The SHARED STORIES PROJECT
Welcome, everyone, to our Shared Stories Project. We have high hopes for this being a place where survivors of all identities will contribute and receive narratives of each other’s lived experiences. A common result of being a survivor of sexual violence is isolation. It’s what happened when we were harmed and we re-experience that isolation every time our stories are not listened to, rejected or denied. So, many thanks to our contributors and a warm welcome to our readers.
From Broken to Beyond Surviving by Rachel Grant
I was a five-year old, middle-class kid, growing up in Oklahoma with an acre out my backdoor when my grandfather came to live with our family. As an innate nurturer, I would help my mom and dad take care of him by doing simple things like bringing him a bowl of cereal, keeping him company, and reading to him. We spent hours on our front porch swing talking, laughing, and watching the people in the park across the street. He was my friend and a quiet companion.
Thriving Survivor by Elaine Crocker
Hi, my name is Elaine. I am honored to share my story with you. I was a victim of molestation and rape, I am a survivor and I am thriving. For many years, this is something that I would not talk about because of fear and shame. How sad it is that victims of sexual assault feel ashamed. My knowledge of how victims were treated stemmed from grown up conversations that I overheard and t.v. shows that said, what was she wearing or not wearing; did she scream, fight, try to get away; did she tease him; what was she doing there?
Final Call by Donna Jenson
The end took two years. By end I mean the closing and locking of the door on my relationship with my father, or as I referred to him back then – my terrorist. It came in just under the wire. Our father was full of prostrate cancer when my little brother (all of 35 years old) outted me to our mother. There was a flurry of exchanges, some filled with tears, some with pure rage; an emotional seismic shifting of a nuclear family that would never recover.
After All These Years by Rosie Mcmahan
The main reason I went to see Lenny was to discover if I would feel afraid of him. I had just been with his mother, my Aunt Anna, and his brothers and sisters - all five of them - at his father’s funeral services and he wasn’t there. Too many wounded people in consequence to Lenny’s wounded behavior many years ago. I was one of them, one of the girls he molested throughout much of my childhood into adolescence.
The Day I was BRAVE by Janyne McConnaughey
Settling into my chair at my desk, I stared at the book contract in front of me. This was different. It was a “telling” far beyond telling my friends or even publishing a blog. Signing this book contract felt like a forward step in owning the story which I had denied and repressed for over sixty years. There was no going back to hiding once I signed the contract, sealed it in an envelope, and mailed it to the publisher.