Betsy Lazary Ern
Mar 29 · 2 min read

A Survivor Watches Leaving Neverland

Listening to Wade Robson and James Safechuck so painfully, exquisitely recount their experiences knocked me right off my feet. Their stories so resonated, I could not concentrate on anything else until watching it all, wordless and paralyzed. Afterward, not a single distraction allowed me to break free from my crushing Survivor’s burden.

The careful unfolding of their stories brought home important truths:

1. Emotional and sexual abuse are intertwined;

2. Each type of abuse offers its own and conjoined trauma;

3. Collateral damage to family members can be equally destructive;

4. Collateral damage extends to the perpetrator’s (widely defined) “family;”

5. Family members’ trauma adds to the Survivor’s burden;

6. The Survivor’s burden is ultimately unbearable.

7. The eventual reality: The Only Way Out Is Through.

I do not vilify Michael Jackson and am left wondering out of what trauma he was operating. I do not blame these men’s mothers, for they also were seduced and are only Human. What came to mind was how blind we all can be to what we don’t expect or want to see or believe. I thought of how no one suspected the 9/11 terrorists even when they only wanted to learn how to take off, not land planes.

People follow all the news including this documentary and still have differing reactions, opinions and pronounce different judgments. We all view life through our own lenses and have our own lessons to learn. Finding compassion, that’s the hardest part. We Are All So Human.

When James shared as hard as it was to talk about what happened, it was not as hard as keeping the secret, I felt a light enter a dark place in my heart, telling me healing is possible. Thank you, thank you.

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For information on Healing, I recommend selfleadership.org and the work of Dr. Richard Schwartz, IFS (Internal Family Systems) which offers proven success with traumatic healing differing from traditional psychological treatment methods.