“Mommy, why don’t I know my uncles” The pain of incest

Dear God, It’s hard to feel and be in my life. I want to forget. I feel shattered. I feel broken. Today is my daughter’s sixth birthday. Six years of her having a safe, protective and loving environment. Six years of tender love from my husband and myself. Her voice was always heard, never crushed. […]

To my dear broken heart

To my dear brothers and sisters, to mothers, fathers, and any caregivers of young, precious, and innocent souls: I feel compelled to write about the vicious and cruel acts that were perpetrated against me. It’s hard to truly be honest about what he’s done to me, especially in a community that chooses sometimes to protect […]

Living- not just surviving

I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. That sentence sounds so official and intimidating as if it’s a diagnosis. As if that sentence is forever going to precede every action and every thought I ever have. And yes, once upon a time being a survivor was the most important thing I ever had to […]

One moment in time

When you close your eyes and try to sleep When the cliff you’re climbing is way too steep When the pain is so great that you want to let go When there are so many things you don’t want to know When you hear the hatred in his voice When the moment comes and you […]

When People Don’t Understand Sexual Abuse

Five Actions That Help Me: I validate myself for every invalidation I get. I remind myself of Dr. Brene Brown’s words “Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain”, meaning that the blame has every much to do with them being uncomfortable and not with my actions. I cry to let out the pain. […]

The Little Girl Who Had No Voice, A True Story

Have you ever tried carrying something really heavy, so heavy you were unable to put a number to the weight? Have you ever kept a secret for 21 years never telling anyone? A secret you were afraid to tell, afraid that if you told someone you might be scolded or perhaps laughed at or even […]

It’s OK to Freeze: Healing From Sexual Assault

By Amy Oestreicher, republished from the Huffington Post When I speak at colleges about my own story of sexual abuse, I never forget how difficult it was for me to even speak the words, “I was sexually abused.” It took me an even longer time to believe it, or to understand it could happen to me. And […]

To break free

All that is left of me, Is an empty body, A shell of what used to be. Empty feelings, A canvas to pain, A portrait I can not display. Thoughts have no recognition. Mind and voice a foreigner in my body. Shattering silence sits invading my heart. By my friends side tears I cry. Her […]

What if…?

Would anything be different? Would you still need to be saved? Do you think he would have heard you? What would you have gained? What if you had screamed? What if you had cried? What if you had kicked your feet and not kept it all inside? What if you had fought him? What if […]

Liars and Thieves

She told me it was what friends do She told me that But she was a liar. She told me she was my only friend She told me that But she was a liar. She told me if I didn’t let her do it to me Then she would tell everyone what I did That […]

She prayed for it to stop. But nobody heard

A note to the reader: This article contains vivid descriptions of abuse endured by a young girl. Readers may find it disturbing and it can trigger individuals who previously suffered traumas. She’s sitting at the table just waiting for the phone to ring. She knows that as soon as it does her mother will forget […]

It stole my life, my purpose and my soul

This story contains graphic descriptions and may be disturbing to its readers Growing up in a ultra-religious, Jewish neighborhood there was always pressure for me to become the most perfect Jew that I could be. Unfortunately, no one paid attention to my feelings. I grew up in a home where everything was cold and I […]

“The day I was told my husband was abusing my daughter.”

Published in mamamia.com.au   One month ago my life changed. One month and one day ago I was happily married to my second husband who was a wonderful stepfather to my teenage daughter, and I was (I hope) a great stepmum to his teenage son. We’d been together for nearly a decade and had just […]

I want to go back to how I used to be

The food is calling I fear I’m falling Words are swimming in my head Memories fill and invade my bed There’s no room for me to rest Every moment becomes a test Hands and fingers are all I feel You can’t convince me they are not real Pain is forming from the inside out I […]

The Scream on Friday Night

“Noooooo”, I screamed. It was midnight and my family was still having the shabbos meal. A few family members stopped their chatting. “What was that? Was that Yehudis from the back room?”. My sister came in to check on me and found me sobbing on the bed. In explanation of my sudden scream I sobbed […]

For many years I struggled without knowing why

Some people are reflecting on this past year, While others have their whole life to contemplate. Some people are reflecting on this past year, While others have their whole life to contemplate. I was the former. For many years I struggled without knowing why, And when it finally came to my realization many tears I […]

A Community Fails

A school is confronted with a victim’s story A shul rabbi is told the devastating accusations by a congregant against one of his congregants. The cover up begins as the victim and their family are told they will be supported. The principal of the school with tears in his eyes empathizes with the victim’s parents. […]

Suit of Armor

That suit of armor that I wear, Keeps me looking normal so you don’t stare. It has been on for so, so long, Without it, where do I belong? That suit of armor fits so well, It keeps me safe inside my shell. I hope one day to let you in, Then I will know […]

A Mother’s Anguish

A school is a place a child should feel safe. A yeshiva even more so. We sent our precious child off to elementary and High School each day expecting that he was learning, growing and protected. It has become clear to us that this was far from the truth. Our child was being molested sexually […]

If I don’t remember it

Since I don’t remember it, It can’t possibly be hurting me. If I don’t remember it, It’s not what made me shut down…   Right? If I don’t remember it, How do I know I said no? If I don’t remember it, Maybe I wanted it…?   If I don’t remember it, Maybe I enticed […]

Dear Daddy, Did you know how scared I was?

I have a wonderful 10 year old daughter now. I watch her grow and am amazed by what I see. Even with everything she’s been through, she is smart, confident, and innocent. She knows she’s beautiful because I tell her all of the time. She knows she is loved because I say it every time […]

Out of the darkness

All I saw was depression, anxiety, fear, and nightmares. I saw no way out. I was raped and molested for 11 years by family members. The pain was unbearable. I felt so, so alone and never felt safe to share the horrors I had endured. I reached rock bottom. The only person I felt safe […]