Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dear Tom.....

So many things that need to be said between us but if I try I will be accused of starting drama. The main thing I want you to know is that I love you. The second thing I want you to know is that being cut out of your life is not affecting me the way you wanted it to.

You removed me from your life because you think I should shut my mouth and stop talking about childhood sexual abuse.
You believe that I'm not helping others and am just wanting attention.
You believe that I can't stop petting the demons.
You  believe that I'm the one that is dragging our family through mud and drama.
You believe that I'm "attacking" mom who, in your opinion, is an innocent bystander because I can't "get a reaction" out of dad.

First, mom isn't innocent at all and you know that. She walked in on the abuse and turned around and walked out of the house - leaving me there to endure hell. She allowed it to continue for years, then divorced dad and left us there with him. When I finally confronted her about it at the beginning of the year (at the urging of my therapist), she ignored me. Has not once acknowledged the email, me, my feelings or any of it. Yet she bitched, cried, complained to you constantly about it. Even lying that I had disowned her. All for which you yelled at me about. This wasn't your battle or your business. I didn't involve you. She did. Instead of handling it like an adult and a parent. Do you know that the only reason she wasn't arrested along with dad is because the law had just changed and the statute of limitations was over regarding her involvement? Otherwise, she would have been behind bars, as she should  have, for allowing her child to be abused.

Second, I don't understand what you mean when you say that I can't get a reaction out of dad. What have I done or am I doing that makes you believe I've ever wanted a reaction from him? You love to throw accusations at me but never, ever will you explain them when I push you on it. I said my peace to dad while he was behind bars. He just wasn't ready to hear it or accept it. He's working on this stuff right now and I'm patiently waiting for the day when he can apologize to me without any "buts" or blaming me and other people for his actions. Contrary to what you think, I'm not mad at dad anymore. I've healed from that. I still get mad at the situation. I still get angry that I have to deal with triggers, memories and the like. But I'm not mad at him anymore. I've spoken to his probation officer and he knows exactly how I feel and has passed it on to dad's counselors and dad. They all know that I want a relationship with him again but not until he is ready to accept all the responsibility and not try to play mind games with me. He is far from being ready according to his counselors and probation officer.

Third, you yelled at me to stop blaming innocent people like mom and place the blame on the real monster - the one who created this mess. Well, why don't you take your own advice and do just that? You are blaming ME for this entire mess. I'm not the one who brought shame to our family name or drug our family through the mud. Dad did. He is the one who created this entire situation. So instead of blaming me - an innocent victim - shift your anger to the one who deserves it. I'm sorry you can't find the strength to deal with the demons who now live inside you. I'm sorry you refuse to face reality, process through this shit and heal. But I have news for you. Cutting me out of your life doesn't erase your past, your pain or your demons. They still exist. They're still thriving. And one day you will have to face them in order to be whole again. One day you will realize how wrong you've been and how you destroyed a relationship with the one person who has always loved you no matter what and had your back. But, for some reason, I think you'll learn this lesson after it's much too late to fix anything.

Lastly, I will never shut up about childhood sexual abuse. Ever. Never. Ever. And I honestly don't care if this action removes you from my life until my death. I was forced to be silent about this my entire life. I was threatened with you and my sister being taken away from me, with mom going to jail, with me going to jail and/or a home, and with my life if I ever spoke about the abuse. I lived in a silent hell where I couldn't be myself and was completely alone. The fact that you are trying to bully me and order me to shut my mouth makes you no different than my abuser. You're trying to control me in order to benefit YOU. It will never happen. I will be your scapegoat and let you blame me for everything wrong in your life and let you tell people that I'm the "bad guy" and that's why you don't have anything to do with me. But I will never in a million years be your (or anyone else's) puppet ever again.

