I Speak Because I Can

blog i will not be silent


I leave my social media private messaging open for anyone who may need a friendly ear or some advice and have received countless kind emails and messages from people of all ages, in all types of situations. It is humbling that random strangers can muster enough trust in me, also a random stranger, to not only reach out, but to express their deepest fears and emotions. I am by no means a counselor, just a survivor who may be able to offer a different perspective based on my knowledge and experiences. I want to thank those of you that have reached out for having the courage to do so. As the saying goes, the first step is the hardest.

I started a blog last year to not only help heal myself but with the hopes that maybe some aspect of the traumas I have endured will make at least one person feel less alone, or perhaps a bit more understood. I am completely open about my experiences and almost always have gotten positive feedback and encouragement. The people who have been ignorant have been few and far between and generally their comments just roll off my back. However, for the first time this got under my skin to the point where I am now going to respond with the hope that a little education, ignorance does not have to be.

I won’t bother copying and pasting the entire message as you should get the idea with the following few quotes…

Why do people like you insist on reliving your past in a public forum for everyone to see? It’s the past for a reason, get over it. Everyone had their own childhood issues but do you see most people whining about it online? You had plenty of time to tell someone when you were being abused or sometime shortly after, but after thirty years, it’s time to move on. Complaining will get you nowhere…”

“…are you not embarrassed enough that you were abused and now decades later you think anyone is going to believe you…”

“…and anyone who has attempted suicide three times and not succeeded is simply seeking attention. There are enough resources online that you shouldn’t need three attempts to end your life. You are obviously sick in the head and should seek professional help.”

The message continued for another few hundred words but I am guessing you get the point. So, Mr. Ignorant, allow me to reply.

The fact that you say people “like me” screams the type of mindset that you hold. We are not a stereotype, we are warriors. We are survivors of atrocities and horrors that you could not comprehend. We went through more trauma in our early and formative years than you will likely suffer in your lifetime. As a child I was afraid to speak for a multitude of reasons, and that carried on through a large part of my life, until one day I found my voice and so now, I speak because I can. I am no longer bound in fear and silence as I am no longer a victim. I use my words to in an attempt to educate people like you who are bound in stigma. I write on behalf of those who have not yet found their voices and to let others know they are not alone. The fact that you asked if I am not embarrassed enough about my abuse already says a lot about your mentality. The last time I checked I did not molest myself, so what do I have to be embarrassed about? I was merely a child who was preyed upon by some very sick people and was unable to defend herself, and whether or not anyone believes me or not does not sway me from my purpose. Those who don’t believe me simply don’t have the privilege of being in my life.

Your comments about suicide actually left me stunned for words, which is not easy to do… so shame on you for not only saying that, but for thinking that. People like yourself who’s views are based on stigmatisms believe that you are untouchable, and that nothing like that could ever happen to anyone you love, and just based on statistics alone, if you know more than four people you likely know someone affected by a mental illness, which in some cases leads to suicide attempts. I won’t even begin to try and explain to you the complexities of suicide as you are too close minded to learn. Just know that anyone who has sunken low enough to make an attempt to take their own lives is suffering a sense of hurt you could not comprehend, and in most cases, for them, at the time, it seems the only way to truly end the pain is to end your life. 99% of the time it is not a cry for attention like you have insinuated.

So, to sum it up, thank you for reminding me why I speak and write and advocate for mental health…it is people like you that keep me motivated.

I speak because I can.





8 thoughts on “I Speak Because I Can

      1. I just read one of your posts and it was very encouraging! Keep writing, blogging and posting. You are saving lives


  1. Jody I think you should be commended for “pushing back” against the stigma and engaging ignorance. When reading the comments my 1st inclination was “don’t even bother trying to talk to someone who doesn’t get ANY of it”. And in all honesty that might have been what I would have chosen to do, in your shoes.

    In reality, giving up on trying to explain my issues to people always made me feel WORSE! Kind of like “Never mind” and crawling back into a hole. I have great admiration for your willingness to confront and counter and try to educate.

    As far as the attitude you dealt with from this person I would state the obvious to them: Be careful about opening your mouth about things you know little to nothing about. Until you walk in another person’s shoes, blah blah blah…

    BUT..here is what I’ve witnessed. There are people who will not understand, but take you and your trauma at face value and TRY to imagine your issues. Then there are people who will (as this person did) attack. The ones who attack are often in denial of their OWN past issues. They THINK they have gotten over whatever is in their pasts, when in fact, it affects them DAILY. Their attitudes, their world view, their habits and fears, their relationships. Everything. In reality, they may be every much like you, but choose to bury it and live in DENIAL. I know people like this and their view of EVERYTHING is warped. Their spouses, kids and friends suffer because this person refuse to look in the mirror. And they should be! It can be scary. But it can also be necessary.

    Often it is not a trauma victim’s actions that are tools for “seeking attention”, but rather the person who attacks them in this manner, who is looking for people to notice them.

    The bottom line for me is: Don’t attack Jody for having the GUTS to dig into the past that someone else created for her. She’s looking to heal from it. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have the same fortitude. Most people don’t. Most people won’t look outside themselves for help either, because they THINK they are in control and they know best.

    The past is NEVER just the past. It’s the foundation that we had to build our current lives on and we usually don’t choose it. Our coping mechanisms and survival instincts can be faulty because of it. We can make horrible life choices based on our past, that will effect our future if left unchecked.

    Bless you, Jody, for having the “balls” to look at it head on and take action most people would run from.



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