Story Wall Invitation

Photo used by permission from the artist Deborah Hall Barry

Photo used by permission from the artist Deborah Hall Barry

Dear Survivor,

This is a page to tell your story. You can do it publicly or anonymously. If you feel comfortable and are legally allowed to do so, please name your abuser. Even if it is just a first name or initial, it is important to say who it was. If the person was not charged, please do not state his or her full name. That is for your protection, just as much as ours.

The decision to tell your story and claim the truth of your abuse is life-changing. We applaud your courage and want you to know that you are not alone.

Telling your truth is rarely a one-time event, and it can have different effects on you at different times. Don’t be surprised if posting your story on our story wall leaves you feeling raw and vulnerable, as well as liberated and empowered. Part of it depends on where you are in your healing journey towards learning hope.

Many times, when someone tells their story for the first time, it is motivated by the unbearable burden of keeping such a secret. Many people have played a part in keeping this secret and your telling of your truth will no doubt have an effect on them as well. If this is your first time telling your story, we sincerely hope you have access to a qualified therapist, counselor, or at the very least, a supportive friend.

Telling your story can many times be a way of processing what happened to you, or lessening the pain by sharing it with others of us who care and listen. If this is not the first time you have shared what happened to you, you may find it helpful to tell your story in different ways: chronologically, by main characters, by lessons learned or grouped by some other means. Therapists tell us that revisiting the trauma you experienced in new and different ways can help you de-mystify and disarm the experience.

No matter how many times, and in how many ways you tell your story, though, don’t be alarmed when it temporarily propels you back into the pain and leaves you feeling vulnerable. Be aware that not everyone will react to your story in positive, supportive ways. Be sure to take care of yourself when this happens. Be kind to yourself, set boundaries for yourself and seek help, if you need it.

Again, thanks for your courage and strength. Thanks for telling your story. May this be a piece in your journey that helps you learn hope!

Jennifer and Jackie

PS – If you need to talk to someone after putting yourself out there, please email us or look on the resource page for a place to talk.

PPS – If you need some food for thought, here are some questions to get you thinking.

What age where you when the abuse started?
Where there others you know of who were abused?
When did it stop?
What is your worst memory (and this does not have to be a physical description but it can be)?
What is your best memory in life?
How old were you when you told?
If you have children, how did you tell them, if you did?
What gives you strength every day to get up and be a survivor?
Did you get therapy?
Do you feel like a voice for others?
Was there an “aha moment” when you knew you would survive?
What got you through when you were being abused?
Are their people who helped you, whether or not they knew what was going on?
If there is one thing you could tell children to protect themselves, what would it be?
If there is one thing you could tell children after abuse has happened, what would it be?
If there is one thing you could tell adults who are struggling, what would it be?
What is one thing in life you never thought you could do because of the pain you knew, but found the strength to do?
What is one thing you still dream of doing?
Tattoos, marks, scars that bear a story of survival and stories behind them?

Questions or Submissions? Please email them to: hope@learninghope.org

7 thoughts on “Story Wall Invitation

  1. Chris says:

    This particular poem wasn’t written about the “abuser”…Though, it certainly was written by a survivor…

    I could hear him stirring about in his tomb
    As my heart raced to the refuge of my womb

    The squeaking of his door
    The creaking across the floor

    Followed by a silent boom
    Slowly gradually making his way to my room

    Like he had done many numerous times before
    And a chill burned through my exposed core

    Around the corner he gradually slowly would loom
    Flooding my space with his gleeful gloom

    Invisible tears would begin to pour
    As he grabbed for his sprouting oar

    Stroking it while enjoying the flume
    Bringing it into an epic full bloom

    Silently I would scream and implore
    That he leave disappear; never to come back anymore

    The air had thickened with evitable doom
    While he had all he could devour and consume

    Leaving me feeling like a evil devilish whore
    Purchased for free at the family store

    Satisfied he went across the creaking floor
    Back to his chambers through his squeaking door

    Resting smugly in his grand tomb
    I slowly would emerge from my bleeding womb

  2. Profile photo of Jackie Jackie says:

    This is a very powerful poem! Thank you for sharing it!

  3. […] and I have tried hard to create a save place where people can tell their stories. The story wall allows people to be anonymous if they choose. (We’d love to have more submissions if you are […]

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mother of three children who sexually assaulted one another after the eldest was exposed to overt pornography…grappling through counselling, CAS services, lawyer & her fees, setting up safety plans everywhere we go…learning to trust again. So hard! But I believe (as you said in your ‘messy God analogy) that Christ understands my pain..and is with us. Even when I feel so alone in our struggle. I pray that out of this, I can help others walk through this…one day. Hope is what keeps me going right now.

    • Profile photo of Jennifer Jennifer says:

      That is a terrible, and difficult situation. You are not alone. Thousands of people have lived and are living through this. We’re so glad that you are speaking out about it and sharing your story, because it breaks the cycle as well as helping others.

  5. Edward Schline says:

    Ok I am ready to post on the storywall but I don’t know how. Lol

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