Earlier this summer I was contacted by a survivor of sexual assault who wanted to share her story.
I read it while on vacation and as most of us who have suffered through similar circumstances, I related to much of what she’d been through. It is raw. Detailed. And brave. It is never easy to tell it like it is. This is not a story, this is her life displayed in an effort to heal.
Here is River in her own ‘voice’:
When I first began writing my autobiography in April of 2014, I wasn’t really sure whether I would ever get it published or not. It started out as a way for me to work through and process my issues so I could function normally rather than remaining a victim of my past, even though it had all ended years beforehand. Physically, I was no longer a victim of continuous abuse, but in my head I was still suffering on a daily basis. I was stuck in a cage from the depression, anxiety, guilt, and fear I harbored from what I had been through for so long. What I wasn’t expecting while writing, though, was everything I learned about myself in the process.
My intentions were to write a book about my life and get everything out on paper in hopes to, not only move on from all the suffering, but also one day inspire and help others; I never imagined I would actually get there. I was writing my book and posting blogs weekly to share it with others to test out whether I would even be able to help anyone or if anyone was even interested. I hoped that my life would be an example for others and I could be the voice of those still suffering and unable to find the confidence to speak out yet. The only question was, would anyone want me to be? Would speaking out about my life be enough to raise awareness and give others the inspiration to start healing and moving on from their own trauma?
I monitored my posts and the number of readers I would have every week to see if it would get any attention. I wanted to get my life out there for others using the blog as I wrote the book to judge the affect it would have on anyone reading. I never had any comments on my posts, but the fact the number of readers kept going up every week told me that this was definitely worth all the work and tears I was putting into it. Once I started it, there was no way I could back down or stop this snowball that was starting to grow and gain speed.
Before I knew what was happening, I was finishing the book and had friends encouraging me to find a publisher. Within the next month I was talking to ScribbCrib about a publishing agreement for my autobiography. Even after the agreement was signed, I don’t think I fully comprehended that my book, my life, was going to be available to anyone willing to buy and read it. I just kept focusing on my need to help others and encourage others still suffering to keep on fighting their own battles and remind them that it can’t get better if you end your journey early.
Five months later, here we are; my book is one of the many being sold on Amazon as an eBook for anyone and everyone to view. Wow. The excitement of knowing there are people out there reading my work and taking this journey with me is overwhelming, and still so surreal. I am so blessed; the amount of joy and gratitude I feel is something I can’t fully put into words. Which is a strange feeling for me, being a writer!
I just hope that I can help people now. I’m ready to take that next step, to move forward and see what I’m able to do for all those still struggling. All I need now is some help spreading the word about my autobiography to keep the ball rolling. Who will take this wild adventure with me?
A Michigan native, River is a new author who has recently become part of the published ranks. She is looking to expand her expertise and write more teen novels than just nonfiction works, but is open to anything and is happy to be able to pursue her passion. A survivor of sexual assault, River currently has an autobiography, titled The Road to Becoming a Survivor published by ScribbCrib, available to read with, hopefully, many more books to come.