Select Page

“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 my abuser. I try to push the words out of my mind, but they hurt. After 16 years of silence, I have finally found my voice. My courage. And suddenly I am told I’m wrong to speak out; I should continue stay quiet.

The truth is, my story is not about him. It’s about my journey. It’s about Jesus. It’s about redemption. It’s about freedom. Why should those things be silenced?

Forgiveness with boundaries does not equal bitterness. Just because I talk about the past doesn’t mean I’m stuck in it; it means I’m no longer afraid of the past and instead I have finally found the strength to stand up, embrace my scars, and say “No more.”

For years I believed a lie; the lie that it wasn’t that bad — after all, others have had it much worse, I was reminded. The lie that I must have misunderstood his actions and that I was partly to blame for what he did to me.
But for the first time I know the truth. And as long as there is breath left in my body I will continue to tell it.

I will try my best to tell the truth with integrity. I don’t believe I’m dishonoring him, for the truth is, he dishonored himself. I don’t believe that I’m shaming myself, for I see no shame in being a survivor.

If you have had the courage to show your scars and to speak the truth of your story, I applaud you. You are brave. Don’t ever let the critics place false shame or guilt upon you.

Your voice is the most powerful tool you have. Use it for good. Use it to bring about positive changes.
Take your broken wings, burst out of that cage others have trapped you in, and FLY!!

And don’t go ever speechless again.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author

Emily Elizabeth Anderson is a Christian blogger and rising activist for people who have experienced abuse within a Christian environment.

After growing up in a fundamentalist cult for 23 years and experiencing childhood domestic violence, Emily began her journey to recovery in 2015 and eventually found Jesus to be her ultimate healer. She soon turned her passion for writing into a blog and her story has since been featured on several media outlets including NPR.

She married her best friend, Joshua, in 2020 and together they are passionate about educating on the realities of trauma survival and recovery, as well as supporting survivors they meet through their online community.

More by Emily

Let’s Talk About Purity Culture

Can we talk about the negative effects of Purity Culture for a bit? As a recently married woman who grew up in the height of the modern Purity Movement and choose to remain a virgin until marriage, I am beginning to see even more reasons why this culture and its...

Why Am I Still a Christian?

A commenter told me yesterday, “It’s amazing you still have faith.” My answer to her? “Jesus. It’s allllllll Jesus.” In the recent years that I have been studying the dangers of Legalistic Christianity, I have seen the many, many heartbreaking consequences. Most...

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...

An Apology to Fellow Survivors

Today I want to share an excerpt from a new memoir I happened upon last week written by cult survivor Charity Rissler titled “Where the Willow Weeps: The Inside Story of Growing Up in a Cult, and how I Found Freedom in Christ.” I’d never heard of this cult called “The...

One Year Ago Today…

This picture popped up on my FB memories today with the caption: Off to Chicago to see some of the most dear people in the world to me. A two hour flight means plenty of time to churn out a new chapter or two. #scandalousgrace #kiakaha #fiercewomen Wow. What a memory....

2021: The Year of Nourishment

For the past few years I’ve picked a word for the year. It’s a way of laying out a focus for the entire year — something I can reflect on each day as I do life. I always pray about it and God always brings the word to my mind. This week He brought me my word:...