Writing helps me access that which I cannot speak. I write in order to release – to free myself of all that entraps me – to give a voice to all of the parts inside of me that cannot make a sound. Writing teaches me to listen to those muted parts and helps attach words to them. I work hard to uncover the words that best express what is deeply held within me. I sit with those words, formulate them, and then release them onto paper. My deepest wounds, questions, doubts, and fears are then in front of me – staring back at me and demanding attention. Sometimes those words don’t leave my grasp. Other times I send them out into the world.

Then what?

I am often left unsure what to do with the words that I express. When I share I often wonder where or if they ever land – like sending a message in a bottle. Did my message make it across the ocean or get stuck on a submerged branch just beyond my reach? Why do I choose to share my writing if I struggle with the uncertainty of whether or not my words are ever seen or provide impact in any way? Why do I write if I do not often even speak of what I have written? This leaves me with the ongoing gut wrenching question, “what is the point of all of this?”

I don’t believe in the notion that all things happen for a reason. I don’t believe that my teenaged body was routinely abused by a trusted adult as a part of some master plan. My abuser’s own criminal choices combined with the absence of my family’s support led to a perfect storm of opportunity and misfortune. The moments of my abuse left me without choice. This seemingly simple statement took me a long time to understand and believe as fact. Yet while I was without choices back then I believe in my own lonely healing battle that choices lie before me now each and every day. With each day and each new challenge I have the choice to pick myself up and carry on or to lay down my fight and surrender. Life has tempted me to surrender before – that is a voice inside of me that I know all too well and fear greatly. But there is also a scrappy warrior inside of me that urges me to wrestle my way to find healing, direction, and purpose. I may not have had choices in the way I was treated as a child, but I have choices in how to respond today – even when life tries to convince me otherwise.

I am armed with the choice to use my experiences to create meaningful change in myself, in the confines of my family, or even for a broader community or societal impact. That choice has transformed into an automatic responsibility for me. I carry the weight of protecting my children as a badge of honor – a terrifying and overwhelming weight at times, but an ever present focus of attention that was not afforded to me as a child. I accept the responsibility of devoting my energy and using my voice in order to educate and make meaningful policy changes in sports to better protect children across the world.

My greatest daily struggle is not to find a reason to fight for others. That is an easy source of motivation. My greatest struggle lies in my own personal daily battle with feelings that haunt me – voices that try to convince me that I am not strong enough or capable enough or worthy enough – that my presence on this earth is inconsequential. I push back on those feelings every day to claw my way into some sense of a meaningful existence.

I write in order to better understand my experiences. I write to uncover and tend to the pieces of myself that require healing attention. I write in order to connect with others and feel the validating support of the shared impact of abuse. I write because sexual abuse is not something that a person simply leaves in their past. It changes a person and becomes entangled in how they relate to themselves and the world around them – and the world needs to understand that! I write because the days of swallowing down the aftermath of the hurt that was inflicted upon me are over. I am tired of feeling broken and beaten down and silenced. I am tired of feeling so alone in my daily battles. If my writing lands in the hands of just one person – if I have made an impact on just one soul, then my struggles with uncertainty and purpose in sharing are resolved.

A trusted friend recently shared her own personal experiences of reading the work of a writer when she was young and struggling with her own abuse. She expressed to me that the author of the words she read during that time will never know how impactful and healing they were for her as she sat in solitude and absorbed those meaningful messages long ago. While I may live with the uncertainty that my words have any meaning or impact outside of my own mind, it is my deep purpose fueled hope that drives me to share. It is that hope along with my promise to all of the wounded parts inside of me to never stop fighting for them. However alone and broken I feel, I have to keep fighting every single day. That is my choice today – a day where I want to lay down and quit. Today I choose to fight. Tomorrow I can only hope for the strength to make the same choice again.

19 thoughts on “Purpose

  1. very very well done for talking about Sexual Abuse . people never see the every day effects .there views/judgements very Snotty Nosed .i was abused as a child .Sexually .my story is in a Authors book
    i have M.E . Bladder and Bowel problems BECAUSE i was abused ,DIFFERENT Adults TOOK TURNS ON ME ..i am not afraid to say/not afraid to talk about it
    my blog.http;//mark-kent.webs.com

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Absolutely! It is so incredibly important to shine light on this topic – important for survivors in order to experience the necessary healing support – and important for those not impacted by abuse to gain an understanding around its lasting effects. Education can lead to prevention. That is my hope.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. i take part in a lot lot research ..if people do not take part .HOW CAN PEOPLE UNDERSTAND OR HELP/BE AWARE
    Sexual abuse is Breaking into a persons body..WITHOUT PERMISSION
    Sexual Abuse is,Entering into a persons body .WITHOUT PERMISSION


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for being brave and writing about your experience of childhood sexual abuse. It’s something that continues day in, day out, all over the world and it needs to be discussed openly and without shame or judgment.

    We can’t just ignore it and we must not be ‘shut up’! How can the politicians ignore what happened and what’s still happening to many young girls throughout the UK? These young lives have been destroyed not just by the constant sexual abuse, but also by the fact that it isn’t been addressed appropriately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and for your thoughts. Yes! Sadly, I think this topic is so hard for people to really look at that it becomes avoided and in turn continually misunderstood and mishandled. Survivors don’t have the luxury of being able to look away and avoid the aftermath of what they have experienced. It takes the collective voice of survivors to shine a light on this topic. Yet this is a huge ask. I have strong feelings and a powerful voice and yet I write anonymously about my experiences as I struggle with my own exposure and perceived judgment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Sara. And yes, it is a difficult topic and one that needs to be addressed. You’re right, we can’t just walk away, unscathed by our experiences. We don’t get to walk away!

        Again yes, we must have a collective voice to highlight how difficult it is (made) for survivors in the aftermath.

        I too feel really strongly about this topic, and typing and thinking about it evokes so much anger! I’ve put my name on many comments, but I haven’t put a picture on my blog as I think would attract too much attention and people might find out it’s me.

        However, if I’m putting it out there, close family and friends are eventually going to know it’s my blog. I’ll just have to cope with it when it happens and I’m not going to waste time worrying about something that may never happen lol.

        Sara, my lovely, you can do as you please, anonymously, or not. While the topic makes my blood boil, I ‘like’ how you share your experiences on your blog.

        If we can support just one survivor by writing about our experiences, job done!

        You look after yourself. Caz 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully expressed. “Like sending a message in a bottle” is a great analogy. As an incest survivor, I am profoundly sorry to hear of your son’s abuse and your own. May you both continue to heal. By the way, you are absolutely right. Predators are responsible for their actions. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and for your kind words. I am so sorry to hear that incest is a part of your story. While sexual abuse is a part of mine, my children have been and are safe and I continue to do everything I can to protect them from ever experiencing any of these horrors.

      Liked by 1 person

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