They tried to bury us…they didn’t know we were seeds.
Today is the day that we have been waiting for- “we” meaning my cousin Laura and I.
Thirty-five years ago Laura told her mother what our grandpa did to her. That gave me the nudge to speak up and tell the adults in my life that he was doing it to me, too.
I lost my childhood to a monster who was supposed to love me and protect me. Instead, he violated and robbed me. My innocence was sacrificed by his need for domination and power.
I was just a little, little girl.
And then, also because of him, I lost my dear cousin, Laura. We never saw each other after we spoke up.
The impact that my abuse has had on my life has been monumental. My abuse has played a starring role the choices and decisions I have made. What he did to me changed the way I saw the world.
I was busted.
But my abuse made me resilient, too. My abuse forced me to move onward. I had something to prove, or so I thought.
Then the strangest thing happened last Thanksgiving.
Out of the blue, I had a strong urge to find Laura. And I did, that night, thanks to Facebook.
Re-connecting has changed our lives. Just in ten months the enormous processing and healing we have experienced together has been overwhelming. It has been by the grace of God.
This was taken the morning after we reunited.
We went to the Carlisle Police Station, and Officer Paul Smith sat with us. He heard us. He believed us. He documented what we said about our abuse.
Thank you, Officer Paul. We will never, ever forget your kindness.
Me, Officer Paul and Laura
Then, Laura wrote about what happened to us, and hundreds said “Me too.” Other talented and soulful authors re-posted.Thank you, thank you, thank you to Glennon Doyle Melton and Jen Hatmaker for sharing our story. It is in great part because of you that we connected with such a community of survivors.
Our story has been published in the October 2015 issue of Boston Magazine, which is on newsstands now. The online version will be available soon. Thank you S.I.! Working with you has been an outstanding experience.
What happened to me as a child was horrible. It was criminal. I was so lonely and felt so lost all the time. But there is something so incredible about what has happened as a result of us speaking out.
The number of survivors who joined in saying “ME TOO!” was overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who has offered support and kindness to us but more importantly, to those who have had the bravery to say, “ME TOO.” You are courageous, and you have strength and are resilient.
No one can mute our collective voices. Right?
We are a community of survivors. And although the common denominator that we share is terrible, in coming together as a community we can do great things.
There is strength, power and healing in community.
And there is something to be said about taking lemons and making lemonade, everybody. And that is just what we are doing.
Laura and I have decided to put our pain to work. We have given it a job. We have resolved to tell our stories to all who will listen and encourage others to do so as well.
Because, you know what? This violent, destructive epidemic continues to fester in the dark. It will continue to manifest until we shine a light on it, everyone. Let’s flip that switch.
So, Laura and I have founded Say it, Survivor.
Say It, Survivor, offers guided writing workshops for survivors of sexual abuse. We bring a community of survivors together, and we work as facilitators helping them to process and tell their stories they way they wish and on their terms
Through Say It, Survivor, we bring our message of awareness and prevention to women’s groups, parents’ groups, and law enforcement by offering public speaking engagements.
Please visit us.
Here comes the sun!
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