You probably believe that I'm crushed that you've cut me out and that I'm just falling apart because you no longer speak to me. The joke is on you. What you don't realize, Tom, is that I'm not that person you think you know anymore. I'm not the person you've placed inside that box and have expected me to act, think and do what you've always known me to do. I'm a strong, healed woman now. I don't take shit from anyone. I confront bullshit when it's thrown at me. I believe in myself and value myself. I've learned that family ISN'T everything and that it's ok to let family members go if they're toxic. I speak out when it's needed. What you don't know is how big my support system is and how many people believe in me. How many family members, friends and complete strangers have my back.

And, yes, I am helping people. Do you know how many co-workers, friends, friends' kids, my children's friends and their parents, classmates and kids that were in my Sunday school classes and complete strangers that have been affected by the same thing and have not found their voice yet? God has answered my prayers and is using what the devil tried to destroy me with to bring glory to Him and be a blessing to others. I am an advocate, Tom. In my personal life and through other organizations. It's not an attention seeking ploy. It's my calling and brings fulfillment to my life. It's my peace and how I give back to God for rescuing me and answering the prayers of that little girl I was so long ago. I'm sorry you don't understand that but I also don't care if you ever do. I don't need your approval. And I certainly don't need you in my life until you deal with your own demons. I'm not really confident that will ever happen because you are much like dad in that way in that you hold onto things and grudges for life and refuse to look inside yourself at things you need to change.

So, my final words to you, Tom - I love you. Always have. Always will. Unconditionally and without question. No matter what you do to me, say about me or how much you hate me. That love will never die.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

8 Days Post Op

Here it is 8 days post op and I'm feeling pretty awesome!

Surgery was last Thursday. My doctor went in laparoscopically to examine me but couldn't even tell what she was looking at. My uterus, ovaries and bowel were melded together. She ended up cutting me open on my C-section scar and calling in the general surgeon for assistance. 

When they opened me up, the surgical team gasped and said, "Was she in a lot of pain?!" Turns out I DID have endometriosis and the scar tissue from this had overtaken my organs which explained my constant pain and debilitating back pain. She also found a huge cyst that was twisted around my left ovary and said that it probably had been non-functioning for quite awhile. 

She had my fiance paged as soon as she opened me up and he said his heart dropped and he started sweating. The surgery was only supposed to take an hour and a half and it had only been maybe an hour. He thought something had gone wrong and the first thing he noticed was my doctor's shoes splattered with my blood. 

It turned into a 3-hour procedure and they only left an ovary. They cleaned out the scar tissue as best they could and she said I should not be in pain anymore after I am done healing. She couldn't believe that the last doctor had not done any exploratory surgery to find out why I was in so much pain - even when I mentioned I thought I had endometriosis. 

Recovery was rough. That entire day after the surgery I slept in between getting my vitals taken every four hours, my hemoglobin checked every three hours and the alarms going off on my IV machine. I lost a lot of blood and had to have two infusions which was a first for me.  I dreaded the next day because I knew I would have to get out of bed and it wasn't going to be easy or fun. But...we made it through. I wasn't allowed to go home until Sunday and I was so happy!

Sitting here at home and not being allowed to do anything except walk and rest is extremely hard and painful for me. I find it really ironic that I have complained that I have no free time because I work full-time and go to school full-time......and here I sit. All the time in the world and I'm so bored! God has a strange sense of humor. Be careful what you ask for!

Friday, June 28, 2013

The line has been drawn.....

"Though silence is not necessarily an admission, it is not a denial, either." Marcus Tullius Cicero

 It's been 4 months since I sent my mom the email confronting her about her knowledge of my abuse. She has yet to even acknowledge that I said anything to her. Instead, she has whined and cried to my brother about it and also claimed that I disowned her - which is a lie. 

Does she think that by pretending I never said anything that it will go away? That I will just one day forget that she walked in on the abuse and chose to turn around, leave the house and let it continue? Does she think that by not saying anything that she is professing her innocence? 

I don't get it! If I had ever, ever, EVER hurt my children in any way, shape or form and they came back and confronted me on it - I would be apologizing and talking to them about it, trying to figure out how to make things right again. There would never be a chance in hell that I would ignore their pain. Especially a pain that I caused. 

