Community: find your voice, take your place!
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
When I was in the midst of my own processing, I looked around for someone who’d been through this and had emerged strong and well. I initially found only one person: Marilyn van Derbur. I will be forever grateful to her for coming out and sharing her story publicly. Her bravery and strength are an inspiration. But sure – Marilyn is a former Miss America, wealthy, and supported by an amazingly compassionate husband. What about me – a middle class single mom? We exist, but we’re harder to find. That’s part of the problem. We start to feel alone, as though we are the only ones going through this.
The decision to share your story or not, is a very personal one, and only you can know what’s right for you. I’ve heard a few women say that telling the world is liberating; but telling their family is re-traumatizing. There are safe spaces to share your story, such as support groups. And finding your voice doesn’t have to mean sharing your story with your family, or with the world. Finding your voice could mean expressing yourself in a way that has more to do with your current passion than with your past.
For me, finding my voice has meant working to lay down a path for healing, where I could not find one already in existence. For me, it also means working to build community where it is sorely needed. When we are divided, we are conquered. Why not work together, and use to our advantage the strength that exists in our numbers and in our will to call ourselves Survivors?
We have been isolated by trauma, by shame, and by many other things that often go hand-in-hand with being adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, including drug abuse. We have an opportunity here to come out of isolation, and into community, where we can support and mentor each other. If you would like to contribute to HealingCSA in any way, or would like to share your story, or your unique wisdom, contact us!
These are a couple of my favorite resources for reclaiming your unique voice in life:
My own workshop on shame is where I share the technique that I found most helpful in shedding the shame I had carried with me my entire life. See the Workshops tab for more information
Steve Jobs' commencement address on "Connecting the Dots" of your unique experiences
Arthur Joseph's Voice of a Leader