Today, I was a part of history and healing. There is a young lady named Lauren Book-Lim who suffered years of sexual abuse as a child at the hand of her nanny. Years later, she began to talk about the abuse in order to bring healing not only to herself but to others. In the process she started an organization called "Lauren's Kids" (www.laurenskids.org)
In order to bring awareness to the horrific act of sexual abuse, and to pave the way for healing and restoration...she embarked on a journey. For the last 18 days, ending today, she trekked across the state of Florida starting in Aventura, and ending in Tallahassee at the state's capitol.
For the final mile and a half, advocacy groups, politicians and individuals marched from Governor's Square mall, down Apalachee Parkway to the capitol. I was a part of this. My only desire (at least that's the way it started) was to show my support to a complete stranger who showed courage, commitment, and compassion.
As I walked, I knew that somewhere in front of this 'sea' of blue shirts, was a 25 year old young lady, whom I had never met but felt somehow connected. As I walked, I thought about my own journey. Having suffered from abuse myself, I began to realize with each step i took, how over the course of my life...I had turned from victim to survivor.
There are moments when the effects of abuse still haunt me, the greatest of which is fear. Fear of trusting, fear of loving, fear of losing. Today, as I journeyed onward, each step trampled one of my biggest fears: the fear of doing. For me, and I hope many others, today marked a milestone on the journey of healing.
To Lauren: I can't even imagine how hard this journey has been for you. Thank you for your courage, and willingness to go beyond to make a difference. I know that many lives have been changed because of your journey...I am one of them.
To Everyone: Sometimes our journeys require us to traverse places that are dark and uncomfortable. But rest assured...darkness only lasts the night. Joy comes in the morning. If you have every been a victim of ANY kind of abuse...IT'S OK TO TALK ABOUT IT!