Monday, June 25, 2012

thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!

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.

THANK YOU!!!

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.

DJ



5 comments:

  1. You really made me think when you said about going on CNN about it being the right thing to do. I still hope & pray that the statute of limitations in all states will be totally erased, but you made me think about what the right thing to do is. One reason I wish I could see my abusers prosecuted is so others won't be hurt. While I can't do that, I can keep the conversation going like you did. Maybe I can prevent someone somewhere from being abused or help them heal. You really helped change how I feel about what I can do.
    Thank You Dana!

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  2. Thank YOU, Dana! I am a survivor's advocate, a leader with the Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests (and other clergy). You are helping others find their voice to shatter the silence. Predators (and their enablers) need secrecy to do harm. The light of knowledge and truth is our greatest tool to protect kids. Keep the conversation going and shining the light so brightly. Best regards, Amy Smith

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  3. I just wanted to let you know that it took a lot of courage for you to write this and in such a public forum. I hope that you continue to use your internal strength and the platform that you have as a TV personality to not only speak out about the issue but heal, grow and flourish.

    Best,
    Lamont Rooker

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  4. Thank you SO, SO much for sharing courageously and graciously, connecting your story with those who were sexually assaulted in Penn.

    So many never find their voice. As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, this is on of the top issues I work with, even as I wish it wasn’t so widespread.

    And I have seen so, so many situations where people knew more and should have done more, but they chose to become ‘molester protectors,’ allowing other children to be hurt. And in so doing, they became part of the pattern of abuse, choosing to protect political reputations, pocketbooks etc. instead of protecting children.

    I also have a prayer an discipleship ministry, (www.straight2theheart.com).

    I know that some people are not open to spiritual resources. And for those who are, we have a powerful Savior who chose to fulfill prophecy in a very specific way, to identify with all victims of abuse. Jesus, our “Suffering Messiah” chose to”
    1. Be stripped naked
    2. Be physically violated with a leather whip embedded with lead balls, glass and animal bones that shredded the muscles in His skin
    3. Verbally and mentally abused through at least six different trials
    4. Shamed and humiliated as they treated Him this way in public
    5. By people in power and authority over Him who should have been protecting Him.

    How bad was He beaten? Prophecy tells us He was beaten and marred more than any more, so disfigured you could not recognized Him as a human being after they turned Him into a bloody pulp, (Isaiah 52:14).

    This is not the whole process of healing and freedom. And it builds a powerful foundation when sexual assault victims find out they have a Savior who went through all of their experiences, entering fully and completely into humanity so He could earn their trust to heal them and set them free.

    We find that they move way beyond surviving to actually thriving – because of the deep healing they are receiving in their bodies, their minds and their souls.

    Again, not everyone is ready or open to spiritual resources. And for those who are, we have a lot of hope to offer in the midst of the terrible, horrible things that have been done to them.

    Our lives move from being identified by what was done TO us, to an identity based on what Christ has already done FOR us.

    It is a process – and one that is rewarding.

    With appreciation for sharing your story – giving others a voice and an opportunity to take the next step in their journey of healing and wholeness.

    Paul Coneff

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