To Speak Out

Hello, friends.  As some of my readers may know, I have gone through some major life changes and challenges in the past two years because I chose to speak out and tell the truth about having been sexually abused for years as a child (and older), and then to turn that abuser into the authorities last year.  I can share with you more details about this at a later time.  For now I will just say that because this person was powerful and influential in his own circles, with significant means to buy whatever loyalties or attorneys that he wanted, it hasn’t been easy so far for me or others who have tried to do the right thing.  Put more bluntly: it has been an absolute living hell.  I have watched those in power cover for a powerful abuser.  I have been abandoned by many people who were previously in my life, especially those benefiting in any way from the abuser’s finances or his free healthcare services (so most of my family and extended family).  And also by those who were simply too concerned with not being inconvenienced, making themselves unpopular, or facing the truth.  Most of these people, mind you, knew to one degree or another that the abuser was guilty, and that he had admitted to it.  I am also sad for those whom the abuser intimidated and blackmailed into lying for and being loyal to him.  What an awful position to be in.

And yet, as horrible as this experience has been, I wouldn’t go back or change anything.  I, and the few that have supported me, wanted to put the world on notice in order to protect other potential victims, especially children.  And, as Elizabeth Smart said in her TEDx talk: My Story, “Although I would never wish it upon myself, and I certainly would never wish it upon anyone else, I’m grateful for what has happened to me, because of what it’s taught me, because of the perspective it’s given me and the empathy I’ve felt for other survivors.”  The poem I am going to share with you today is actually inspired by that talk, where she also invites everyone to “speak out” where there is abuse, and to better support victims in the overwhelming challenge of speaking out.  And part of the beauty of this is that sometimes our speaking out can give someone else the courage to do so.  After I came forward, another woman who had also been victimized by my abuser came forward and went to the authorities.  I have since been able to meet her, and I’m so grateful for her strength and that she has been able to get some legal justice for what was done to her.

Two things that have helped me to get through this experience (which still isn’t over), and to find some peace and healing, have been music and poetry:  both that of others and creating my own.  (There have been other things which have helped me as well, which I hope to write about soon.)  As I already mentioned, I’m going share with you one of my recent poems, exactly about this matter of speaking out.  I am so very happy for the recent cultural movement in the media, which is encouraging people to finally come forward about their abusers.  It’s sad that this has taken so long however, and my heart aches for the people who have been unsupported and even ostracized for years because they tried to speak out.  I feel I can empathize to a great degree.  I dedicate this poem to those people, and to all others who choose to speak out, no matter the cost.

To Speak Out

To speak out, dear one,
To speak the truth – the forbidden truth –
Takes courage.
Oh, so much courage, dear one!
It takes everything you’ve got,
And perhaps losing all you have,
Except your self-respect.
It means breaking yourself against the establishment:
The “powerful” ones, the Great Wizard of Oz,
Hidden behind cultural curtains of generations
Of oppression, and abuse.
You cry out against the legacy of lies.
You break yourself to break the cycle.
And broken and alone you wait with tired bones
For any voice to join with your own.
And you grow weak.
But you speak out anyways.
To speak out takes strength,
And you are stronger than you know.
Angels surround you.
To speak out takes patience;
Patience in knowing the day of being heard may be long in coming,
Or may never come.
But you speak out anyways,
Come what may.
Because it’s the right thing to do.
For yourself,
And for others;
Others who need your voice, in order to find their own.
And the truth sets you free.
Even when the wretched world is winning,
And tries to have you gagged and chained.
You still have your soul,
Your integrity,
And so, the true victory.
But remember.
To speak out, dear one,
To speak the truth – the forbidden truth –
Takes courage.
Oh, so much courage, dear one!

Chelsea Goodrich

P.s.  The photo above is of a 1920’s suffragette, who was publicly chained because she dared to speak out.

25 thoughts on “To Speak Out

  1. You have always been strong and beautiful. Never be silenced. – Brooke

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brooke!! What a precious gem of a friend you are. Thank you. I didn’t know you had a blog. Can’t wait to follow you there.

