SNAP: Stories for Living

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2008 Story #19 – Get a Gift – Give a Gift!

One important aspect of healing from clergy abuse is to talk about it. When so many uninformed and unaware family members and friends run away when they see you coming, you start to think that maybe you've done something wrong. Or at least you soon learn that it's not in your best interest to talk with certain family members and friends about the taboo subject.

But talking about the past abuse is healing. And to be denied the healing is another crime in itself.

I've been so blessed to find a partner to help me write about what happened to my family at the hands of a trusted pastor. When the story becomes print and the print becomes a published book, the feeling is one of overwhelming relief. It comes with a lot of fear, too, in the beginning. But as time goes on, the paranoia is not as strong and strength builds. Fear of retribution from the church leaders fictionalized in the story lingered for many months. But that has passed, and now I've grown stronger.

To be able to finally spit it all out and watch it become a guide for others in similar situations is just an unbelievable feeling of becoming not only a survivor, but the crutch for another victim to lean on.

This past year has been filled with sharing stories with so many others searching like I was ten years ago for help and hope. The book took seven years to produce, but no one will ever be able to take it away from me. My story will live on to help others. I will live on to be that ear that someone so desperately needs. I'll offer my own survival techniques to all that ask for help. I'm thrilled to be able to help God's innocent lambs especially at this very special time of the year. Oh, what a feeling!

Note: this story is from 2008. View other 2008 stories and 2008 voting results. View current stories.