In the email I told her I forgave her. However, that doesn't relieve her from the responsibility she has to take accountability for it and also talk to me about it. She doesn't talk to me, interact with me or even give a shit about me but wants to be "friends" on Facebook while she bad mouths me to my sibling. 

I have come to accept the fact that I am an orphan - always have been. Sure, I had parents who put a roof over my head and food in my belly but that is about it. Because at the age of 9, when the abuse started, both of my parents turned their backs on me and decided I wasn't good enough and wasn't worthy to be loved or cared for. 

One abused me and the other closed their eyes.

Neither are a part of my life now. Why? Because I found my voice. Because I became strong and healthy. Because I no longer let people walk on me and I stand up for myself and what I believe. Because I speak my Truth. Because I refuse to ever be silent again. Because I made them look at themselves.

My siblings and I were raised in a highly dysfunctional family. It remains this way today. I always viewed my sister as a trouble-maker and pot stirrer because she was constantly bringing things up and trying to talk about things. As I look back, she was the only one even remotely healthy in our family. She spent many years in group homes and therapy where they taught her to confront, communicate, hash things out, own and share her feelings - all things we were discouraged from doing. It wasn't until I went through 5 years of therapy myself that I finally learned what healthy communication was. It was all the things my sister had been trying to get us to do for years. 

My sister and I are the only ones in the family who can now sit down together and even though we disagree, can talk about things, gain an understanding of each other and support each other - even though we walk away still in disagreement. She is the only family member that I feel I can trust and talk to because we KNOW HOW. 

I refuse to be a part of that dysfunction anymore. I refuse to partake in gossip and listen to you bitch and moan about another family member when you should be talking to them. My brother disowned me - for many reasons - but mainly because he still lives in the dysfunction and it feels safe for him. Anything about communication, talking about past hurts, or hashing things out is considered drama to him. I feel sad about that because he is missing out. He doesn't understand that it's not drama - it's healthy communication.

Will she ever acknowledge me and what I said? Will she be accountable for her actions? Will she swallow her pride and begin to mend the relationship? Probably not. Neither of my parents will. EVER. When they become old and sick - I won't be there. When they die - I will not be there holding their hand. When it comes time to bury them - I will not be there, either. They have shown me what I have meant to them and continue to show me to this day. 

Releasing them from my life is not only necessary but OKAY. I have a right to protect myself and draw boundaries. 

And the line has been drawn.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


How quickly things change. Not even a month ago I was determined to press forward and live with the pain. Today.....I'm losing sleep over the upcoming surgery. 

The pills worked for one week. I'm not even going to go into what I've been putting up with for the past few weeks. I just realized that I can't live like this any more. So I went back to the doctor and my hysterectomy is scheduled for June 20th. 

I'm excited to be done with the agony but nervous as hell. Mostly because we aren't sure yet if she'll be able to do it laparoscopically or, once she gets in there, will need to open me up. I've had a C-section before and do NOT want to do that again. Ever.

I can't sleep at night because I'm going over everything I need to get done by Wednesday of next week. Finals are next week so I need to get my work turned in early. Michaela's shower is two days after my surgery and I need to have everything ready for that. Gotta get the fridge and cabinets stocked so my son can cook for me while I'm laid up. (Ought to be interesting). There's things at work to get done and people to train. Aaaaargh! My mind won't shut down! 

Add all of that to the fears I have for this surgery and it equals no sleep! I don't know why I'm so flipping nervous about this surgery. I've had plenty of others but this one in particular is doing a job on my sanity.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

One Step Forward....Five Steps Back

Last year, I had to put the entire year of race plans on hold due to severe and constant pelvic pain. For a few days each month it was so intense that it would cause me to begin blacking out. I went to the OB/ GYN (two, actually) and had blood tests, several exams and ultrasounds done. She finally told me that all of my pain would be cured by having a NovaSure procedure. This is where they take a wand-like device, place it inside the uterus and burn the inside. It is supposed to cause scarring and stop the bleeding (which wasn't even really my issue.) 

