They tried to bury us.
They didn’t know we were seeds.
Thirty-five years ago, I was a little girl trying to understand why my world had become a dark and difficult place. I wondered if I would ever understand why things happened the way that they did, why I lost half my family, why I’d been hurt. I wondered why I had the challenges I did, and why I had the gifts I’d been given, and what I was supposed to do with them.
For years, I wondered why. I struggled. My God, how I struggled.
Today I understand.
Don’t get me wrong- I do not think my abuse was God-given, or that it had to happen. But, given that it did, I now understand the road that got me here, to this place, at this time.
Ten months ago, my cousin bravely reached out to me across decades of silence and loss. We reconnected, reunited and one cold January day, on a whim, walked into a police station and reported our abuse. Officer Paul Smith wrote it down.
Then we wrote about it. We sent it out into the world.
Two women, Glennon Doyle Melton and Jen Hatmaker, both writers I love and admire, reposted what I wrote.
That was an enormous gift, because then? Then there was you.
One by one, you stepped out, and turned to the sunlight. Some of you leaped out, such was your hunger to finally claim your story. Some skirted the edges, squinting, not sure it was yet safe to do so. But you came, and you read our story. You bore witness for us.
Some of you whispered. Some of you roared.
“Me too.” “Me too.” “Me too.”
I read every story, I wrote down every first name. I bore witness.
So many people speaking their truths, and claiming their hard-won freedom.
And now we are here. Mary and I have decided to put work boots on our pain, and honor our loss by putting it to work. Giving it a job.
And so, Say It, Survivor was born. Please go to the website and see what we’ve been up to. Our first event is in November, but there will be more booked shortly, so stay tuned.
We have an article in the October issue of Boston Magazine that will be on stands this week, and on-line soon.
I have come to love this little community so much.
Thank you. Thank you all for rising up, being brave, inspiring and supporting me.
Now, let’s go and change the world- ‘kay?