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Recent events have revealed that this is an age of reckoning. It is also an age of revelation in the broadest sense. Many of you know that I was born into the home a pedophile… which by definition means crushing oppression and poly-victimization. This set in motion a pattern that has continued through most of my adult life. My siblings and I have each started life in midlife after our own reckonings with the early and protracted adverse life experiences. It is never too late to become who you were intended to be before the brutality. For my siblings and I, there was never a time when trauma it wasn’t — it was — since our birth.
It is easy to vilify a nameless and faceless victim. I have chosen this format from which to speak to you, so that, in not knowing me, you may both see my face and hear my voice and that may call out your higher humanity.
I received this message from one of my sisters, whom I dearly love and ardently admire. She had the worst of it from our father. She survived. She said this to me yesterday. It’s not easy to keep perspective. But we must.
“…that all of these people that have these twisted misconceptions about who he was, and who you are, all of these people only have conjecture and speculation. None of them have any facts, or any emotional or intellectual insight.
You have come through an amazingly difficult mountain passage. Pretty soon you are going to be able to enjoy the view from there. And all those people who didn’t take that passage with you… they’ll be at the bottom wondering where you went. And looking at the ground of their feet. Because that’s all they have the capacity for… but you…. your capacity is much greater.”
Oppressors and those who applaud them can rarely take the high road. Low is their way. They manipulate people on how to think, feel and act. Control is their game. We must be people of liberty. Inform and leave in peace. Strike only where you must — and you rarely must.
I say this as one who has been stricken and as one whose words have been stolen. Under excruciating circumstances, I signed a non-disclosure agreement that does not permit me to defend myself, leaving me once again defenceless. To take the capacity to speak a person’s word may be the final blow. Freedom of speech is not only the First Amendment Right, it is also part of what it means to be fully human. After extensive trauma informed care, I am taking this moment to ask the “heirs” of that NDA for a full release from its terms and agreements — as my husband and I now have nothing that we do not wish disclosed.
Even so, in the face of enforced silence, and appalling injustice, the silenced and unjustly treated still have yet one thing that cannot be taken — their dignity. Having nearly taken all, these things remain — the way of love, the path of peace, and the pursuit of purpose to make meaning of this unspeakable suffering.
In answer to the many cruel and baseless allegations… Being a private person by nature, I write to express myself. Having had little or no good nurture and guidance to frame my world, literature has in many ways been a lifeline to me since I was a young girl. While I love books, I have no book deals — nor would I accept any. I am not famous — nor do I wish to be. I write to name my world — it helps me to know the truth of what I have known. It is not “profitable to a victim” — it is painful.
May I remind you, that some people’s lives are an inspiration — others, upon careful inspection — are a warning. I have learned lessons from both the beautiful and the brutal. Each have schooled me on what and what not to be. I seek a quiet life, a regular routine, a full family, and a purposeful path.
To my fellow betrayal trauma survivors, I believe you to be people of great courage, untapped wisdom, and expansive compassion — as my sister said, your capacity is much greater. I know you know and understand the way that I have taken — there is solidarity that comes from suffering. Take courage dear hearts, many see. By way of counsel, may I suggest you NEVER sign and NDA.
To those yet held firmly in the grip of betrayal blindness, I cannot help but think there may yet be a time when you will see. I choose to believe that the many of you who are misinformed may — at some point in the future — come to a deeper understanding about the nature of fiduciary duty, the manner in which abuse of power can and does occur, and the breadth of betrayal trauma.
You may find that the work Dr. Jennifer Freyd and her colleagues at the Center for Institutional Courage may help your courage to grow and expand your vision of reality.
For those of you who may not be well versed in the covers up tactics of religious institutions, the work of Dr. Wade Mullen is exemplary and will educate as well as advise.
For those you seeking legal counsel for your own victimization, may I commend Boz Tchivjidian and Peter Janci to you.
My husband and I have received extensive trauma informed care through the incredible team of professionals at Dr. Diane Langberg’s office. I’m pleased to be able to report that after a great deal of grueling work, Brad and I have managed to salvage our faith, mended our marriage, and have never been more madly in love.
In peace and solidarity,