“You’ve got to be mistaken.”
“His kids (adult kids) will be devastated if they find out.”
“How can you be sure this happened to you? That it was him?”
“We were never with him during evening time nor did we spend the night.” (As if sexual abuse can only happen at night.)
“You realize being vocal about this hurts all of us, right?”
I heard all of these at various times since I came out with what happened to me as a child. These are not reactions from cold-hearted, distant people. They are the reactions from loving, caring, heart-centered women in my family. Hurting them was the last thing I wanted to do but if I kept my secret to my grave, I would not have been honoring Little Kiersten, who carried the weight of all of the abuse for 35 years.
I soon realized protection of self and others (others that were not me) was the underlying motivation for the disbelieving responses. And I had every right to be angry as hell.
There I was, then age forty, stunned that I was being questioned the way I was, even after all the evidence proving my visions were pretty spot on. At least according to decorated police detectives with whom I volunteered helping to solve cold cases. Granted, no one wants to believe anything like this can happen to a child yet every year 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused. And these are the “reported” numbers. What about all of the kids like me who didn’t report it because they blocked it from their memory until years later? We are apparently just the ones who “want attention,” according to many who don’t believe in repressed memories.
Let me tell ya, if I wanted attention, this would not be the way I’d go about it.
I know in my heart NO ONE could have stopped what happened to me. He was going to do what he did, like he did to so many and he was damn good at getting away with it. It’s the hallmark of the sociopath, many of whom are charming, good looking, funny, and easy going. The man who sexually abused and raped me between the ages of 3 and 6 admitted to sleeping with over 100 women, young and old, during his decade-long marriage to a family member. I know I’m not the only child he abused, as well. “It didn’t matter the age, Kierstie,” said one of my favorite people who is now in spirit. “It was and is the cycle of abuse, generation after generation. You’re a cycle breaker.”
FUCK. I’m a cycle breaker. A cycle breaker who swears when talking about the weight of being a cycle breaker.
Now, if you’ve read my story or watched my TEDx talk, you know that it took channeling information (visions) about other children who had been sexually abused and murdered and subsequent validation from detectives around the country to make me take visions of what I endured seriously. I didn’t ask for any of the visions but they came anyways and when I finally realized I, too, was in the same unfortunate club, it made more sense why I was having the visions of others in the first place. It was scary and emotional, to say the least. I also had to endure gynecological surgery at age 19 to repair what I now know was scar tissue damage from being raped as a very young child. This is not something that’s uncommon, according to fellow survivors who endured abuse around the same age.
My first sexual experiences were terrifying and odd. I automatically went into a very submissive, “just lay there” role. It was what I knew to do even though I didn’t remember it then. Later, I would go on to have panic attacks when any kind of weight was on me.
The “proof points” just kept stacking up:
But back to what happens when you shed light on a dark family secret. Most times, I can quell the anger I still feel because I know their reactions are very human, very self-protective, and at the core, shame-based. I know they love me and would love to make this all go away for me and for them any way they could. It doesn't make me love them any less.
But sometimes, the anger rises. I think about how I would react if one of my kids came to me years from now talking of abuse inflicted by a distant relative. I would do whatever I could to help them and I would be hell bent on advocating for them. You'd have a hard time keeping me from going after (via communication or in person) the person who inflicted the abuse. I would campaign on behalf of my kids sharing what I could have maybe done differently and signs to be aware of in cases of childhood sexual abuse. Hell, I would own it all even though, from a spiritual perspective, I do understand that some things cannot be avoided in life. I naively believed that specific family members who were also hurt by him the most would rise up and want to get to the bottom of it with me—that they, too, would want justice for what he took from me. (My parents have been wonderful—they have shared and acknowledged what happened and cheered on my TEDx talk.) Instead, I realized that everyone has their own capacity to go deep and for many, a couple inches below the surface is about all they can go. Maybe it’s generational? Maybe it’s part of the non-cycle breaker DNA. I’m not really sure, but here are three things I’ve learned from my experience sharing what happened to me with my family:
To all of the warrior cycle breakers out there, I’m hugging you. It’s not an easy road but it’s a necessary one if we are going to eradicate this type of abuse for generations to come. Your voice and your story are important and whether you know it or not, in addition to helping heal your inner child, you’re literally helping heal generations of pain by shining a light on yours.
Keep shining and know you have an F-bomb throwing friend in your corner in Flagstaff, AZ who believes you and is grateful for your voice. After all, you’re one of the strongest people on earth—you’re a fucking cycle breaker.
* If you'd like to share your story, I welcome it. Please either share it in the comments or send me a message on the contact page.
I want to share a quick story about life after death and the influence spirit can have on your life. So, as most of you know, I gave a TEDx Talk on November 3, 2018 and have been waiting for TEDx corporate to upload my talk on their site for 7 months. I posted about this a few days ago when I finally said "enough" to the waiting game with no end in sight.
