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Arden Raine is an ex-theatrical making sense of life through many lenses.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Look away if You must, but just not for My benefit

Friday is an anniversary for me. It's bigger and even more important than the milestone my husband and I passed last Friday. (And our 20 years of being a couple and 16 years of marriage are a tremendous and precious part of me.)

Two years ago I watched my dear friend Jenni Chiu do the most courageous act of healing, she publicly spoke of her own sexual abuse.

Her honest heart wrenching , trigger laden, confessional burst wide open my own locked doors.

The monitored, speak out site: Violence Unsilenced (VU) gave her the safety to speak.

I am eternally grateful to both of them. One for the protection that survivors need to ' tell' (for some survivors perhaps for the first time ever) and for the trust of a good friend.

Since Jenni bravely stepped forward on her blog and said- here's what happened to me. And I am not afraid for the world to see, how could I not try to speak my own truths? I had been telling them in small ways for years.

Her courage empowered me to write down and have published my truth.

It's there on Violence Unsilenced. My words, my experience, my anger and resolution all are printed.

I am not asking anyone to visit my memories. If you think I am kind of brutally honest and raw here, all while writing under my pen name then the force of my words there tied only to my first name may be like showering with a sandblaster.

The point of this entry isn't sympathy for me. I have been standing strong in my healing for a very long time. I have a tremendous system of support. And I am very, very grateful to them.

What I hope to share with you first and foremost the amazing effort the VU team has put forth to give voice to the voiceless. To spread hope to the hopeless. To empower those whose power has been stripped in as cruel a fashion as anything a person can experience.

I ask that you read the brave words the men and women who have survived hell have had the courage to share. Not all of them. Not even mine. But at least today's survivor story.

The world of abuse can only survive when shrouded in secrets. It's fueled by fear. When victims find their voices, when they reject the notion that they must be their own jailers by keeping the secret of their torture on behalf of their abusers safety.

The results are freedom, power and hope.

Celebrate with me the liberation of their souls!

I ask that we support efforts of organizations like Violence Unsilenced and Rainn and any local abuse crisis centers.

And secondly, far far behind my primary reason for this post,I write this post in celebration.  Two years ago I found myself compelled my own sense of healing to tell of the abuse I suffered as a child. Abuse that had (has) colored so much of my adulthood.

I shared two years ago because I was through the darkness and hoped to inspire, even if only one soul, courage.

You see everyone's life has dark moments where we think we'll never survive. That the pain and shame and loss is so great we just can't ever be fully healed and happy.

The real secret is that it's no secret. Happiness and love are the birthright of every creature. We all get to feel those things.

I am not fully healed. But I know joy exists for me. Pain in life will come. But it passes.

The writing of my story cracked open courage reserves I didn't know I had. And indirectly the power of those reserves has lead me here. Sharing my thoughts and views of my life. (Which something else Jenni gave me the courage to do.)

So Friday I am going to spend life affirmingly.- that's not a word but should be!

I am also going to support the courage of healing hearts. But I try to make that a goal every day.

So happy anniversary to truth, to empowerment, to the outpouring of love and support from friends and strangers. I cannot ever repay those kindnesses. So instead I pay them forward.

Know that you are so much stronger, so much kinder, so much more beloved than you ever know.

And be happy.


  1. If you or someone you know is possibly in danger, please call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or visit thehotline.org for free and anonymous professional guidance. 

  2. More help: