“Breaking the Silence” – The Next Day
I am still trying to sort my feelings out after the watching the documentary on childhood sexual abuse, “Breaking the Silence,” which aired on the TLC network on August 30, 2015.
I wasn’t prepared for the impact this documentary would have on me and others who appeared in it.
When they first asked me to be one of the childhood sexual abuse survivors to share my journey on the film, I was like, “Sure, whatever.” I wanted to help other survivors heal and help spread the awareness of childhood sexual abuse to the world.
During the two days of filming, I was very comfortable sharing my journey – maybe because I have gotten stronger over the last three years telling my story. I knew I could have a big impact on survivors – especially male survivors – by sharing my journey.
As the day and hour approached, I became anxious and nervous. I trusted Darkness to Light and RAINN, the sponsoring organizations, 100 percent. Through the filming process, I also developed 100 percent trust in the producers and in the TLC network. I saw they were truly committed to doing a documentary to teach the warnings signs of childhood sexual abuse and help others heal.
Still, I couldn’t stop worrying. How would it go over that I am about to announce to the world on an international TV network that I had been sexually abused by a male babysitter; that I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; and that I had a nervous breakdown in 1992 when I finally said out loud that I had been sexually abused?
I watched the show outside by myself in the dark of night, listening to nature, being with my emotions and listening to God. The only light was the light of the TV, the stars and the moon.
As the show started, my heart began to race. I had to remind myself to breathe deeply and that everything was OK. It didn’t take long for me to realize this was going to be a powerful documentary that would change lives and bring a much-needed awareness to this worldwide problem. I am so proud of my fellow survivors who shared information on their journeys, as well as the professionals who shared ways to prevent childhood sexual abuse and how to spot the warning signs.
When the show ended, I turned off the TV. I sat in the dark night air and reflected on my journey and my fellow survivors. I prayed and said “Thank you” to God for giving me the strength and courage to keep speaking up.
The big question – Where do we go from here after the documentary? It was very powerful and educational. How do we keep building on it to help other survivors heal and keep providing information to increase prevention and awareness?
I am not a professional counselor, nor an expert on childhood sexual abuse. I am just a childhood sexual abuse survivor who wants to spend the second half of life helping other survivors find hope. I want them to know they can do some incredible things in their lives, regardless of their pasts.
Thanks for all of the support and caring about the millions of survivors. We are stronger than we realize. We not only survive – we can thrive!!!
And thanks to everyone that was a part of the documentary “Breaking the Silence.” It will help many people overcome the damage done from childhood sexual abuse. I am proud I was asked to be a part of this powerful effort.
Here is the link for the entire show. Breaking the silence.