Why do certain people think they know my own life history better than I do?  These specific people apparently think I am making up my abuse.  Although I’d like to accuse them of being pompous or even ignorant, I think my objectors are actually afraid.  Over the years, I’ve come to understand rejection happens when truth is too threatening.  The quickest, easiest defense is to refuse to believe it.  Depending on just how upsetting the information is, the methods of rejection can get quite extreme. 

 Maybe you have experienced this phenomenon yourself.  Perhaps you’ve been in denial about truth someone has shared with you.  Or, perhaps you have been rejected because of truth you have shared.

I had the pleasure of hearing theologian and philosopher Peter Rollins speak recently.

He said “Whenever you can’t face otherness (differences), it’s not because you disagree, it’s because you agree but are threatened by the confrontation of your own knowledge.”  As odd as this may sound at first, it actually makes perfect sense to me and confirms my own experiences. 

Our cozy little bubbles…

 We like to stay in our own comfortable worlds, thinking life really is this little bubble we’ve created.  Our own delusions prevent us from knowing various types of truth.  It’s convenient, but not reality.  We accept the truths we can live with and passively ignore or actively reject others.  The closer the truth hits home, the more threatening it is.   The more threatening it is, the stronger the reactions and justifications for it.

Fortunately, I have more people in my life who believe my truth than not.  Some family, my friends and even family friends believe me.  When I have shared the hard truth of my childhood, most were able to face otherness with compassion instead of rejection.  Many were surprised, but that didn’t prevent them from accepting truth.  They understand abuse is a complicated and hidden epidemic.

Their belief and support has been immensely helpful in my recovery.  Several people from my childhood contacted me after Dad’s death.  One person in particular was someone with whom I had confided in way back then.  She contacted me to say she was sorry she hadn’t done more to help me in the midst of it.  She, too, had been afraid of my dad.  His death allowed more truth to be acknowledged and more healing to happen.

Truth is too important to be silenced…

My growing support network and faith continue to sustain me even while my objectors insist what I say is not true.  Shame and rejection no longer render me into silence.  Being silent would be akin to saying abuse is acceptable; thus allowing it to perpetuate.  I am a strong survivor, and I will not be silenced. 

John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

What areas have you spoken truth about and did you experience rejection?