For starters those who ask me how I did it? How I got to the place of Living For Today the truth of the matter is I could not have done it without my faith in God. If I did not have God in my life no one would know my life story besides those closest to me and the outcome would be much different. It is almost scary to think of what a different person I would be. You would not be reading a book of discovering forgiveness, empathy, peace, and strength. The inspiration people pour out to me in letters that they have discovered in my first book and just got my first letter today about my 2nd book. You can thank me for taking a stand and showing people the path towards healing but in the big picture you need to thank God. He is 100% behind this all and without my faith in him I don’t know who I would be. I am going to assume a very angry, bitter, person. He allowed me to find my voice in writing that eventually went to speaking. Writing Living For Today was like therapy for me. There are chapters that were far too difficult for me to speak about so I put pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard and let it just pour out of me. When the VP of my publishing company contacted me 3 1/2 years ago about writing a 2nd book I never in a million years imaged what was ahead of me and what would come out in those chapters. I wrestled with what turned into chapter 4 in Living For Today it was like a road block I came upon in writing that I could not keep writing anymore chapters until I addressed that chapter. I also had to prepare myself with the reaction of others who will read it. People may wonder why I waited so long to speak about it and could write an entire first book without every mentioning chapter 4. The truth is Chapter 4 was not haunting me it was buried. I was aware of it but did not allow it to surface because I knew if it surfaced it would begin to haunt me. Lesson I learned is everything from your past will one day surface better off deal with your baggage then bury it. Your only asking for trouble later.
Then I wrestled with this idea of not wanting the public to know this chapter of my life. Why would the person who I have become an outspoken survivor want to keep this chapter from the public eye. Well because of the circumstances of this chapter. I was afraid of being judged. I was ashamed of myself for not speaking up yet being so outspoken about the other chapters of my life. Most of all there was a question I still cannot answer about this chapter, why would I continue to put myself in harms way over and over again as a child? I beat myself up over this trying to find an answer but no answer would make sense to me. I finally came to my senses and realized I am looking at this chapter of my life from the adult perspective I am forgetting that I was just a 6,7,8 year old when this chapter happened. It is no different to children who stayed silenced do to fear and threats placed on them. While an adult who has been attacked may know the proper thing to do is go to the police a child who is being over powered by an authority figure, someone who majority of the time is larger then them, someone who is instilling fear and threats in them to keep them quiet does not know any better and often the power keeps them silent. So I took a gamble knowing those who do not understand sexual abuse or walked in my footsteps may judge the 6, 7, and 8 year old I was when reading Living For Today. I took that risk by allowing it to come to the surface and sharing it with the world. So what is it like to see that chapter now published. It is like a release something I have kept tucked away is now free at the same time it carries a painful reminder which is why I will only discuss chapters of my life where I describe the details of abuse for one soul purpose to be a face and voice on the silent epidemic of sexual abuse. I have no problem standing on a stage in front of 1000 people. It does not make me nervous the least bit. However it is no walk in the park for me to stand there and share the details of going back and opening up doors to my past I have since closed. But I continue to do it because going back and revisiting that pain in my life serves a purpose to rise above the evil and reach so many by taking people back to the days of a cousin locking me behind closed doors, or looking into the eyes of a crazed man. By letting those who hear me speak into those doors of my past in a sense I feel they either walk away with a stronger understanding of sexual abuse or I help them open the doors to their own pasts. I feel by speaking public I give others a push forward by having to go back themselves and deal with doors from their past. Which my hope will eventually allow them to be living fearlessly and fully for today. So in the big picture I feel the good out ways the bad of speaking public because I walk away knowing I let the voice that was told to be silent be heard yet again. It is the justice I have given myself. If I can bring others out of darkness It is worth it every time I get up to speak. We are all born with a purpose and I see mine as getting survivors to Live for Today and society to open their eyes of what is going on in our living world today. I have no doubt Living For Today will do just that.