Me, age 3
When I come across a picture of myself as a child, I fight against what I see. I see her smiling face but most of the time, I don’t remember being her. In my childhood memories, I’m not really a child at all but something other. I’ve been in recovery for awhile now and I still struggle with explaining what that means, what it means to have never really felt like a child. Having children of my own has helped me to see that I was as once as innocent as my kids are now.
Today marks the release of Trigger Points Anthology, a collection of writing by 21 parents who are survivors of childhood abuse. One-third of American children experience childhood abuse, and yet the question is never asked: what happens when those children grow up and have families of their own?
When Dawn and Joyelle asked for submissions for the book, I knew I wanted to contribute. I procrastinated because I was at a place in my life where I finally felt some relief from the pain that had plagued me for most of my life and I didn’t want to write an essay that focused on how horrible my childhood was. I wanted to celebrate the triumphs because they have been hard earned. I eventually submitted my piece and wrote in part:
“It has taken a lifetime to remember that I am whole. I was whole in the beginning. God always intended for me to be whole. My wholeness was never broken or taken away because you can’t break or steal what God gave me. We seek what we think we deserve and I spent a long time seeking the bare minimum of what was available to me. We are all worth more than that.”
But even though I have come a long way in my healing, there will always be things that catch me off guard and trigger me in unexpected ways, especially as a parent. My children trust me implicitly and I hold their trust sacred. As a survivor who is now a parent, I make daily choices to ensure that my children get to experience the authentic me and not the injured child that I sometimes still feel like.
That’s why this book is so important and is such a profound tool for healing. There are beliefs and experiences that we have as survivors that cause us to think we are alone until we hear other survivors say they believe and experience the same things. That knowledge allows us to transcend the isolation we feel and remember that we should be, can be and have always been whole.
If you are a survivor, this book offers hope, encouragement and inspiration. If you are the loved one of a survivor, this book offers insight into what survivors may experience as they tread the waters of parenthood. There is tremendous power in the sharing of our stories and I am so honored to be a part of this book. I’m in awe of the other contributors and their generosity in sharing their experiences. We are starting conversations, bringing shame to light and influencing the future of our families and society.
I wish I had this book when I first became a parent. I’m incredibly grateful for it now. I’m so passionate about this project that I’m giving away a free copy. Click on the link below for several chances to win! I’ll contact the winner on November 21.
a Rafflecopter giveaway (Be sure to click on the I Visited, I Tweeted and I Commented boxes to complete your entry!)