I was so desperate to be pain free and feel normal again that I finally agreed. She's been my OB/GYN for almost ten years. I trusted her. So I had the procedure done last August. Easy peasy. And she was right! The pain was GONE! For about two months. Then it slowly started creeping back in.

Now, nine months post op, I am in constant pain once again. I made an appointment with a different doctor, different facility. She looked over the medical records I had transferred to her and noticed that during the last ultrasound they had found that I had adenomyosis (endometriosis of the uterus). She said, "Didn't they tell you the NovaSure procedure will not help this at all? The pain will only return."  I was flabbergasted and very angry. The doctor who performed the surgery hadn't even TOLD me they had discovered this.

It all boils down to - the only cure for this is a hysterectomy. My heart dropped. I have too much going on this year to have it done. So we decided to try progesterone only pills to try and alleviate the pain until we can schedule my surgery next year. Are they helping? Yes and no. The pain is still there but it is not so bad that I'm blacking out. And I've even had one entire week without pain this month! There is hope!

So...Once again, the race schedule I so carefully planned this year has been placed aside. I am frustrated beyond beliefSo far, we only have one event scheduled - The Mud Games!! I can't wait. We're doing it as a family. Hopefully, my son, fiance and I will hit up a few 5Ks, also, but everything else is on the back burner.

For now, I'm sticking with my eating and training plan so that I will be fit and strong which will help my body recover faster.

Peace & Love!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Happy Star Wars Day!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

STFU? I Don't Think So.

I yelled out a triumphant, "Yes!" when I ran across this article. It's so validating to hear someone else say what I've been saying and feeling. 

So, last month my brother removed me from his life. Never in a million years did I ever think that would happen but, truthfully, saw it coming. Ever since Dad was arrested and the truth became public knowledge, it's been on a slow boil. I knew he was having trouble with it but he did what he needed to in order to survive through the hell we as a family faced - buried it. He also became a rock for me when I was interviewed by the police, fell apart while Dad was jailed, watched him plead "Guilty" and then when I faced him in court and read my victim impact statement. I love him for that. We were all suffering, falling apart and completely lost. Yet he held it together long enough to see me through the first phase.

He has very little information or insight on what I've lived through since then. He knows the basics: flashbacks, nightmares, therapy, support groups, anxiety and the list goes on and on. But none of my family knows exactly what the last 5 years have held for me. In fact, my kids know more than my siblings because they lived through most of it with me. I knew we were all fighting our battles which is one reason I didn't talk with my siblings about it. But it was also all I could do to make it through my own garbage. 

My fiance knows it all and he's the only one that does.

  • The ugly details of the abuse and our dysfunctional family
  • Nightmare upon nightmare night after night
  • Needing to sleep with the lights on and a knife under my pillow
  • Anxiety so bad that I withdrew from everyone
  • Depression so dark and debiliating that I prayed and begged God to let me die. I will never forget the look on my fiance's face the nights he sat up and watched over me because he was afraid to leave me alone. 
  • Trigger after trigger after trigger - never knew what would set me off, bring back a memory, set off a flashback. It could be a smell, an expression on someone's face, the feeling of was hell.
  • The complete breakdown of our intimate life 
  • Crying, screaming, absolutely shutting down on a daily basis
  • The exhaustion of therapy and processing through memories, lies, feelings every week for the past 5 years 
 Again, that's a very basic list. And even through all the therapy, processing and healing - these things continue to happen TODAY. That's what people don't understand when they question why I still talk about what happened to me. I was forced to be silent almost my entire life.

For you to ask me to be silent AGAIN because you refuse to deal with your own issues - is just like abusing me all over again. 

When my brother removed me from his life my reaction shocked me and reaffirmed to me just how far I've come. I didn't cry and flip out. I didn't obsess over it. I simply took a deep breath and reminded myself that THIS ISN'T ABOUT ME. It's all about HIM.