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    2. Nobody was bought off, nobody was intimidated into complying to this alleged abuser…yes there were admitted mistakes made, but nothing needing intervention by the “authorities” the only true Financial beneficiary over the last three decades has been you millions of dollars for your school millions of dollars for your plastic surgeries and experimental alternative and holistic procedures, your cars your homes your clothes your mission to Korea Etc…this is pathetic….

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      1. There is something very pathetic alright and it isn’t your sister

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Admitted mistakes? This abuser terrorized you and your entire family. I got to see his rage when your younger sister broke a plane of glass in the greenhouse and when your little brother forgot to put the trash on the curb. The things Chelsea suffered needed intervention. The system failed and he is still free, but that won’t last. You speak of “millions”, you sound jealous and bitter. Isn’t your current lifestyle paid for by the abuser? Take the money! Turn a blind eye, Jake. Tell your sister and brother in law there is a new generation he is planning his sickness with. Pathetic indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful words Chelsea. It was such a gift to be able to hear you speak these words out loud to us (despite E’s “cat bonding” interruption) 😂 You are a beautiful soul with a message of hope and healing for those suffering in silence. Bravo to you for speaking up and leading out! God bless you in your journey. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle, I can’t imagine any people I would have wanted to share this with first, more than you two. You have treated me (and mom and grams) like family and have played a key role in our journey and healing. Love you!

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  3. Good for you! I will share this on our page after Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing it with me and good luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gilion, I wish more attorneys were like you, and the world would be a much better place! Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to speak out on behalf of victims and to fight for the truth.

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  4. Oh brave one… you’re a beautiful warrior…. stay strong and hold fast to yourself, truths and values. You are of light and love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Melonie! Wow, thank you so much. I’m sure you realize you just described yourself, as well! I love you, friend.

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  5. I am proud of you.

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie! I am so blessed to have the example and support of strong, brave women of character and courage like you. So much love and gratitude to you.

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  6. Oh, Chelsea. I’m so glad you have started this blog. Your voice is so strong and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story and that poem. ❤ I love the photo you chose for this post.

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    1. Dearest Hannah, thank you for your support and encouragement. That means the world to me. I am beyond blessed to have people like you in my life!

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  7. That was beautiful Chelsea. I always thought like you that if even 1 child is protected by my incessant voice it was worth what was lost by speaking out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lou you are so right, that is what it’s all for, and I will never regret it. Thank you for being one of our main angels through all of this. We are so blessed to have a true friend like you!!

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  8. Chelsea, I have always admired you so much. Thank you for sharing your great character and example of goodness, grace, and courage. I am sure that you positively and powerfully influence many more people than you are aware of! Prayers and love to you♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bless your heart Lelsy, thank you for taking the time to read this and to tell me that. It means a great deal, and your love, prayers and support do make a big difference. Please let me know if there’s ever anything I can do for you, too! ❤

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  9. Melinda Monasterio December 1, 2017 — 3:52 pm

    Chelsea, I just have so much love for you. Speaking out takes so much courage and strength, but your powerful voice is not meant to be silenced. You have added yours to the ranks of women who refuse to be beaten down, silenced, bullied, and abused, and that is both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring.
    You are seen and heard, and through your voice, you are speaking for others.

    I spoke about my own childhood abuses around this time last year, of abuse that occurred nearly 15 years ago. And I’m only now learning to heal and learning that I don’t have to be silent anymore. So I refuse the silence and add my voice to yours.

    Keep speaking your truths and healing and writing. This world desperately needs your voice.

    Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really needed your message today, Melinda. It empowers and encourages me to keep sharing for the sake of others who need it, in spite of the challenges and resistance from some people. I have so much love for you too, and I feel extremely fortunate to know and have strong women like you by my side. Your voice is so powerful and needed too, and I really hope you keep writing as well! ❤

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  10. figured it out Chels, keep rocking it xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, Terry I loved this! So true. We must all keep smiling and moving forward down life’s road, with all it’s ups and downs. There’s still so much to look forward to. ❤

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