Today. Today marks the day that my book is officially available for preorder. This is scary for me. This is exciting for me. This is absolutely one of the most nerve-wracking, terrifying moments of my life. This book has been in the works since 2005. I began the process about a year after I was raped. I didn’t know at the time that it might eventually get to this point, but I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I wrote down everything I could remember from September 2004 until September 2005. Just to try to remember the details. I wrote in notebooks during class, while in college. I wrote on scrap pieces of paper when a memory would pop up. I wrote on post-its. Unfortunately, because my writing process was not very organized, I lost some of my writing within the last 13 years. I wanted to write everything out because I knew there would be things I would forget, and even things I wanted to forget but possibly remind myself later in hopes of helping someone else. The biggest take away from all of my writing is looking back prior to the rape, it is almost look at a completely different world. It’s like there barrier that blocks both of the worlds ever meeting. I lost my innocence and since then my world was turned upside down.
In all my years of healing, I found things that have helped me move forward. Things that gave me hope for the future. Things that gave me more positive thoughts and feelings than the negative thoughts and feelings. However, I still have moments of weakness. This book is covers both the topic of my rape and the eventual healing process. There are things that some people may not know about me and that alone is scary, especially because this is a new outlet for me to share my story. I still get the overwhelming feelings of shame and guilt from my rape…that maybe it was my fault, and someone reading this book that doesn’t know me, or maybe doesn’t know me well, or even one of my closest friends, will judge me. They will judge me and say (maybe not to my face) that it was my fault. They will judge about my healing process and how I handled it. All of these ideas terrify me. I need to take a deep breath, and not let the anxiety of all of this take over. In the words of a Daniel Tiger Song (courtesy of my 2 year old son), “Take a deep breath and count to 4.” ::Inhale:: ::Exhale:: 1…2…3…4…That helps somewhat. When my son does this he immediately says, “I feel better.” I wish my mood shifted as quickly as his does. I need to remember to practice what I preach. “It is never your fault. You were the victim of a horrible crime. IT IS NEVER YOUR FAULT.” I believe those words 100%. I have said it to hundreds and hundreds of people. I have spoken to survivors and continue to tell them this consistently…but sometimes when it comes to myself, I have trouble believing it. But I will. I will believe it. Sometimes. So for those who are interested in reading this book, those who are pre-ordering, or even coming to the book launch on February 28th, I ask you, please share the pre-order link with everyone you know. Because I can guarantee there is someone in your life that has said #MeToo and will need this book. Preorder the book at https://www.voices-of-hope.org/shop.