There Are No Winners!

So many Penn State fans are up-in-arms over the recent sanctions against Penn State in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and trial.  Just today I heard the lady next to me in Physical Therapy telling her therapist that she planned to cancel her insurance with a well-known insurance company because they were going to pull their sponsorship of Penn State football.

I’ve thought long and hard about what to say about all of this.  I could talk about an illustrious coaching career wiped out, or hurting football players.  I could focus on shocked and outraged alumni around the world or people who dropped the ball and allowed so many innocents to be harmed.  Instead I just want to say that in all the hoopla it is sometimes too easy to lose focus on the victims themselves.

I know a little bit about this.  Back when I first entered puberty, I experienced one isolated incident of sexual abuse from a trusted relative.  It was isolated, thank goodness, because I didn’t listen to him and his pleading to “not let my mother know” and instead found her and told her everything.  From that time until the day he died, I was never alone with him again.  Nowadays, I’m sure it would have been handled quite differently but then, it was handled very much according to my mother’s philosophy of “appearances are everything” and “never air your dirty linen in public.”

I survived.  It was certainly nothing like Sandusky’s victims went through.  Yet, fifty years later, I still find it VERY uncomfortable to be alone with an older man.  Inside me is a twelve-year-old girl praying that someone will come into the room and rescue me.  I think I’m pretty good at masking all of this to those that know me.  I met and married a wonderful man (a “younger man”) and we’ve done just fine in our 32 years of marriage.  But I grieve (and yes, I get angry) that one rotten incident could still be affecting me all these years later, making it so hard for me to trust.  Can you begin to imagine how much worse it must be for the victims in the Sandusky case?

There are no winners in any of this current situation.  I can only hope that one thing will rise to the surface of the debris.  If anyone finds out that sexual abuse is happening to someone, please don’t look the other way. Speak up and keep speaking up until someone takes action.

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Hot Flashed Funk

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