I was reading through my old Cub Scout books that I've had since I was a kid today, and there was a scenario in one of the Wolf Trail chapters that is meant to teach kids about what to do in "stranger" situations:"What would you do if you were in a public restroom and someone tried to touch you?"
it then says:
"I would ______________"
My den leader wrote "scream."
Under that it says:
When you are afraid, remember:
IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT if someone tries to hurt you.
IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT if someone tries to make you feel bad.
IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT if someone tries to scare you and mix you up.
* Get away
* Say "NO"
* Yell "HELP" -- (and my den leader wrote to the side "Jordan says scream.") [Jordan is my middle name by which I went by back then]
* Tell someone
Signed by Den Leader: 2-14-1989 (I was 8 years old)
I find it funny/tragic that I knew what to do if a stranger tried to molest me, but probably a week later (or something) went to my dad's and he was hurting me more than the man in the bathroom ever could have. I don't know why but I didn't put the two together, I guess. It had been going on years before this was written, but I didn't for some reason think of dad in this scenario.
Or maybe I just said what was expected of me. But I know that I never knew I was being abused, at least not consciously.
Maybe kids shouldn't do these exercises...I don't know what I'm trying to show here ... maybe kids shouldn't be given unrealistic situations...or be talked down to to preserve the comfort level...I don't know...
If someone had said "...even your parents" maybe I would've told...
The sad thing is I never tried to get away, I never said no, I never yelled for help or screamed, and never told someone. Because, oh, it wasn't a stranger. It wasn't the creepy guy on the block. It wasn't some guy in a van. It was dad...and I loved him.
It was maybe a year and a half later that I would hyperventilate while the same Cub Scout group was talking about what to do in a hypothermia emergency...."get in the sleeping bag naked with the person to preserve warmth."
Den Leader thought I was acting up and I got sent home. I was a really good kid, so no one wondered why I "acted up?"
There's some kind of lesson in here, but I don't know what it is...my thoughts on this are more together-sounding in my head...I wish I could articulate it more here...hm.
It's just sad...I was such smart kid, but just had to stuff it so deep that I was presented with the situation and still did not know....
I remember in 5th grade (I think) getting upset about something and I was at a friends house and there was this highway behind...I remember standing in the ditch by this road all by myself thinking I should walk into traffic because I hate life...
5th graders shouldn't be considering suicide!
Ugh...I'm crying for little me today.