When I was 6, a neighbor (17, 18 years old) called me to his house and told me we would play a game. He then blindfolded me and made me kneel, proceeded to take out his penis and made me suck it. The blindfold wasn't placed properly, so I saw it. After I told my grandmother, who told my parents, they decided that I looked fine, that I didn't seem traumatized after the event (how could I? I only thought it was a terrible game and that I wasn't going to listen to him when he said tell no one, because that seemed suspicious), so they decided to "sweep it under the rug".
I cannot explain in one small story how much self-loathing and unaccomplished goals have followed my life ever since. I've done therapy, spiritual healing in the Amazon -I'm Peruvian-, and I have read Psychology books about the aftermath of child sexual abuse. These things have all helped, but what I find most disturbing of all is...the lack of support I endured within my family and overall environment. And how alone victims can feel, even as children.
With effort, insight, and education, I've learned so much about myself and my family. My mother has Asperger syndrome, so it is incredibly difficult for her to imagine/fulfill the emotional needs of others. My father's brother is a pedophile, and in his misguided attempt to "save" this neighbor, he became his godfather in Confirmation (a Catholic ritual)! Suffice it to say, he was extremely selfish and misguided in his efforts, and the spiritual wellbeing a teenager neighbor who reminded him of his brother was more important to him than my physical and emotional health. A very, very toxic narcissist.
Having spent most of my time during childhood and teenage years with my maternal grandparents, I learned -and suffered- next to them, my (actual) family. So yes, I had a tragic life as a kid, even though I never experienced hunger or homelessness, and both of my parents were professionals. Life can be hell even when it doesn't seem to be from the outside. Emotional, mental health is so extremely important, and few people seem to remember that. And yes, children can be so resilient, but only if after the traumatic events, they find solace and respite in their loved ones. In absence of that, the suffering can only continue.
Understanding more of my past helps me tremendously, but I never forget that my health, and those with whom I choose to surround myself, are ongoing, permanent tasks. If you shower and brush your teeth frequently, you must also check on your and your loved ones' mental wellbeing. Awareness in the self and others is so key.
Let us not kid ourselves, in the poorest and richest environments, there is suffering. But, also everywhere, is the opportunity to heal and grow.