All dysfunction has a long legacy. When the roots are old and deep, it’s hard to fathom, let alone convince anyone the soil is poisoned. For me, dysfunction began with family. My grandfather was a decorated war hero, a man of valor who fearlessly served his country for thirty-two years–but to me, he was known as an abuser and a stealer of innocence. My mother was a reliable accountant, a gorgeous woman whose mental illness, addiction, and abuses were so dark, the world would have been safer if she were in jail. My father was a blue-collar ironworker, a handsome man of character with kind eyes, who week after week delivered me into my mother’s arms knowing what crimes she was capable of.
Some children grow up knowing what it feels like to have a sense of belonging. To be smiled at, cared for, taught, and liked. To be approved of and treasured. To feel welcome in their homes and accepted in their families. Loved appropriately and unconditionally…simply for existing.
And then… some of us grow up earning our right to exist in a world where people are rarely what they seem.
Do you believe me?
That’s a big question because only the experienced do.
Those of us who saw through the masks certain adults wore in public.
Those who spent a childhood performing to meet someone’s impossible standards.
Those who tiptoed daily on eggshells sharper than shards of glass while silently begging God for safety.
Those who were seen as objects to trade instead of human beings.
Of course we grow up believing something is wrong with us. Because frankly…there is. The light we carry, however dim, shines on.
You see, the opposite of their corruption is our resilience.
Despite the odds… and despite our reasons to fade to ash,
we are still here.
And that resilience? It’s been here too.
It shined the first time I stood up for myself and dealt with the consequences.
When I walked seventeen miles at twenty years old with my baby boy in search of safety.
When I turned down the money.
When I defied my family system.
When I took the job offer.
When I got on an airplane and flew over an ocean, finally breaking free.
When I refused to keep the secrets.
When I wrote books on the subject of abuse and finding my voice.
So others too… could find theirs.
When I assembled communities bringing people together to learn that their abnormal life, in certain circles… is normal.
When I built a business and a life using my shriveled, black story as a burning torch that leads others toward their own.
So they too… can shine.
We are all in this together.
Your light has sent you searching for answers, and it’s the reason you’re here on this page.
No matter how dark life’s circumstances have gotten or how hopeless you’ve become, take heart that your road has led you here.
And whatever faith in the universe you’ve lost, don’t worry. I have enough faith for both of us.
Welcome. You’re in the right place.