Maci is a junior in high school. She enjoys reading, cooking, singing, baton twirling and photography.
She has grown up helping with her brother, Evan, who is autistic and she is passionate about helping kids with special needs.
She co-founded, Voices of Change, with my mom in 2018, after being a victim of sexual assault. I want to speak to everyone, especially teens, letting them know the importance of speaking up, if they have been victims of abuse. I also would like to educate the community on prevention and the signs of sexual abuse and assault.
Maci and I talk about everything and anything from her trauma that she experienced with her father, to when she was sexually assaulted, how she healed, the books she loves to read, including her favorite TV the Vampire Diaries.
She was so much fun to talk to and her story is incredible. We hope you come to listen, with an open mind, and heart, and that her story helps you in some way.
You can find her episode here and her blog post below!
Why do you want to share your story?
Throughout the beginning of my life I lived with a very narcissistic father, who was very controlling. He emotionally, mentally and verbally abused me. Eventually I was sexually assaulted and I think I had enough of keeping myself quiet and I wanted to speak up.
Tell us your story, as much as you are comfortable with, and tell us about yourself.
My father was very controlling, narcissistic and abusive. He emotionally, mentally and verbally abused me. Everything was always his way or no way. My parents got divorced when I was 5. As I got older, my father started to put me down, more and more. He favored me over my brother. I had to take care of my brother when I was with him. He would constantly put my mom down because he wanted me to think bad about my mom. My mom never spoke bad about my father. She wanted me to figure out on my own who he really was. I started to get very down and depressed. I started to isolate myself, I had no self-esteem or self-confidence. I was sexually assaulted at age 15. The day it happened, we left where we were and I told my mom. My mom reported it. I went to the Medina County Children’s Center for a Forensic Interview and Forensic Medical, and it was substantiated. My case was given to the police and an investigation started.
How did what you went through affect your life and your family/friends lives?
We all got a lot closer. My mom & step-dad were always there and so supportive, helping me through it all.
What were some steps that you took to heal? What does your healing journey look like?
A lot of therapy, music, having my mom stand beside me to help me through it.
Do you still have trauma or triggers that affect you?
At first, it was when people would ask me to keep reliving it and talk about it, through out my case. As things moved forward and the case closed and with the help of my psychologist, I have been able to work through things and not let them affect me like they once did.
What knowledge and understanding did you have of rape and sexual assault before this happened to you compared to now?
I knew about it but I know understand that lots of people in this world try and push it under the rug and not confront it head it head on and not help the people who really need help.
Why do you feel it is important to share your story?
I hope I am able to empower other people my age, who have been victims of sexual assault or abuse or any form of abuse to report it. Not to be ashamed of it. To speak out and share their story to help others, when they are ready to. To find necessary support(s) and community resources for help and assistance. Getting mental help is so important. Lastly, to fight for justice and never give up the fight because you didn’t ask for the abuse.
How has the #metoo movement affected you?
To be honest, I never paid attention to it before this happened to me.
If you could say something to someone who has experienced trauma what would it be?
Please know that you are not alone. There are so many people like you, walking the same path. There is support, there are people who care. Also, never give up your fight. It may seem dark today, but keep fighting for yourself, you deserve it.
Is there something such as a song, book, movie, or art that has affected you and resonates with your story?
The song, Little Toy Guns, by Carrie Underwood, makes me think of my younger life and how it was hard to get away from the fighting and how my dad used to scream at my mom all the time.