Speaking at the U.S. Dept of Education Conference and painful journal entries

I know I have been slacking in my blog posts. The days just sneak away on me and I really am trying to put all my time and energy into my 3rd book especially since I have an extremely busy travel schedule coming up. I leave in a week and a half for Oregon to stand up in my sister’s wedding. I am her maid of honor. Can’t wait to do that speech hopefully she will still speak to me afterwords….no I’m kidding it will be a great speech and nothing but great memories and much laughter will come out of her. I will say things she has completely forgot about. She forgets her younger sister has a sharp memory when it comes to events and memories from our childhood. Then I will say goodbye to the rest of the family at the Portland airport on Labor day. I am then headed from Oregon to Washington where I am speaking to a crowd expected to be 800-1000 people at a conference. It is going to be remarkable I just know it especially the way they want me to end the speech It will be very touching and memorable. I fly home Thursday the 8th of September only to be back in the air on my way to Alabama the next week and a trip to the state Capital to meet with Erin’s Law task force. Then we are into October and I am back in the air again the following week to Texas. 9 days later I am on my way to New York. All my travels are events I am the keynote speaker at. In between my travels I will be working on my 3rd book and substitute teaching for several districts both elementary and high school. It is going to be a busy fall. I just returned from speaking last week at the United States Department of Education national conference in Washington D.C. on Erin’s Law. It was a great event and I made some wonderful connections including the United States Department of Justice that wants to do work with me. Here are some photos of that event.


At podium before my speech.


Can you see my passion for Erin’s Law?


Speaking with audience after speech.


Talking more with guests that heard me speak.



Rattling off key issues


My friend Angela Rose and I. She moved from Chicago to D.C. two years ago. It was great having her come hear me speak. She was behind taking all the photos from my D.C. trip. I am now off to hear her speak here in Illinois in a few hours. She has an incredible survival story of being abducted at 17 years old from Woodfield Mall by a serial killer and rapist. Check out PAVE the foundation she began 11 years ago.


I was recently going through many journals from my childhood and teenage years. I had many journals from being a teenager. I haven’t read  many of these journals since I published my first book “Stolen Innocence” 7 1/2 years ago. As I went through them some things jumped out at me that I didn’t expect to read. I always knew I kept my secrets of my abuse at the hands of my cousin locked away in my diary I just didn’t know the secret of my earlier abuse I actually wrote about in my diary. In a sense it was heartbreaking to read to know how badly I wanted to tell someone as a 14/15 year old. My mother sent me to a therapist when I was in 8th grade. I only met with her once but I felt a strong connection to her. I had told my mother I needed to talk to someone. My earlier abuse that nobody knew was on the surface and I needed to let it out. It was haunting me. After meeting with her once my father was upset my mother took me and had her cancel the next appointment. Which lead me into high school where I went down a very destructive path of depression, self-injury, and a suicide attempt. My father has never been one to like therapists. He has his reasons but at the same time he also is one to not do well with expressing his emotions. Something he is very good at hiding. I often felt sheltered from letting my parents into my world of pain because I grew up feeling like showing emotions was not accepted and at the same time I felt I had to protect them from being hurt or feeling like they missed the warning signs when I was being abused.  I tried to reach out for help but felt the door was slammed in my face and I had no other choice. So I built walls up around me and learned to hide my pain in my journals. The only place I felt it was allowed and safe. Below are just two journal entries at age 15.

July 2000

I got home from Lake Geneva tonight. It is 11:50 p.m. Me just keeping things to myself isn’t working. I’ve tired. I am not turning to my mom anymore. I turned to her for the last time she set up an appointment for me to talk to this therapist but I learned how my father really felt so we canceled the next appointment. The thing that hurts the most is this was the first time I talked to someone and actually felt like I was going to get something done. I just felt this woman I could share something I’ve never shared to anyone. Deep secret I’ve been so scared to say. I love my mom I just can’t talk to her about this. I don’t want her to be hurt anymore then she is already hurting from what happened in my childhood. I am now learning to numb myself. -Erin

October 2000

My older sister and I don’t have the best relationship we have our distance between us but there is something in her that I like more then anyone. I can talk to her. When I am depressed I am able to go to her and tell her. I cried to her once telling her how I am struggling to find my way of out this darkness. Getting through it is hard. I told her about Dad not wanting me to see a therapist and mom listening to Dad and canceling the appointment.  I felt for once when I met this therapist I finally was going to be able to talk and tell her everything. Even the one secret I haven’t told anyone that is bothering me so much. I have to tell someone. I can’t hide it any longer. I have no one and I don’t think I can hang on much longer. I need to speak. God can you help me? Please….I need your guidance. -Erin


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