When I originally started Dandelion Soapbox, I wanted it to be a platform for speaking truth. That idea is inherent in the name. However, I never wanted it to be a platform for just my truth.
I intended for this blog to be a space where I could share other survivor’s stories, as well as their poems, songs, photos, art, and other creative endeavors that express their pain, hope, survival, and strength. After all, I am not solitary in my experience, nor is my truth representative of everyone’s truth.
Some adult survivors of child abuse have lived through sexual abuse, which I did not experience. Some, while physically safe, struggled through a childhood filled with emotional abuse or emotional neglect, which neurologically does an incredible amount of damage to the developing brain. Others didn’t have parents who met the basic needs of shelter, food, and medicine. (Note: poverty does apply in such a situation; a parent who can provide those things but doesn’t is abusive).
I have learned over the past year and a half to speak my truth. Slowly, and with great effort, pain, and awkwardness, frustration, and only sometimes relief, I moved forwards from expressing myself solely on Dandelion Soapbox (see why in my first post), to face-to-face speech. I can now speak up for myself, and I am confident in who I am.
This is why from now on I will be tending to write less about my personal perspective, and am asking for others’ contributions. Children who were hurt and silenced need to have safe opportunities to raise their voices. It is only by doing so that we can, over time, learn to ask for what we need, to vocalize our boundaries and thus have others respect said boundaries.
And, there are those who are not yet ready to speak out. Believe me, I feel you; it may not be safe enough yet, or you may not be ready to feel the internal pain (because when we speak up, unfortunately, there is pain). The more diverse perspectives Dandelion Soapbox has, rather than just my own, the more those who are still victimized will know they are not alone.
So, please, send me a drawing, photo, personal essay, fictional story, poem, soundbite, mp3, whatever, either through my contact page or by email. Include a personal bio if you like, or send it anonymously. I will not use your work in any other capacity; obviously, I’m against disrespecting others’ rights.
Love, warmth, and friendship to you.