About the Girls

The end of last week was a little rough for me.

We all have stuff. All of us. And we all have triggers that take that stuff and place it in our consciousness again, bring back feelings we’d rather not feel, cause us pain and anxiety.

The recent news about the large, famous family whose name shall not be spoken (because this post is not about linkbait) pushed some of my personal buttons last week, and I had to consciously stay away from the topic and my Facebook newsfeed, hoping that the media frenzy would pass quickly.

Before I realized it was healthiest for me to look the other way run screaming from the topic, I read enough vitriol aimed at the family and the alleged perpetrator to fill up my uncomfortable tank for a long time. What I read most was, “Those poor girls! How horrible for those girls!”

So here is what I feel the need to say about those girls.

I want us all to think about what they likely felt after the alleged incidents:

Shame.

Confusion.

Anger.

Shame.

Sadness.

Fear.

Shame.

Worry.

Guilt.

Shame.

And yes, I intentionally repeated myself.

Now please stop nailing the alleged perpetrator to the cross for just one moment. Put down your pitchforks and torches. And ask yourself this question:

What do you all believe those girls felt last week?

Relief?

No. I don’t believe that is what they felt for one moment. In fact, my guess is the list looks much like this:

Shame.

Confusion.

Anger.

Shame.

Sadness.

Fear.

Shame.

Worry.

Guilt.

Shame.

Look familiar?

Recently someone shared that they knew something about me, something that caused me pain, something that I didn’t want cast up to me. Ever. I don’t believe this person brought up the topic with ill intent. But it was something that I hadn’t shared with her, something that I would not have ever shared with her. Instead she knew because of a breach of trust. I could feel the blood rush to my face. I could hear my heart beating in my ears, my blood pressure shooting through the roof. I curled my toes. I clenched my fists. I was in the middle of a shame attack and I wanted desperately to disappear, to escape.

And that was all because one person knew my truth.

For everyone who always believed that something was amiss in that family, on that show, in that subculture, last week was an “Ah-HA! I KNEW it!” moment. Many also believe that now the girls in that family will be protected, that they’ll be saved. I have no idea if the latter is true. I have no idea if that was even necessary or if their protection had come years in the past. But what I am sure of is that this information about them and their lives coming into the light in such a horribly public way is re-victimizing and re-traumatizing them. And for that, I am incredibly sad and pray that the media frenzy, which we’re all feeding with the constant sharing and resharing of content, ends swiftly.

Written by: Amy Lupold Bair

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4 Comments

  • This is exactly what I have been feeling and 100% why I haven’t written a thing about it.

  • My thoughts exactly Amy. Grateful for you and the way you use your words. Also grateful for grace that covers ALL shame. It doesn’t get to define you and it doesn’t get to define these girls. Holding tight to this truth!

    • My initial thoughts when I read the story were that the girls were failed by their parents (which I still believe) and that hopefully they were receiving the help they need (which I still hope). And then as the stories got worse and worse, my newsfeed more and more full, it all just turned to horror for the girls and the fact that this is all in the media now. Praying with you that the shame will not come to define them!!