I have been fortunate to meet a couple of women who have made the brave decision to use their shared experience as survivors of childhood sexual abuse to help others find a voice from the debilitating secrecy and shame that so many men and women carry throughout their adult lives. Laura and Mary were sweet, innocent young girls connected by blood as cousins and connected by heart as friends. Unfortunately, their connection was broken because of the selfish, sick actions of their grandfather.
When each told their story, they were met with completely different reactions which created a confusing separation that was totally out of their control. What brave young girls to tell their story. Fast forward 35 years to November 2014 and their lives are reconnected forever in the most loving and healing way. You can read more about them on their new website, www.sayitsurvivor.com.
Laura’s story touched me in the deepest way when I read it last January. It came across my timeline in a post that Glennon from Momastery shared and caused it to go viral. A post going viral must be the most exciting and scariest experience at the same time! This post “He Wrote it Down” has been such a gift to so many. Her blog, In Others Words, has many other posts that are so beautifully written and have resonated with all who read them. While specific experiences are always different, the emotional damage and resulting struggles are so similar for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Similar in a way that sharing these stories can be so incredibly healing. I love her for it.
After reaching out to Laura, she invited me to participate in the Say It, Survivor writing workshop she and Mary created as a way to help others as well as further their own healing. I discussed it with my therapist and decided it was time for me to tell my story in what felt to be the safe environment that Laura and Mary created. Afterall, why should I continue to carry this heavy burden of shame and secrecy when I never even asked to be abused? I know it wasn’t my fault but that didn’t remove the trauma, guilt and shame I have been carrying for the past 40 years. Writing about it and sharing it is my only hope of loosening its strangling hold on my happiness and mental health.
I am working on the essay that I started in their workshop and may or may not share it here at this time. Taking slow steps is critical so I don’t risk feeling re-traumatized. I know that Say It, Survivor will help so many and am grateful to Laura and Mary for helping me and others get started in telling our stories.