by Katy Sudano, Board Member of VOICE Today
VOICE Today is breaking the silence and cycle of child sexual abuse worldwide through Awareness, Prevention, and Healing.
I can hear it now…the loud music of the merry-go-round and children laughing. I can even smell the popcorn andcott
The movement stops. I want to get off because I’m afraid to ride, but I want to stay on because I’m afraid to stop riding. Not knowing what to do I watch other children jump
I don’t see anyone waiting for me. More children climb on.The motor rears up. Slowly the horse starts to go up and down again and the parents become a blur. I’m glad I didn’t have to get off this time and I’m scared of moving again.
The first time your boundaries are destroyed as a child your life becomes a merry-go-round of confusion, distrust, anddizzying details which refuse to come into focus. You aresmall and alone. You can’t trust anyone because the love you thought was yours and would always keep you safe,changed forever.
As a child, I wanted nothing more than to jump off that merry-go-round and be like other children. I wanted toplant my feet firmly in the grass and run toward my lifejoyful and happy. Yet every time I tried it seemed forced and foreign. As I got older, there were times I thought Ihad jumped off. Maybe I had for a while. But things would start moving again. When people gave me compliments I heard something different. Pretty meant ugly, smart meant dumb, and talented meant uncoordinated. I grew angrier at my family and at the world. I looked inthe mirror and saw someone who
Being a survivor of child sexual abuse is exhausting. It diminishes our energy, our physical and mental well being. I have been around so many survivors now that I see us riding a common merry-go-round. Some ride horses that are faster or more brightly colored than others, but we are still whirling around afraid to stay on, afraid to jump off. Some of us find courage in drugs and alcohol; some los
Before I started working with VOICE Today, I didn’t let anyone get close enough to see the distortion going on inside me. I stayed very busy making sure everything was in place. I had five children and involved myself in theiractivities and projects of my own. I tried to please everyone and became a chameleon. When I couldn’t keep it up, or saw myself falling short of impossible standards ofperfection, I back
I wish I could say that I have finally and completelyjumped off the merry-go-round, but that would be a lie. Healing is a process that can be very tough, especially when the dizziness makes it hard to see myself realistically. Like being in a funhouse with mirrors that make me looktall and thin, short and fat, or just plain weird, it’s difficultto find the “normal” mirror because I’m not yet sure what “normal” is. However, through VOICE Today and helping others see through the lights, sounds, and colors of the merry-go-round, I am beginning to see possibilities that only healing with others can offer! I am finding my strength, little by little, by VOICING UP and making the merry-go-round slow down. Ultimately, it will stop and a new Katy, a healed Katy, will jump off while helpingothers jump off too!
There will be times when faced with criticism, rejection, or condemnation, I will want to jump back on the merry-go-round where no one can reach me. But I feel much happier today because now I am standing on the edge of that roundblue floor, no longer clinging to the gold spiral pole! Iadmit that looking over the edge at the green grass below my feet is intimidating. Sometimes I’m terrified of ta
VOICE Today taught me that facing fear releases fear. I may have to jump off the merry-go-round over and over until it becomes easy and I can get on and off as I please, like the children who ride it for fun. I can’t wait for thatday.
All of us have fears and events in our past that we want tohide deep down inside where no one can see the ugliness. But that is a trap. The only way out is to take the first jump and then the next and the next, until we start to liveour lives the way God intended us to live. It will beglorious and so full of joy!
I believe that everyone on the merry-go-round has the power within them to take the first leap, VOICE UP, join the movement, and do what we can to protect the innocent from the devastating epidemic of child sexual abuse! Only then can we take the reins from the abusers who want to keep us circling in fear. We start by healing