Epiphany of Denial

Denial is a powerful thing. Ten years of working as a counselor and director of a small counseling office, I saw lots of it. A (mumbled) number of years in personal counseling revealed its use time and again. Denial. I think I’ve progressed. No, I know I have, and yet I try to write the “About Me” page of my blog and it rears its ugly head again.

I write under a pseudonym for many reasons. I have others to protect, their lives, their reputations. I can be more honest if I don’t have to worry about how this will reflect on them. It is the reason I don’t post a picture of myself. I don’t even want to identify my gender. I want to be as generic as possible. But the truth is, I’m still afraid. I acknowledge some of my fear borders on paranoia. If the wrong person reads this and puts the pieces together, if they knew that I was talking about any of my history, my life, my family might be in danger. I’ve been free for twenty-five years and still I fear. Many of those that hurt me are old men now, and still I fear. It is engrained in my bones, no denying that.

I began my blog just before the national Human Trafficking Awareness Day, not consciously intentional. It just happened that an article inspired me to push through the fear and write. But today, as I was reading articles on human trafficking and thinking about my “About Me” page (which I have been avoiding), I was slapped by the revelation of denial once again.

Through my extended years in counseling, I labeled my life experiences in progressing ways: abuse, molestation, sexual molestation, chronic long-term abuse, rape, torture (I still find it hard to type that word—but that’s what is was), and finally settled on victim of child pornography and prostitution. Though it went on past childhood, denial still wants to leave it there.

One thing I would never have labeled it: “human trafficking”. Why not? I wasn’t “moved”. I wasn’t taken to another country or even another state, that I am aware of. If I was “sold”, I never saw the money exchange hands. My father took me places. There were cameras. There were men and women, often groups. There were horrors I will not recount here. So why not human trafficking? Because denial is ever my friend. Until I looked at this chart produced by the U. S. Department of State based on a UN protocol document defining Human Trafficking:

Human Trafficking is:

Process

+

Way/Means

+

Goal

Recruitment

or

Transportation

or

Transferring

or

Harboring

or

Receiving

A

N

D

Threat

or

Coercion

or

Abduction

or

Fraud

or

Deceit

or

Deception

or

Abuse of Power

A

N

D

Prostitution

or

Pornography

or

Violence/Sexual Exploitation

or

Forced Labor

or

Involuntary Servitude

or

Debt Bondage
  (with unfair wages)

or

Slavery/Similar practices

If one condition from each category is met, the result is trafficking. For adults, victim consent is irrelevant if one of the Means is employed. For children consent is irrelevant with or without the Means category. http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2008/105487.htm

As I looked at this chart, I went kind of cold, denial wavered. I definitely was harbored, albeit in my home (I could not leave, could not escape), and received by others. There was transferring and not just by my father. A teacher from my junior high, linked to my father, was involved with one group. He would take me places during lunch or after school. Column two: there was definitely threat, coercion, deception, and abuse of power. And, in the third column, the top three all apply.

I have said for years that there is a national problem with domestic trafficking—Americans using American children and teens—and on into adulthood when they cannot escape. I think our corporate denial as a nation wants to see it as an evil that exists mostly in other countries or that those who are used here on our shores are brought from other countries. We are an advanced nation. We are enlightened, aware. We would not use our own. (I nearly gagged typing those words.)

It’s easier to track those that transport across national borders or even stateliness, but those who are harbored in their parents’ homes, who seem to live “normal” lives, who are trained (read “tortured” and “threatened”) to keep silent, are much harder to notice or track. They don’t look out of place. They could be any child in any classroom in this country.

Until today, I would never have included myself in that number. I wonder how many other victims in the U.S. would say the same.

I have connected with several other bloggers battling human trafficking. If any of you have resources on American domestic trafficking or organizations that deal specifically with that population, please share with me.

Final note: please do not read my words to say that the abuse of American citizens is more important than the abuse of other nationalities. I abhor the misuse of any human being for sexual purposes or otherwise. It is all equally evil. I ask only because I cannot find much information on this particular aspect of human trafficking.

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Human Trafficking

3 responses to “Epiphany of Denial

  1. You are brave. I can’t begin to tell you how deeply I appreciate your courage. With permission, I would like to repost this? It is enlighteneing to someone who is trying to gain more insight with this issue. If not, I would understand entirely.
    Be so blessed in your journey to complete wholeness and freedom- and know your story will change people.
    Sincerely- Thank You.

    Like

    • My hands are shaking, but yes, you may repost this. I thought I was well past this part of my healing journey, but I am amazed by how scared I am about telling the truth, even if under an assumed identity. Thank you for responding.

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on aswaterreflectstheface and commented:
    Wow. My prayer is simple; that as the truth of this matter comes to light, JDAbbas would so feel the protection of a heavenly father. Brilliantly, Abbas has described an issue to close to home to ignore.
    Thank you for your bravery. May you feel the warmth of wholeness and healing in your journey my blogging friend. Be blessed.

    Like

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