VIOLATED:It started before first grade so one could say my childhood was lost. Being forced to keep secrets, fearing the threats of the perpetrator against my parents , and always wondering what I had done to be “chosen”. Was I a “bad seed” ? Was it my fault?
What I notice about this picture is that I had cut my own bangs for this school picture infuriating my mother who couldn’t understand why I would “destroy” the permanent that cost her so “dearly.” She said she got it for me to make me “cute” for my school pictures. She would never have understood that I didn’t want to be “cute” or “noticed.” And the fact that the permanent, though done by a “professional,” fried my fine hair and was breaking off at the ends just compounded my frustration.
VICTIM: I would live years into my teens before I knew how to disguise the shame as a victim. One could say that period of my life honed and refined my acting skills, so that my talents would help me to become the 1961 Best Actress Award at my high school my senior year. Through the efforts of my drama teacher in high school, I was even given the opportunity to go to the famous Pasadena Playhouse in California to study acting, but my parents thought acting was a scandalous profession and wouldn’t “allow” it. In hind-sight, I would have been a high-risk “bumpkin” out there.
SURVIVOR: It took working with other victims as an advocate counselor and helping them go underground to build an author’s platform to speak for the victim/survivors. In telling their stories and mine in novels created to give the victims “voice” to release some of the pain, I found redemptive acceptance of my role as a victim. This enabled me to become a fully confident survivor.
In most instances, were their stories not written by me, the stories would have died with me. Thus the Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series was born and to protect the identities, the locations, the workers and the methods by which we put victim/survivors underground. In each book the locations, characters and methods are disguised in a format of an ongoing group of rescuers that worked to set victims free and help them start new lives. No confidentialities were broken in the writing of the series.
I remember the first submissions of my novels to editors with a cover letter explaining that these were “real cases” and “real voices” written as “creative narrative” or “creative fiction” to protect the real victims’ names, locations, and workers. It was then very frustrating to receive replies that suggested or demanded, “this would never happen”. As tactfully as I could, I would remind them that if it was in the book, “it already had” as these were actual cases of first hand experience by me, or in conjunction with sex crime expert, police officer, Trula Godwin’s cases working with the Davenport, Iowa police department.
Finally, I had to accept that too many people who have not been immersed in the sad and “dirty” culture that accompanies rape/sexual assault and domestic violence, could not process the realities. This would be the majority of those working in the literary field of publishing’s chain of command. It is a truthful fact that this was the primary motivator for me deciding to become an Indie author. I was proud for the opportunity not to have to “water down” and “dis-honor” the factual accounts of what happened, to please editors and publishers whose shallow insights to control the author, over-rode the truth. It may have compromised the span of my outreach, but the messages from readers made it clear, it was the right decision.
Vini: I came to the part of my life where I could allow someone in; I could trust and love.
Vidi:I Saw that in life one could be “bitter or better” and it was a choice.
Vici: I Conquered I was no longer afraid to speak out; I chose to wear an abuse “charm” that symbolized the anvil that in the Bible is spoken of as being tied around the neck of a perpetrator who harms a child, and then the perpetrator is thrown into the deepest depths of the ocean. (The idea for the charm actually originated when my husband suggested that all perpetrators should be forced to wear an anvil around their necks to identify what they were.)
I wear it yet today at age 73, and I keep crystals hanging in windows to allow the sunshine to keep rainbows in my life.
A closing thought is this: Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean again.
Read more at: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/122349 Former United Nations President Dag Hammarskjöld.