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Rebirth of a Spirit

Silent Spirits©IMG_0302 (1280x931)

This last week has been a journey that was filled with memories of days and experiences that I encountered throughout my childhood and into my teen years. My husband and I are planning to move in March and with every move, I attempt to purge stuff.  Last week was a picture purge and that was a bit more heavier than I had anticipated…

Amazing gifts are given to us when we need them most. Thank the Lord for our gifts!

In August of last year, I went through a full radical hysterectomy. Life is so much better now and my lens on the world is much clearer. What I have been pondering and struggling through, has been the fact that I never had children of my own. I have a beautiful foster daughter (23 years old) and love her dearly but have never given birth. Now I know that I will never experience my own bio children. This realization has crossed my mind only a few times and I have truly grieved the loss of what would have been.

If you know me. You know that I am a very straight forward person. So I am just going to put it out there. My days of depression have been centered around the fact that I have spent over 15 years working to end child sex abuse and I don’t even have my own children. I spend countless hours developing and working on ways to reach adults to talk about, address and protect children. Most meetings and audiences sit in silence while I share statistics and educate on ways to block access. Most adults will say things like “how do you do this work” or “sex offenders should just be eliminated” or “We need to teach children how to protect themselves”. These statements just don’t work for me and definitely don’t work for children who are being groomed and/or abused. My biggest frustration is the daily grind of getting adults to step up and take responsibility for vulnerable people (children, disabled and elderly in care). After my surgery I have had days of deep thought about just walking away. That is what my family feels would be best. I don’t and thanks to the gift of reflection while going through old pictures, I have dedicated the next 10 years to the Silent Spirits project.

Sex Offender’s create the grooming game, establish the rules and pick the player’s. You don’t even know you are in the game.  

Silent Spirits is here to expose the game, teach you the rules and identify all of the player’s.

CSA Speaking Out SF (989x1280)

I look at these pictures and I remember a kid who loved to be outdoors, climb trees and play with friends. I was a fairly shy child in front of strangers but very silly and outspoken with trusted people. From age about 5 to 11, my grandfather sexually abused myself, my sister and our friends. I hated the abuse but honestly thought that his actions and behavior was what just happened. He really did love his grandchildren but was a child molester/abuser.

At age 11, my sister told our mother about grandpa. That was the end of that. After some legal stuff… he went to prison for about five years. My father truly put his father in prison by believing his daughters and continuing to attend legal requests. We did lose some of our family relations because they just wanted it to go away and how could we possibly put an old man in prison.  Blah blah blah.

The real story (like so many other teens) is when I turned 13. The guilt and depression weighed on me like a heavy boulder. I started changing my appearance, doing drugs, drinking and running away. I lived on the streets of Portland for weeks or months at a time. I slept in parks, flop houses and stayed up for days while using drugs. We would pan handle for change and find someone to buy us beer and sleep at various homes or locations. So many dangerous memories and attempted assaults and when I put myself back there… I really didn’t care.  My immediate response to danger was to rip people to shreds, either verbally or physically. When the fight was over, I just didn’t care and now find that after 25 years am just now remembering the overwhelming number of fights, dangerous people, attempted rapes and creepy street people.

Now that I am in my 40’s and have been doing this work for a few years, I can clearly see what went wrong when I turned 13…

  • Every adult that was aware of what happened, treated and looked at me different
  • All of my friends parents stopped all contact with myself and my family
  • When I disclosed to adults, they look at me like someone had died
  • When I disclosed to adults, they said the same thing “I am sorry that this happened to you but you know that it isn’t your fault”
  • After I disclosed to adults, they treated me different and didn’t want to talk about it

I viewed the world as being crap and that adults said one thing but acted a different way. I believed that the abuse was my fault because if my friends hadn’t spent time at my grandfather’s home, they wouldn’t have been sexually abused too. I didn’t tell first and my younger sister did. Guilt! How could I still love my grandfather when he was a sex offender? So many dynamics and all on my shoulders at age 13.

I grew out of my self-destructive phase by about age 16 and because of my parents, I was able to move into adulthood with hope and a plan for my future. I share this with people because I have hope that we check ourselves when parenting, mentoring or taking care of children. Grooming can really mess up the mind! Survivor skills are very fine tuned in the area of reading people. We (adults) will not manipulate or bullshit a survivor. Be authentic with children and especially if they are disclosing or asking questions about abuse. Please understand that being sexually abused is only a part of the trauma. Grooming messes with the mind and what abuser’s say to you and other people does NOT align with their actions and behaviors.  Kids need truth and honesty with very clear communication especially if they have been abused. Silent Spirits is my attempt empower and educate adults about responding to and preventing child sex abuse.

Thank you for sharing in my story.

Savenia Falquist- Founder

One Comment
  1. debraliveprosper permalink

    thank you Savenia – I love you!

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