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My Story of Sexual Assault

Today I’d like to share a highly vulnerable story with you in the hopes of getting one very important message across: You are NEVER at fault for your sexual assault. EVER. Shortly before I met my husband, I met another man through online dating. He was from out of...

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The Modesty Files: A New Podcast on Toxic Fundamentalism

I woke up just a touch nervous today. This morning a podcast episode has been released where I talk quite frankly about the messy details of my trauma story. A few months ago I received an email from a group of three sisters who run a new podcast called The Modesty...

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Justice At Last — Finding Freedom in Divorce

We’ve been preparing for the today for months. Actually, 40 years is probably more accurate. And finally, it is finished. After abandoning my mother six years ago and leaving her financially destitute, bruised, and broken, my father finally decided to file for divorce...

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The Body Holds Trauma

The body holds trauma. This past week I’ve dealt with an unexpected flare up of my chronic illness. I’ve also dealt with a frightening stream of relentless nightmares and last night a rare panic attack appeared out of no where. After the panic attack told my husband I...

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The High Cost of Speaking Out

One year ago today I gathered every ounce of courage I had and did something that would forever change my writing and public story. I went live on NPR and for the very first time, publicly named my second sexual abuser — my father. Until that day I had been very open...

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“Why Didn’t You Walk Away?”

As I have started sharing my story with more and more people of how I was raised in a cult and eventually finding my way out, I inevitably get asked quite a few follow-up questions. One of the most common questions I receive, after finding out that my cult did not...

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Emotional Abuse is Physical Abuse

Emotional abuse IS physical abuse. I was dying for most of my teenage years. I mean literally, in a hospital, 73 pounds, not enough blood running through my veins, dying. When I was 13 years old I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The doctor said it was the worst...

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I Won’t Be Speechless

“You’re dishonoring him.” “Why can’t you keep the past in the past?” “You’re bitter.” “It’s not appropriate to speak of it publicly; this is a private matter.” “Why would you want to shame yourself?” These are all words that have been said to me since publicly naming...

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