The kitchen is my comfort place, my happy place, and my haven. But today? I am stepping out of the kitchen, taking my apron off and sharing a life-altering experience with you.
Almost a year ago, after thirty-five long years, I reunited with my cousin, Laura Parrott Perry. Laura writes The Golden Repair, which is here on divorcedmoms.com.
There were reasons for our separation. Mostly those reasons revolved around her parent’s horrific divorce. The root of our separation, however, was that we both spoke up after having been sexually abused by the same perpetrator: our grandfather. From then, we were kept from each other.
We re-connected last Thanksgiving.
Our first phone conversation lasted for over three hours. We shared the experiences that happened when we were children. Finally, we talked about things that had been boxed up and packed tightly away for the majority of our lives.
We decided to rip the tape off those boxes.
She told me things I did not know. I filled her in on the details she had been missing. At last, we had the answers to the questions we had yearned for over the years. And for the first time, we talked openly to each other about the sexual abuse we suffered by our grandfather.
Shortly after, Laura and I got together for the first time. After hours of talking we made a decision, one we believed that would help us in our healing. One that would help us to reclaim our relationship with each other and take the power of our abusers actions away from him.
A life-changing experience occurred as a result.
We decided that it would be cathartic to dance on his grave. We commenced our journey, but pit stopped at the police station for directions to the cemetery. On a whim, we were inspired to report our abuse to the police. Despite that it had been over three decades, they listened.
They opened a case.
Another victim was found.
We wrote about it. People read it. Thousands of people. And a staggering number said, “ME TOO.”
One in four girls and one in six boys will be abused by the age of eighteen. There is a hunger to talk about sexual abuse. But no one is talking about it. Why? Because of shame.
Shame cannot exist when we shine a light on it. And sex offenders can only continue if we stay silent.
Laura and I have decided to shout it out, talk about our abuse shamelessly and encourage others to do the same. We are doing our part to end this epidemic.
We have started an organization called Say it, Survivor (sayitsurvivor.com.) We are putting our pain to work. We are giving it a job. To learn more please click the link below.
The result of having been abused manifests itself in many ways; eating disorders, addiction, personality changes, intimacy. For me, one of the greatest impacts was in my relationships, mostly with men. I chose partners who disrespected and disregarded me. Almost all of them were unfaithful to me
My abuse became a model for what to expect in a relationship with a man. I accepted to be treated horribly. That was my baseline.
And guess how my marriage ended up?
We want to share our message to you and to all. We hope that you will raise your voices and shake things up, too. Let’s put an end to this horrible epidemic. Our children’s lives, health, and happiness depend on it.
Laura and I were published in Boston Magazine’s October 2015 issue. We are a little bit excited to have been published. Just sayin.’
Here is the link to our story as we tell it.
To learn more about our new organization, Say it, Survivor,
NOW, here is that Lemonade I promised!
2 cups white sugar
8 cups water
1 3/4 cups fresh lemon juice – remove seeds but keep pulp
1 lemon, sliced for garnish
Mint sprigs, for garnish
In a small saucepan bring 1/4 cups of water to a boil. Add sugar and stir it until it dissolves Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
In a pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining water.
Pour over ice and garnish with a lemon slice and sprig of fresh mint.
Lemonade make us happy- don’t you think?
And that’s the dish