Five Survivors Tell their Stories

Five Survivors share their stories in the hopes of helping others with their words. Read on to hear their inspiring words:

Ashlie M.Paper Cut

“…My mind in another world
Thoughts racing through my cortex
Emotions inflamed
The questions, the lies…”

JenniferBroken Angel

“I bare no body, bare no name.
I wanted just to be loved; a gentle touch would do,
Then again what is safe? I thought that I was safe with them too.”

Kate HillenbrandMy Story

“That was the end of it, for them. But not for me. I struggled, and continue to struggle. Though I may not know the answers yet, I am alive, and for that I am happy.”

Lee Ann WalkerMore to Me

“I am not the sheltered, adolescent fool once taped at the mouth to keep me quite. There are noises that escape my mouth. I am free to speak and share and love. I know now it is not an all or nothing world, I am divided like a fraction and I can share my triumph that beaches itself on my shoulders feeling no shame in my journey.”

Renee K.My Own Pearl Harbor Day

“The definition of rape on wikipedia is “an assault by a person involving sexual intercourse with or without sexual penetration of another person without that person’s consent.” So I guess that it happened – I was raped. It feels like an outer body experience saying that. I always associated rape with a dark ally, a forceful stranger, screams of pain in the night. I never even conceived that it could happen in my own bed among friends suffering in silence.”

When Words Disappear

“How come you didn’t scream?” He asked, the body of a boy wearing the face of a man.

How could she tell him that the scream sulked away in the night and abandoned her there? Just like the way we are helplessly silent in dreams, she opened her mouth and only the heat of breath emerged. Breath free of noise, free of the desperate cry that twisted inside in her throat. She reached her hand inside her throat but her fingers touched only the softness of her own spit. Perhaps the scream was hiding in the warm sponge beneath her tongue. Maybe it had circled, lost, in the maze of her closed teeth. Wherever it was, it was lost and no matter how she wiggled her fingers around in her mouth, it remained hidden.

(excerpt from We Are All Made of Stardust, by Emily Monroe)

Why are we silent? When we most need our words, they suddenly disappear. Fickle friends. Sometimes we are all silent. Sometimes there are things we want to say, but can’t quite summon the words. Maybe once you wanted to tell someone that you loved them. And you didn’t. Maybe once you wanted to ask for forgiveness. And you didn’t. Maybe once you wanted to ask for help. And you didn’t.

But maybe the words are there. Maybe they are just waiting. Waiting for a vehicle, for a story, for a poem, for a VOICE.