“The past does not define us. It’s discovering who we really are and how we’re going to get there that does that. The Village – where real change happens.”
These words describe The Village’s core beliefs and are heard in our new TV and radio ads. They also describe my own personal journey.
My past included sexual abuse at the hands of my father, and a mother who loved me deeply but could not accept that dark reality and who in effect silenced me. As a result, I did not talk for the first year in school. I sealed off the memories and pain until years later, when I felt safe enough to face it.
With the love and support of many people, my life has become one of joy and meaning. From my classmate in Kindergarten who spoke for me, to the aunt and uncle who provided love and guidance (and a stern talking to when I needed it!), to my husband who stayed by my side during the months of coming to grips with the trauma. From my amazing psychologist who specialized in treating patients who experienced childhood sexual abuse to the young man in the support group I attended who heard my pain and my shame and told me with such sincerity, “You are beautiful” and “It was not your fault.” These are the people who helped me to heal – to discover who I really am – and to be able to accept and give love, sustain meaningful relationships, and succeed in the workplace.
Now, as vice president for advancement at The Village, my past comes full circle. I can have full empathy for and understanding of the people we serve and deep appreciation for those who provide the guidance and support to help them achieve real and meaningful change in their lives.
My past does not define me, but it has made me a person who is committed to helping those in need.
If you can help someone who is suffering, I encourage you to take the risk and reach out. Help them to get the help they need. If you can give of your time and resources to support our work here at The Village, trust me, it will be used wisely and help to make a difference in people’s lives.
Most importantly, if you are struggling with a past that keeps you from enjoying peace and stability, call us today. We can help you. Because I know that The Village is where real change happens.