“No one had ever asked me what it feel like to be me. Once I told the truth about that . . . I felt free.” (Abilene, from “The Help”)
It’s my favorite line from the movie, “The Help.” When Abilene spoke those words at the end of the movie I wanted to jump out of my chair and shout, “Hallelujah!” To tell the truth. To feel free. To be FREE! To be known fully. I don’t think it gets any better than that for a human being. And I was so happy for Abilene.
To be honest about her circumstances could cause her to lose her job or worse.
Enter Skeeter, a white writer who dared to ask Abilene what it was like to work for white folks—what was it like to be Abilene. Abilene answered Skeeter’s questions, reluctantly at first. But because Skeeter listened to her and believed her, without condemnation, the dam broke. Abilene spoke her truth with abandon. She found her voice. She felt free.
Survivors of sexual abuse begin to find freedom when they are listened to and believed. And somewhere along the way, between the words, among the tears, they find their voices. They begin to feel freedom. The dam breaks. That is why I will be adding a day for survivors, and those who love them, on this blog each week. Tamar Tuesdays will be a place for survivors to share how they hurt and how they heal. A place where they will be listened to and believed—without condemnation.
A place to find their voices. A place to find their freedom.
If you are a survivor and would like to share your story, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.