The word no is a complete sentence to most people, It needs no other words to make it whole or for it to be able to stand on its own. It often can be an over used word, especially to a child. Children hear the word no from toddlerhood to adolescence onto adulthood, it’s constantly a word children hear being said to them. We use it to keep them safe, show boundaries and instill limits of how far is to far. I personally think the over use of it hasn't changed the value of our no’s, but I do believe many children do not believe their no has any value. Children are taught saying no to an adult is unacceptable and disrespectful and in many healthy situations it probable is. Even still I think the word no is respected by most people as a final answer, but to often this word isn’t being used by abused children because a child believes their voice will not be heard. The person abusing a child has more power over their victims then most people believe. They typically have groomed these children from such a young age that they lose understanding of truth because all they hear are the abuser’s lies.
I never said no to my abuser, not even once. In fact, I never said a word during the abuse that I can recall. If the abuse took place during the night I would pretend to be asleep, even though I knew he was aware I was awake because no one could ever sleep through such an awful event. As I grew older the use of alcohol and marijuana were acceptable and almost encouraged in his house. I always took full advantage of this freedom in order to be intoxicated so I could be out of it which made the experience something often I wouldn’t remember, which is what unknowly to me at the time I was trying to achieve. Even if I had said the word no would that have even stopped him? If ever there was going to be something that would provoke a moral change in him to stop I am certain the look on a child's face was all the no he would have ever needed. Is the word no going to ever stop monsters like him when their mission is to sexually exploit a child's little body for their own pleasure? As a young child I didn’t understand that the eyes looking down at me during the abuse where that of evil and not of love. I now understand that he was nothing more than a coward hiding behind his own fears and insecurities. As a child if I could have saw through his lies and tactics, I would have spoken out to who he truly was, but the word no was never a I thought to say to him. Is that because I had low self esteem, or believed I had no true worth or value? Was it shame knowing I didn’t tell him the word no, so I kept believing the lies that I wanted it? Was it fear of losing or upsetting him? Or maybe it was just easier to stay quiet? I believe the answer is yes to all of these questions as to way I didn’t speak out. I was a broken child that was busy fulfilling all the statistics and negative words spoken over me through out my childhood. So as I was proving myself right, that I was a out of control, disrespectful child with to many issues to count and he was busy keeping me right there in that spot.
Teaching children to say no isn’t the only answer in protecting our children from abuse. It is being active, present and involved. It is filling our child's cup of self esteem so full that it can’t be emptied. It’s not an easy task, it’s daily hard work, that I know I am not perfect at always with my children, but I want to be. I want my children to know their worth, their value and what is right from wrong. I want to give them a gift that can’t be taken away by anyone. Maybe we stop focusing on the cowards and monsters and more on equipping our children to be unstoppable and powerful even to a giant that may one day stand next to them unknowing to us.