The past three days have been quite rewarding and enlightening on my journey to bring awareness to the areas of domestic/intimate partner violence, child sex abuse and sexual assault. I decided to take three vacation days and make this Memorial Day weekend a mini-working vacation sort of blend. But, oh, the places I’ve seen.
Wednesday morning started out with a radio interview. The permanent link will be online soon, and I’ll be sure to get it onto my website and here at my blog site, as well. Connie Rose, host of Victims 2 Survivors and I opened by discussing the Casey Anthony trial. Didn’t see that one coming, but glad she approached the subject. I’d love to hear some feedback from others sharing their thoughts on the matter.
That afternoon took me to a sexual violence task force meeting, and so many things were shared, but I also got to meet new people with other interests and who work for other organizations. New directions to explore! The afternoon culminated in a sit-down interview with a local television reporter, gathering information for an upcoming special. WOW! The questions she raised had not been asked in many years, and I found out there are still triggers existent in my life. Amazing how the day started out talking about the Casey Anthony trial, child abuse and murder, and there I was, sitting in a cafe, with my mind flashing back to times when I had been victimized as a little girl by a pedophile.
On my way home, I decided to drive by the house where all the abuse and violence took place. I found my emotions struggling to go in two totally diverse directions. Part of me was overwhelmed with grief and even flashbacks. I felt oppression was about to overtake me. But, the house had been totally renovated, the yard was full of beautiful plants, flowers and it just looked like a house where love lives. That was so satisfying to see. It kind of blurred all the bad things that took place there years ago.
Thursday took me back across “the pond,” a/k/a Tampa Bay, returning to St. Petersburg for a second day, meeting with an Executive Director of an organization there. A lot of valuable information and wisdom was offered up to me, and I drank it in like a cool glass of water on a hot summer day─which it actually was! Hmm…. The afternoon was spent in a meeting exploring another program that will offer spiritual support to victims and struggling survivors of abuse and DV.
Yesterday I was back to Tampa, and had the honor and privilege to visit and tour one of the largest abuse shelters in our area. Amazingly, as long as I have been at this, I have never toured a shelter before. Boy, were my eyes opened wide! It was so rewarding to just have short conversations with some of the residents, see the smiles on some of their faces. It seemed you could almost pick out the ones who had just checked in. No smiles, and a look of suspicion or distrust in their eyes. There was definitely pain on their faces. But I knew it was a place of hope, a place of new beginnings. The work they do there is all done with excellence. I am changed for seeing that side of DV. I then was afforded a meeting with the Executive Director that ran for hours. Oh, the wisdom, oh the statistics, oh my goodness, this woman was a bottomless well of valuable information. I was taking notes in shorthand! Her final advice to me was, “Carolyn, it is your dream, your passion and your purpose. Find it, seek it and pursue it.”
I come out of those three days with greater knowledge and better equipped to move forward in my path as a fellow traveler and an advocate. I have better ability to extend my hand to others, encouraging them to believe there is someone who truly cares and wants to give them a “hand up.” So, if you are one stuck in reliving those years of child sex abuse, domestic violence or sexual assault, or if you are living in it now, I dedicate this blog to offer you help out of the pit of darkness. You see, there is the light of hope, faith and belief for a purpose and destiny out there for you, too.
- Casey Anthony trial enters 4th day (cnn.com)
- Roommates Testify Casey Anthony Was a ‘Party Girl’ (abcnews.go.com)