(This is me at 14 years old, about a year after my abuse began.)
I would like to be quite clear on one thing - I am not a victim.
I was a victim, but I am no longer a victim.
I am a Divine creation. I am a woman. I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a friend. I am a picture of strength and sacrifice for my children. I am a musician. I am a passionate and soulful individual, one who openly shares my sentiments, more than most people probably care to hear. I am vulnerable, because it heals me to hide little of myself after spending so long being wounded while hiding so much of myself. I am a survivor of years of suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, trauma, and so much of the ugliness that sexual abuse creates in the lives of the innocent young. And as much as I will continue weaving through the knots abuse created in my own psyche, I must act for others as well. I will be loud, and you should be loud, too. Be loud for your children, for your grandchildren, for the ones whose voices have been hushed, for the ones who are afraid, the ones who don’t know the bravery that saves lives because no one showed them how and no one told them how. Because if enough of us are loud and unashamed we will show the victims how to stop being victims and how to start being everything else they were and are and could be before someone tried to destroy them.
I am no longer a victim, but I am loud, and here is my story. If you feel inclined please share it, or share yours, or share someone else’s but please, for the sake of innocence, community, and love, BE LOUD.