I leave for camp in a few days. It has me thinking about what these kids have gone through. Kids at this camp are or have been a part of the foster care system. Kids aren’t put in the system for nothing; the goal is always to keep children with their parents.
There are many different types of abuse that would cause children to be taken from their homes: physical, emotional, sexual, neglect. I’m going to cover what these mean tonight.
“Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Sometimes abusive behavior does not cause pain or even leave a bruise, but it’s still unhealthy.” (http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/types-of-abuse/#tab-id-1) I feel like we all have the right to feel physically safe no matter where we are unfortunately that isn’t how it works all the time.
I think I read about emotional abuse the most because I want to learn everything that I can about it. I want to know how to help someone recover from emotional abuse. Emotional abuse isn’t something that people can see like a bruise so it’s rarely reported. Emotional abuse isn’t someone just hurting your feelings. People say mean things. It happens. Let me give you some examples of emotional abuse.
- Yelling and screaming at you.
- Blaming your actions for their abusive or unhealthy behavior.
- Starting rumors about you.
In my eyes if someone hurts your feelings that doesn’t necessarily mean they are abusive, but if someone is constantly demeaning you or hurting you with words or how they make your feel; that’s abuse.
“Sexual abuse refers to any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do.” ((http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/types-of-abuse/#tab-id-1) I think we all understand that if someone touches you in any way that isn’t welcomed or wanted that is abuse. You have the right to your personal space. No one should make you feel guilty for not wanting to do something. I read this article recently and I can’t remember who wrote it but it was talking about how it’s sexy when men ask permission. I love that! <<<<<<3
Neglect may be the very worst type of abuse. I don’t say that lightly because abuse is horrible in and of itself. Let me explain why I feel that way. I have a nephew who is 2 months old. he’s super cute. Anyhow he has also never been forced to cry it out. He knows that if he cries someone will come. I wasn’t sure where I was on the stance of crying it out but something as simple as that could harm a child. A child’s brain will not develop properly if they are not taken care. They need to know if they cry someone will come to help.
Neglect makes you feel like your invisible; like you don’t matter. Your needs aren’t met. You are not taken care of. No one comes when you cry. You are on your own. For a child that would be beyond damaging.
Abuse is damaging. It doesn’t matter if the person says they are sorry or that they didn’t mean it. It really doesn’t matter if the person didn’t mean to cause you any harm. It also doesn’t matter if they’re sorry. Sorry doesn’t fix everything.
So for everyone who thinks these children are damaged or not worth it. These kids are survivors. They were damaged by someone who was supposed to care about them and when someone finally stepped in to help they took them away from their parents (and in their eyes even after abuse that can be traumatizing too.) Trust would be minimal if I was in their shoes.
So are they worth it?
Yes. I can say even after having a rough go of being a counselor last year. These kids are worth all of the effort, the lack of sleep, giving up my nice bed for a week, and worth giving up what I want for a week. It’s all about the kids at camp because they deserve a week of not feeling damaged…See These kids walked through fire and survived and that’s strength. I don’t look at them and see someone whose broken anymore. I look at them as someone who was pushed to the edge of their breaking point and is still standing.