Incest - It's Time to Talk About It
It's a new year, which means new perspectives and revelations! Have you thought about what your intentions are for this year? How you want to heal? How you plan to stand up for yourself and create boundaries and focus on self-care? For me, 2022 was about saying "Yes" to myself and "No" to things I didn't want to do, without feeling any guilt. I spent a lot of time away from family to really connect with my thoughts. I worked with a shaman to heal my past and look to the future with more balance in my heart and mind. I started to re-evaluate some of the relationships in my life, and realized that bad behavior from others can be a gift because it is a signal that it's time to walk away from those people without any regrets!
With that said, I am excited for what 2023 holds. I started the year with telling a part of my sexual abuse story that I never shared before: my abuser was my half-brother. I always said "a family member," but as I was thinking about the RAINN Sexual Abuse by a Family Member Summit (below), and how far I have come as a public figure speaking out about the long-term affects of surviving child sexual abuse...I realized it was time to open up about that and not protect that person anymore. I will never say his name, but this further explains the complex dynamics I, and so many others (like my fellow RAINN Summit speakers), navigated as children. Into adulthood, once you decide to disclose your abuse, those challenges don't go away in your family, they get harder. You can't be the fixer. You can't be responsible for how your family reacts. But you CAN control how YOU react and how YOU decide to maintain your healing journey, against all odds. Some days are harder than others, but I have learned to take one day at a time, and appreciate the small wins, like smiling or laughing with my children.
Please watch my RAINN summit with my fellow incest survivors Jane Epstein of complicatedcourage.com & 5Waves.org and creative writer Keith Addison Tyler. The three of us experienced child sexual abuse by a family member and RAINN invited us to speak about how we can further support this subset of survivors of abuse and what it looks like to heal from incest into adulthood. It is the first time they ever did a summit on this topic and I am honored to be part of it! Thank you for being part of my community and cheers to an amazing 2023!