Before there was Erin Merryn

Erin Merryn was my first and middle name for the first two months of my life on my birth certificate Erin Merryn is crossed out and written above it is Erin Elizabeth. Everyone pronounced it wrong so my parents changed it after 2 months. I took it back as a pen name and now listen to countless people mispronounce Merryn (Murrin the correct way of saying it) as I am introduced before I speak. It makes me laugh every time.

I have traveled America  the past 6 1/2 years  to 18 states and spoke as the brave Erin Merryn sharing courage, strength, forgiveness, inspiration, and a pretty powerful voice.

Erin Merryn has been interviewed on Oprah Winfrey, Good Morning America, and Montel Williams all national shows I got myself on because I was determined and motivated to put a voice to the silence.

Erin Merryn is the name 2 books are written under. Stolen Innocence: Triumphing Over a Childhood Broken By Abuse and Living For Today: From Incest and Molestation to Fearlessness to Forgiveness The first book I published my senior year of high school the second book came out just after I finished my masters degree at 24 years old.

Erin Merryn is the one who went after Erin’s Law and testified before the Senate Education Committee in May 2010 where it was passed by the entire Senate Floor all in favor of Erin’s Law SB2843. Erin Merryn went on to testify before the House Education Committee in November 2010 where Erin’s law passed and then passed on the House floor with all 110 yes votes. A law now waiting for the Governor’s signature.

Erin Merryn is the one who has appeared in numerous newspapers over the years and last week appeared in the newspaper 4 times twice on the front page for the same paper. One of those articles was called “The Suburban Newsmaker of the Year:You decide. Who will it be?” up against 9 other people and the public is being asked to send in your vote to personofyear@dailyherald.com I have asked many to send in their votes for Erin Merryn as it will only continue to bring recognition to the issue of child sexual abuse in our world.

Erin Merryn has a facebook account with 1536 friends. Of those friends I only personally know a few hundred as I am friends with people that truly know me under my real name and will only allow people those that truly know me to be friends under that name. Erin Merryn has a facebook page called Erin’s Law with nearly 6,200 fans.

Before Erin Merryn came to life to put a huge spotlight on sexual abuse and offer so many a voice there was Erin Elizabeth.

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Erin Elizabeth was sexually abused and raped from 6-8 years old by a neighbor being told she would be tied to a bed if she didn’t stop kicking as a man raped her.

Erin Elizabeth put her hand through a window in January 1992 because of what a rapist did to her.

Erin Elizabeth was held back in first grade and  had behavior intervention plans put in place in school because nobody could understand her anger and tantrums.

Erin Elizabeth was sexually abused from 11-13 by her older cousin.

Erin Elizabeth had cheerful holidays turned into a fight to protect herself from evil where she often lost.

Erin Elizabeth heard over the years from 11-13 “Nobody will believe you, you have no proof, you will destroy our large extended family, this is our secret don’t tell anyone.”

Erin Elizabeth had the ability to eat chocolate, pizza, spaghetti, and other foods taken from her because of what one of her abusers did. Destroying that with his actions.

Erin Elizabeth lost her entire extended family (uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, and I still love many of them) because of her abuser. Not because of my actions, it started with his actions to abuse me. I would of never been disowned had it not been for his choice he made.

Erin Elizabeth has dealt with nightmares and flashbacks since she was 13 years old. Panic Attacks starting at 15 years old. Suicide attempt at 16 years old because the memories haunted me daily and I thought there was no escape, self-injury starting when I was 16 through the age of 18.

Erin Elizabeth went off to college at 19 and started down the anorexia path searching for the control her abusers took from her. From 19-23 I battled anorexia.

Erin Elizabeth is 25 years old now and does not trust men, fears relationships, and intimacy.

Erin Elizabeth thought forgiveness was the hardest thing for a survivor to do but with her Christian faith it now seems a lot easier then ever gaining the ability to trust again.

Erin Elizabeth fears the one feeling that brings both her abusers to flood her memory she will never be able to remove and fears that has been taken forever.

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Erin Merryn can stand in front of a crowd of 1000 people or appear in front of millions on Oprah and tell what she endured and not be traumatized at all but instead empowered because the one thing I was able to take back from both my abusers was my voice.

Erin Elizabeth can be alone with a man and be completely traumatized and relive the pain from her childhood.

There is so much Erin Elizabeth keeps private and protects and does not allow the brave Erin Merryn to share.

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Sometimes I think people forget all that I have endured to get where I am in my life, to accomplish what I have done, and majority only see Erin Merryn the one they look up to, read my books, see on television, read about in the paper, hear give a speech, or follow on facebook. Before there was Erin Merryn there was Erin Elizabeth and I am still am that woman.  There is so much I keep behind closed doors out of the public eye and sometimes I think people forget what I have endured to get where I am today and what they don’t know because I choose to keep private.

There are things in this life that I know if I lived to be 80 years old and write my life memoir that even then I would keep private. I am not just Erin Merryn, before she came to life there was Erin Elizabeth who suffered a lot of trauma as a child that I will carry with me forever.

Maybe one day Erin Elizabeth will have a lot more to share with the world through Erin Merryn.

Only time will tell.

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Featured Videos

Testifying in Pennsylvania

September 18, 2012

Erin Talks with Oprah

October 2010