moving on and then falling back again. The trapped feelings of being alone excluded not good enough or even a failure. The growing and getting stronger over a tragedy and learning how to be a survivor. And then falling backwards again the cycles that keep going around and around like a catch 22. So many thoughts yet so hard to put into words the exact feelings and no one no matter how much you try to explain your personal hardships will ever really comepletteky know how you feel. Like you are still left alone even when you have the most wonderful best person beside you loving you and supporting you. But at least maybe your story can one day help others around you which in itself is kicking the enemies ass. Thank you that I have a God who loves me and knows me and will never forsake me. Shannon you are the only one I have really shared much of my story with. Thank you for being that friend for me. I love you. You were that person in my life that gave me that true safe feeling of being myself. You are beautiful and a wonderful Mother. I'm thankful God is speaking to you and you are listening and doing your best to let him guide you by faith. Bless you on your journey.

    • by Shannon on May 28, 2015  8:15 pm Reply

      Beautiful words! You are right, people don't realize the cycle and that it never goes away. It took about 8-9 years into my marriage before I started trusting Kevin. It not only robs innocence but our trust in those we are supposed to love. I will never forget the day you told me you knew my story, you will always have a special place in my heart no matter where life takes us!

    • by Shannon on June 9, 2015  3:29 am Reply

      I left you a comment. Well put!!

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