“Breaking the Silence”- The Next Day

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“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. 

http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/tlc-presents/videos/breaking-the-silence/

8 thoughts on ““Breaking the Silence”- The Next Day

  1. Dave, I for one am so incredibly proud of you and grateful for you taking part in this special and also for sharing so openly your feelings now that it has been aired. One thing I’ve learned as an advocate, there is never a perfect program, or telling of the story, or moment where it all falls into place and everything falls back together. That’s not how it works – you as a contractor understand this better than most – it requires hard work, planning, persistence in the face of unforeseen delays and obstacles, and patience to get the job done.

    I’m proud to be sharing this journey with a survivor like you.

    Chris

    1. Chris, I know how much I needed in 1992 when I first said the words to my wife, stories of healing by other survivors. I couldn’t find any. So I now speak up to give hope to other survivors. Thanks for the support and encouragement. We are stronger than we realize.

  2. Dave,

    I watched “Breaking the Silence” on TLC Sunday night and again last night. I truly admire your bravery, I don’t know if I could do the same :|.

    I’m in my late 50’s too and for a few years in the late 1960’s I was taken advantage of, used, abused sexually by people that were trusted.

    For decades I’ve just suppressed all those memories and thoughts; I just didn’t want to even acknowledge that it ever happened, and more over I didn’t want anyone (including my wife) to know as well.

    I probably will never fully trust anyone ever; especially now that we have grand-kids!

    I looked at the RAINN website, it sure would have been nice to have a resource like that back in the 60’s.

    My prayer is for the Lord to grant me the wisdom to change my perspective rather than linger over messes, because it’s easy to let discouragement sap my energy & joy; the Lord knows what is best and He’ll lead me in paths that are right and good (even when life doesn’t make sense)!

    Well, you’re probably very busy, and I don’t want to take up any more of your time.

    I’m truly sorry for the wrong done to you … and thanks for sharing.

    In Christ Alone,
    Tom

    PS – I have diabetes like what was in your blog! Go figure, right.

  3. Dave, your faith inspired growth is a powerful disinfectant the world needs to liberate souls. This life changing conversation will unshackel minds to realize their full potential. Thank you for your leadership in this journey. Love always, Corinne & Nesto

  4. Thanks for sharing your story! Your success despite what you’ve been through gives me more hope. It’s refreshing to have someone who is successful, be so accessible. At 34, I still suffer the ramifications of my past sexual abuse. I moved to Atlanta at 19 for so many reasons. During my childhood, I experienced this with my father’s brother, who was just released from prison for statutory rape. He visited my parents and my Mom called me because he wanted to say hello and I freaked!

    Sadly, neither one of my parents know this and I don’t know if I will ever be able to tell them out of fear, embarrassment and how my father would react. It’s been 19 yrs since the last abusive act happened and I didn’t realize how much resentment I had towards him until I heard his voice.

    The abuse I suffered from him along with a male cousin (whom I have forgiven) caused me to become very depressed and introverted. I was that young girl who would cut her long ponytails to look less attractive so they wouldn’t touch me. It never worked. My uncle touched me along with other forceful acts, but my cousin did much worse. Of course they both have kids of their own and one is married but they’ll always be what I remember them for.

    Promiscuity, being emotionally detached, never truly trusting, confusion, fear of judgment and body rejection are just some of the pains that I’ve endured. I recently lost my grandmother who was the only one who has never used and/or judged me and now I am often depressed because since she left me, so many things are falling apart professionally and personally.

    I think counseling may help but I’m in such a fog that I don’t know where to begin. I’ve mastered the art of “not looking like what I’ve been/going through” so all anyone sees is an outgoing, educated, well-rounded woman who is a friendly, social butterfly. However these days I’m very withdrawn and my thoughts have taken me dark places at times. Yes, I pray, but that isn’t enough. Thank you for creating this forum for people like me…like us.

    1. I am very proud of you for writing me. This is a very big step to a great healing process and a great life. I was 36 when I first said it out loud and my journey began. Check out some of the resources to contact on my website for places to contact for guidance. You are going to do some incredible great things in life. It is my fellow survivors like you that make me speak up and share my journey. May God bless with you with the right people and environment for you to heal and enjoy life.

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