I just watched the documentary Leaving Neverland. For a total of four hours, this documentary shows interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck who tell their story about growing up close to Michael Jackson and being sexually abused by him. I followed it up by watching Oprah Winfrey presents: After Neverland where she interviewed both men and the documentary filmmaker in a room full of sexual abuse survivors. Let me tell you: that was some powerful TV….
I am in awe of Wade and James who somehow could find it in themselves to share their life with the whole world in such a detailed and intimate way. They dared to talk about what happened to them, their shame, their fears, their struggle, going to therapy, receiving death threats, their feelings about their parents….no stone left unturned!
Of course Oprah asked them why they have chosen to do this and the answer was simple: to help other people who have been or are experiencing sexual abuse. By showing the devastating effects keeping sexual abuse a secret can have on one’s life and at the same time showing that getting everything out in the open is so vital for the path to healing. The amount of courage that takes is mindblowing to me.
Wade said something incredibly profound I felt during the interview with Oprah. He talked about the role his mother played in his childhood, how she never suspected anything and so the abuse could continue for years. He spoke about the struggle he is having with relating to her because of that. But then he said he realized:
There is nothing that she could ever say that would make it all better, that would make it go away. Because she doesn’t have that capability. No one has that capability outside of me, to make it all better, to really heal.
I think this is so profound because it highlights so clearly that our path to healing, whatever that might be, is to go inside ourselves. No other person outside of yourself has the capability to heal you. That is something each and every one of us has to do for ourselves. I think many people today live their lives still (consciously or unconsciously) looking for other people to heal or somehow complete them. I know I used to be one of them! But as I have written before, I don’t believe that anymore. The only thing that is so crucial in all of this according to me is courage. To muster up the courage to go inside and face whatever is there head-on. I believe there is a lot of wisdom for us to find if we have the courage to go there and I think Wade and James show this very clearly and beautifully.
Towards the end of the interview Oprah raised the topic of forgiveness. James said about that:
Forgiveness is not a line that you cross, it’s a road that you take.
Such a small sentence, so few words, and yet so powerful, insightful and inspiring to look at forgiveness in this way!
When I was a young girl, an acquaintance of my parents asked them if I could come and spend the night at his place. They declined because somehow intuitively this did not feel right to them. Several years later this man was facing trial for sexual abuse. I am forever grateful to my parents for following their intuition in this case as I realize how my life potentially could have taken a whole other turn. Watching Leaving Neverland made me realize this once again very clearly.
So here I am, writing this blog post on my couch in my pyjamas while my teenagers are sleeping and my husband is out of town. I still have a tendency to sometimes lose myself a bit in some panic over writing about myself and my life so openly here on the internet. But looking at Wade and James I realize they have taken sharing their life and their truth to a whole other level. Today I want to share how touched and inspired I am by their story and their braveness. I hope me writing this somehow has enriched you too, in whatever way that might be. Thank you for reading! ♥
If you are interested, you can find more information about the documentary Leaving Neverland
And here you can watch Oprah’s interview with Wade Robson and James Safechuck
Photo: Frederick Tubiermont – unsplash.com