Darlene writes:

"The biggest reason that people persuaded me not to talk about child abuse and dysfunctional family stuff was either because THEY didn’t want to be exposed or because they knew that if they sided with me or even if they validated me, then they would have to face their own dysfunctional family stuff. They were not trying to help me live a better life in freedom and wholeness with their “just let it go” directives.

Were they really telling me to accept that people messed with my head, discounted and devalued me, took advantage of me, taught me that something was “wrong with me”, abused, mistreated and objectified me, and telling me that I should just “get over it”? In that dysfunctional recovery system, everyone endorsed “keeping the silence” and no one wanted to talk about spending some time actually validating the dysfunction first."

It is so hard to face the dysfunction of your own family, to try to reprogram the false beliefs you've been fed and weed through the decades of lies you thought were real. It's painful. It's exhausting. It's easier to close your eyes and pretend none of it exists and nothing has changed. I get it. 

But do not ever tell me to STFU about my story. It's not going to happen. I will speak my truth, I will tell my story and I will continue to help others find their own voice. I've always put others and my family first before I even considered myself. No more. I'm now choosing what's best for me, looking out for me and taking care of me. I'm sorry if you have a problem with that. You need to open your eyes when you stand in front of that mirror - it holds all the truth you need.

Just like Darlene said -

"I will speak my truth. I will tell my story. Look at my life today! I am free. I am living a full and happy life bursting with wholeness and freedom in the sunlight of the truth and no longer in the shadow of the lie.  The fact that they are not happy for me is actually more proof of the dysfunctional system they live in. Like crabs in a bucket, clambering over each other to get out but only pulling each other back down because really, no one wants another little crab to escape into freedom if the darkness of the bucket is the fate of the rest. Well too bad for them. I finally stood up to them and stood up for me. I finally chose ME over them. I escaped. I don’t live in that darkness anymore and it feels GREAT to have the sun on my face!"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Yes, It's about You.

Hmmmm....I'm not really sure why my entry titled, "Dear Miss K" is so popular. It's my second MOST viewed blog post for all time and THE most read one this month. 

I'm so confused. 

So let me just clear the air and unveil the person who inspired that entry. 

                                     Yes, it is you, Kelly.  

We have known each other almost our entire lives and yet I've never been able to trust you. You lied about everything when we were kids and even when I'd catch you - you'd "find" your way out. 

As an adult I had to cut off our friendship - a term I use loosely- not once, but TWICE. You continued to lie to me, try to control me, stalk me and bad mouth me. You lied to me about your husband being killed in an ice storm....WHO DOES THAT?! You went behind my back and told my friends and customers every detail of my divorce. They were actually TRUE friends and told me about it because they were disgusted by you.

Then when I decide to let you back in my life -simply because I was an idiot- you tell everyone about the hell I was going through from my dad being arrested and the horrors I was having to deal with in therapy because of what he did to me. That wasn't your fucking story to tell - FIRST OF ALL. 

SECONDLY - You were a shitty friend to make jokes to my face about me being sexually abused. 

Then - you began (actually, always have) to tell lies about each of us to each other, spill our secrets, and bad mouth us to each other. You are full of drama and nothing else. 

Now you keep in touch with my mom and supposedly gather your information about my life that way. How's that working for you? I don't suppose she's told you that she's not part of my life and knows nothing about what is happening in it? Quit trying to contact me - quit texting me! I don't want anything to do with you  or any of the trouble, drama and nastiness you bring. 

I have moved on and worked my ass off becoming whole and healed from my past. I choose to live positively and refuse to let anything that doesn't serve a good and higher purpose into my life. You are included in the banned list. 

Please make a note of that. Thanks. 

