Interwoven theme of denial

Over the coming weeks I’ll be posting some information about “Angel” and about some of the themes I wove into the book.

One of the main themes I wrote about was the issue of “denial”. This is not a particularly easy topic to talk about because let’s face it; we all do it to varying degrees. Whether it’s about how many drinks we’re having after the kids go to bed, how much money we’re spending online or even denying our feelings for the sake of a relationship, none of us can honestly say we are true to ourselves 100% of the time.

Whilst these examples might sound relatively harmless, when it comes to “big” denial, like in the case of sexual abuse, this is where it tends to polarise people and bring out very strong reactions. As a society we have become expert at pointing the finger of blame and labelling people who we deem “inappropriate” or not living up to our expectations or standards. Online bullying and trolling are very good examples of this.

Now, I am not for a moment saying that I condone the behaviour of adults who turn a blind eye to sexual abuse. What I am saying, is that denial happens and it happens often, particularly in the case of trans-generational sexual abuse. Denial happens for myriad reasons and purposes. What I am suggesting is rather than get stuck in the “blame and shame”, let’s just say, “Okay denial happens. But what can we do about it?” It is then, and only then, that we may get somewhere in terms of the horrific statistics that tell us that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be either sexually abused or sexually assaulted by the time the reach 18.

If we are to be outraged by anything, be outraged by those statistics. What we are doing as a society is not working. We must look at things differently. Looking at the issue of denial is a start in the right direction.

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