SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE: EXTRAORDINARY, STRONG HUMAN BEINGS
An Excerpt from the LETTER TO MY READERS which appeared at the end of my memoir,
along with statistics regarding sexual abuse of children according to data gathered by the organization at, and reprinted with permission from the founders of http://www.voicefound.ca
Vigaland Book Podcast #20 of the Memoir, “No Tears for my Father”
an Excerpt from My letter to my Readers and fellow survivors of Incest
Oprah Winfrey once said: “What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.”
It is nearly impossible to fulfill that vision as long as we believe and live with what our abusers told us about ourselves. The words with which they manipulated us for their own pleasure influence everything we are, think and do, even years after their abuse has stopped.
From my perspective, the abuse inflicted on my body by my father is nothing compared to the damage he did to my mind, my self-esteem and my self-love, and it’s taken years of love and support from my family and a heck of a lot of self-talk to make me feel good about myself again. I now know I was put on this earth for something bigger and better than to satisfy my father’s demands … that I was meant to “blossom into more” become “more splendid” and “more extraordinary”.
I also know and believe with all my heart that none of us can become more extraordinary or more splendid as long as we tell ourselves that what happened was our fault!
What happened was not our fault!
We didn’t ask for it. We wore the shame; we took the blame. But it was not our fault! Those words are the only ones to tell yourself now, every day, if you are in the process of trying to heal, and that healing may take most of your life. But we are worth whatever amount of time it takes!
And above all, we must start talking about incest! We must COME OUT FROM UNDER and SPEAK OUT FROM UNDER Child Sexual Abuse. I have bared all in this book to show you one way to come out from under: writing your story. There are other ways and many victim/survivors are using them. Theyare writing books, blogs, poems and songs. They are painting pictures. Sculpting. Talking in groups and to groups. Spreading the word that we refuse to be silent any longer!
Wonderful art is being born from pain. With every creation, the abused are becoming “more splendid”, “more extraordinary”, because that’s what we are: we victims are extraordinary in what we have suffered and survived. Yes, many of us have been silent because we lacked the courage to speak up. We feared reprisal. But many of us have been silent because we cared more for someone else than for ourselves.
I’d like to think that in being silent, we showed strength, not weakness. Unlike our abusers, we didn’t put ourselves first! And in that respect, we are extraordinary in a world where it’s always “me first!”
With this Podcast, #20 of my book, “No Tears for my Father” which also includes comprehensive statistics on child sexual abuse in Canada (which you will find in the back of the book) I conclude this series of podcasts. I’m sorry, but it has become too much of a load for me to continue podcasting chapters of “No Tears for my Father” . If you want to read the rest of the story and find out how I got out of my situation, you will have to buy the book, which is available in both printed and digital formats from my website store: http://www.vigaboland.com/store
If you have been following these podcasts and enjoy listening to them, do tune in for our next podcast in which I will be telling you all about a new memoir that has been written by a rather famous survivor of incest, Cheryl Cuccio. Her book is titled INCEST, MURDER and a MIRACLE. A fascinating read and true story by a very brave and extraordinary woman.
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