Silly me thought this morning's blog was tough to write. I didn't think about the follow-up!
Where do I begin?
Your comments? Your retweets? The emails, calls, and texts I got?
It was overwhelming.
I was in tears reading some of the stories below my post, on Facebook, and Twitter. My heart broke for those of you who told stories of abuse yet filled with pride that we are continuing the conversation. Some of you sharing what you'd told before, others speaking out for the first time. What courage that took. You should be proud.
Many of you commented on the courage I showed in posting my blog and then later going on CNN to talk more about my story. I thank you, but to me it wasn't courageous, it was just the right thing to do.
I wanted to keep the conversation going. Now I know I wasn't the only one.
One reply that really struck me, a mother who told the story of her daughter being abused but telling her parents. Talk about courageous. Keep talking to your kids, keep asking questions, even when it is uncomfortable.
Another person talked about their child being a survivor not a victim. She is right. I was a victim, now I am a survivor. Therapy, support groups (many of which were mentioned in the comments section), whatever it takes you can come to terms with abuse.
I think at the heart of this, beyond removing the stigma, I wanted people to realize it can happen to anyone. Awful as that sounds it's the truth. I wanted to raise the issue of the varying statute of limitations when it comes to child molestation. I didn't do it in the blog but CNN gave me a chance to discuss it.
We kept the conversation going.
One more thought for you, something a friend mentioned in an email and just happens to be how I also feel. I don't define myself by my abuse. Actually, I don't define myself by any one experience. I do however, learn from them, all of them, including this one today.