We have some pretty amazing people in our tribe. Carri Ann is no exception. 🙂 We love her heart and enthusiasm for being part of the solution. 🙂
I was born silent, the 4th and last child, into a family that was being severely abused. Our dad kept us moving to avoid getting close enough to anyone who might learn the secrets we hid. Changing schools in the middle of the school year was the norm. I wet my bed into my teens and my dad’s punishment was to take my bike away. Because of this riding bikes, from the time I was quite young, became an internalized symbol of freedom and safety.
I wear the stitch on my cycling gear as a reminder of the power of speaking. Cycling brings me a certain feeling of physical freedom and safety. Likewise, speaking is where my soul finds freedom! When I was hospitalized in college, the counselor assigned my case fought against the fact that I would not talk with a story. She told me the story of Rumplestiltskin! In the story the queen need merely say his name to have power over him! “Carri Ann,” she told me,” if you name it, you can have power over it.” At the time that was asking more than I could give!
I cannot remember how I first heard about Speak Your Silence. I know it was close to when the organization launched several years ago. The mission automatically resonated with me, as I was just beginning to really speak about what happened to me, the deeply buried wounds, the taboo things that have haunted me. I was given the opportunity for this counseling free, not through SYS but through my church. I would not have been able to receive the help I so needed any other way!
A couple of years ago I joined The Fam! I love that I can pay forward the grace that was given me to someone else who needs it. And I am still in counseling. Speaking is still difficult, but it is important and my counselor is patient and trustworthy. He is teaching me there are no taboos, there is freedom in speaking and there is life after abuse. By wearing the stitch and donating I remind myself that not only is it important for those who receive scholarships to begin speaking, but for me as well.
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