I've shared excerpts from my upcoming book with my Facebook friends about my connection to a young man in spirit named Jason who passed at 23 from a heroin overdose. I've known his mom, Yvette (and Jason in spirit), for many years now. I've credited he and his mom with helping me through and out of the abuse I endured from 2014-2017. In fact, he was the first to alert me to the fact that the abusive relationship (which wasn't abusive in the early days) was not what it seemed.
On the flip side, I've helped guide and support Yvette and even channeled the location of her then-lost cat. (She found her!) She lives in Connecticut. We hit it off when we met through the Little Light Project nonprofit I used to run and she and I are both abuse survivors so we check in on one another a lot.
The day of the TEDx Talk on November 3, I was chatting with Yvette on Messenger after my talk and she reminded me that it was Jason's "angelversary", otherwise known as the day of his death. I told her I was sending her hugs and then promptly felt full chills from head to toe. And then I hear Jason say, "I've got your back, Kiers." It was clear as day.
He's the one who had been saying I was going to do a TEDx talk all this time when I really doubted I'd get picked because of the subject matter. But still, I trusted him. And I got picked.
Anyhow, I was feverishly working Sunday (June 2nd) to get the TEDx talk ready for publishing. I felt this intense push to get it done that day and decided to upload the talk to YouTube that night before sharing it on social media the next day. I felt closure and relief on all levels the minute I hit UPLOAD.
Prior to TEDx telling me to butt out of trying to get answers last week, Jason came in spirit gave me the heads up that there was big resistance and fear about sharing my talk on TED's end. I thought to myself that seems about right since it had been about 5 months since I filmed the talk at that point even though I went through many rounds of approvals with TEDx Sedona prior to giving the talk. I did find a published TEDx talk by a wonderful medium and intuitive healer named Jill Willard so I thought it was odd that they had so much of an issue with my talk when hers was published without a disclaimer.
But back to Sunday night.... As soon as I finally uploaded the video to YouTube, I saw a post from Yvette about Jason. I hadn't been on Facebook that day because I was knee deep in iMovie edits on my "uncensored" TEDx talk. Guess whose birthday it was on June 2? You guessed it—it was Jason's 44th birthday.
I sat back with my jaw on the floor thinking NO WAY. I hadn't planned on publishing my own TED Talk nor had I given a date any thought. I just felt pushed to get it done and out there on June 2nd.
Immediately, I wrote Yvette and told her what I was doing. She couldn't believe it either and then a second later, Jason came in saying, yet again, "I've got your back, K."
Seriously, what are the odds that the two most important dates related to my TEDx talk are his birth and passing dates?!?
I'm forever grateful for both Jason and Yvette and their protection, love and support. What a gift it is to know them both.
Loved ones in spirit really do have your back, it's just many of us don't recognize it at the time. Even crazy old me. :)
P.S. I also got a nudge from Jason that I might have to continually stand up for myself through the process when he confirmed that the name of the organizer of TEDx is literally one letter off from my ex's name. One letter. Almost identical name. Again, no coincidences.
Adventures In Ted Talks
This past weekend, I completed what is the equivalent of running a marathon for me—a Ted Talk. And I lived!
Not only did I meet the most amazing people from all over the world, I got the chance to talk about healing from childhood and adulthood abuse on a big stage with a big red dot. (I’ll tell you later how I “fell off the red dot” at one point because you know, it’s hard to stay on a rug while you’re speaking. Ha!)
I’m constantly amazed by how much we are guided and helped to be where we need to be at the right time.
And I was even more thrilled to look out into the crowd and see my husband and kids proudly smiling back at me, and sometimes with tears in their eyes. None of this road I’ve traveled has been easy on them and it affected all three of them deeply in many ways.
After the talk was over and Noah was heading home, I got a message from him saying that I was a kick-ass woman who is going to change the world. Of course, I teared up reading that. I’m just overwhelmed with love and admiration for Scott, Noah, and Grace, and I’m so eternally grateful they are mine. And I hope with all my heart, our children and their children will never have to experience anything I did in their lifetime.
If my Ted Talk opens up channels of communication with just two people about the bigger picture of life, stuff that can’t be explained by science, patterns of abuse, repression, and rebuilding life after all of it, I am a happy woman.
For now, I’m going to kick back and relax and NOT MEMORIZE ANYTHING for a long time.
Now what was I doing? Oh right…NOT MEMORIZING ANYTHING and enjoying being exactly where I am at this very moment.
More on the topic of memory loss related to abuse:
Here's a snippet of the Ted Talk that was filmed by our son, Noah. The official Ted Talk video will be uploaded to TED in a couple months, I believe. They produce a beautiful video for each presenter. So grateful! You can find more info on Tedx Sedona at www.tedxsedona.com.