To the editor:
In response to the article written in last Sunday's paper under the title "Claims of local torture cult got this editor's attention:"
I am Teal Scott, I am the subject of that article. It has come to my attention that in the days that have followed the release of this article, an all out opinion war has started between those who believe that I am crazy, those who believe that it is a publicity stunt, those who believe my story completely and those who have personal experience with the same thing.
People will continue to go on thinking what they want to think, and it is impossible to please everyone. But I want to go on record saying a few things. My book, which has nothing to do with abuse, is about how any human can find health, happiness and freedom no matter what was done to them or what they, themselves, have done in their life. The reason I am able to say this is that given my childhood, according to society I should not be in the healthy and happy state that I am in today. And it is my belief that if I can do it, anyone can. I understand that it is hard to hear that Cache Valley, which is a place of nirvana for many of you, could be another person's hell (as it was for me). But my intention is not to orient people in the direction of negative (like the focus on the details of my childhood is doing). It is to use the example of my own personal negative in order to show people the path towards positive.
It is not my job to convince anyone that what happened to me did in fact happen. I have told the police what I witnessed and experienced years ago and given them all the evidence I have. And it is up to them now what they can do with it all. It does not feel good to have the most vulnerable parts of your life ripped to shreds in public (as I have found out in the past few days). But I must say that I feel as if the true message that can be derived from all of it has been missed.
There is a conflict in victims like myself between the desire to deny trauma and the desire to proclaim it. This conflict is the central dialectic of trauma. Individuals who come out with the truth about the abusive atrocities they have suffered run the risk of being discredited by a waiting society, who does not want to admit such things go on. They also run the risk of inviting upon themselves the stigma that is associated with victims of abuse. The abuse itself devalues us and then, as if to add insult to injury, the abuse often serves as a vehicle of condemnation to a life in which we are exiled from society, because we can no longer fit into the socially validated reality. When a victim suffers from a traumatic event at the hands of another person, the only real way for the victim to truly heal is through connection with other people. Survivors should never be placed in a situation in which they must choose between expression and connection with others.
Unfortunately, this is often the position in which society places victims of abuse. Support from society for a victim of abuse alleviates much of the impact of the abuse whereas opposition in the form of discouragement, judgment, hostility or disbelief can compound the damage of the impact of the abuse catastrophically. It's up to you.