Oh - and one other thing. A few years ago, there was someone else that would continually whine to her husband believing that she was the object of my FB posts and some blogs. When I'd tell him that she wasn't and explain who they were about - she wouldn't believe me. Well, get over yourself. I was telling the truth about who and what I was writing about. It was never about you  and the initial K was never yours. So now the mysteries are solved.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Innocence Revolution

Today is the day!! This is the organization I have been a part of and it's our 1st official launch! It is a non-profit organization run strictly by an all-volunteer force and we are holding WORLDWIDE events today to end child sexual abuse. I am thrilled to be a part of something so amazing, selfless and live changing. Remember - the power to stop abuse starts with YOU.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Never Be Bullied Into Silence

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein 

No relationship – whether it is family or friend – is worth being bullied into silence about your abuse. Especially after you’ve found your voice! There will be those people who, after you continue on your healing journey, will come at you with anger, bitterness and accusations. They’ll try to bully you and control you by telling you to SHUT UP ALREADY!

Stop talking about the past!

If you’re healed, then shut up.

All you’re doing is looking for attention.

Stop dragging our family name through the mud.

Leave it alone and let us have peace.

If you really forgave and are over it, then stop talking about it.

You aren’t being an advocate. You’re only keeping the attention on yourself and petting the demons you can’t let go of.

Having you talk about this to people and disown family is not healing; it’s disheartening.

You need to deal with this and get over it.

Yes, I could go on and on. I’ve heard these exact things from family members I thought supported and loved me. I’ve also gotten the opposite response – total silence and no acknowledgement whatsoever from those I’ve confronted that knew of the abuse and allowed it to continue and not help me. But they’ll talk behind my back, whine and lie about what I’ve said to others. Abusive family dynamics are sad and frustrating. The one thing I learned in my therapy is that I am worth something and it doesn’t matter who the person is – I have a right to stand up for myself and not accept this kind of treatment. I even have the right to stop having contact and set boundaries. 

I ran across an excellent letter ( written by a pastor in response to his mother-in-law’s comments on her daughter’s abuse at the hands of her father – he describes perfectly the traits of the abuser, the denier and the victim, all found within an abusive family. 

His mother-in-law talked about her daughter “dredging up old, dead history.” And goes on to say, “I call it carrying an offense and not getting healed or forgiving. Isn’t it about time that you take it to the cross and leave it there? Why do you want to carry that stuff in your heart?” 

Pastor Don stated, “That’s but one example from many that fit the profile of a Denier. The responses of Deniers are designed to protect the Abuser and are often completely self-involved and ignorant. They show a lack of compassion for their children and a selfish focus on their own lives. Deniers are masters of offering trite phrases in response to pain. “Don’t dwell on it,” “Let bygones be bygones,” “Forgive and forget,” and “You can’t change the past” are common platitudes deniers deliver when confronted with sexual abuse.”

He goes on, “Victims care for the emotional needs of the Deniers. When they are children, this is a matter of survival, but the trait becomes ingrained and carries over into adulthood.  In Christina’s life, she protected your emotional well-being by trying to be the perfect daughter and by pretending to be happy so your peace would not be disturbed. That continued even into adulthood when she sought to spare your feelings.” 

You, as a Survivor, must remember who you are. You are worthy of love, respect, kindness and compassion. When family members or friends come at you spewing ugly accusations – stop. Take a deep breath. Remember that their anger, complacency and denial come from a point of fear. Fear of the truth they already know. Fear of dealing with their own feelings towards the abuse. Fear of having to let go of what they have known and venturing into unknown territory. Fear of facing their own demons. They want you to be silent again because it feels SAFE for them. It’s what they KNOW. Don’t take it upon yourself to try and “fix” them or help them. Not only will that blow up in your face, but you can’t help someone who isn’t ready. Every person must find their own path for healing and in their own time. 

You don’t owe anything to anyone except YOURSELF.

You owe it to yourself to continue to speak out. For in using your voice, you not only continue to heal yourself but help others who can’t yet speak.

You owe it to yourself to set boundaries to protect your physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing.

You owe it to yourself to form healthy, supportive relationships and friendships that will enable you to grow and find yourself. 

A toast to you, Survivor! You are worth it!