How I’m Reclaiming my Voice by Singing About Sexual Assault
TEN YEARS AGO I WAS IN A COMA. NOW I’M HERE TO SING ABOUT IT.
A year before, at 17 years old, I was betrayed by a mentor I really trusted.
I’m turning 29 this weekend and have a lot to be grateful for. I’ve survived and thrived through sexual abuse, 27 surgeries, coma, organ failure, six years being unable to eat or drink, and the PTSD that comes from ten years of trauma.
Knowing how difficult it was for me to speak of my own abuse (especially after waking up from a coma months later), I devised a program that combines Broadway theatre with sexual assault awareness and mental health advocacy, in order to empower survivors of assault and to create a more compassionate, open community. I deliver this keynote to organizations, conferences, shelters, colleges and universities, to promote mental health, provide hope, help, and improve lives.
Through a one-woman autobiographical musical — Gutless & Grateful — a comedic yet poignant story on how I survived 27 abdominal surgeries, organ failure, and sexual abuse — not only am I healing, I’m sharing with others that there’s nothing to be ashamed or secretive about.
We heal through our vulnerability, and being supported through that vulnerability. Through interwoven song and dialogue, I share a primal piece of live-storytelling — a powerful message that it’s possible or survivors to become empowered by their own identity and be secure in their choices.
It took time to develop a compassionate approach to emotional well-being, and feel comfortable reaching out to a support system. But in sharing my own scars, my hope is that the individuals who watch will learn tools for coming forward as survivors and as visible allies and leaders for all.
2. YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT GUTLESS & GRATEFUL HERE:
Together, we’re stronger.
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