Points of Light

September 20 1996 my journey began. Exactly 18 years ago today, I tasted freedom for the first time in my life. Stepping off of that plane, I didn’t know a soul and it was the best feeling in the world. And now, nearly two decades later, I am experiencing freedom again – but in a different way. I was the cover story for a magazine today and how I was portrayed, the victim slant and sensationalism honestly humiliated me. To the point where, other than a few close friends who have been so supportive, nobody knew. I woke up this morning and didn’t want to face the day… the thought of one person reading that article let alone one million (I’m sure it was nowhere near that amount but I am just going off the readership stats) gave me such anxiety. So much so that I started losing sight of my focus and my vision, and I allowed my fear of what others would think to cloud my judgement and doubt my journey and the decisions that have led me to this point… and then the emails started coming in.

Initially it was all men. Lovely messages from dads horrified that the most important person who is supposed to protect a little girl could do such a thing. Men apologised to me on behalf of all males. Other men told me that they had been abused as little boys and thanked me for my courage. And then women started writing to me. Young women, older women, moms, and grandmothers. I was quite surprised that the article had even resonated, as it was so shocking and graphic. My fear was that it would scare people away from my actual message. When you are dealing with such a heavy subject matter, you have to be so careful in your delivery because you risk people turning off and shutting down. I was so careful in the way I crafted and told my story throughout my book, making sure I had the right balance of shade and light and the way I wrote my poem. Because before a message can resonate and hopefully inspire, you need it to land! If a message doesn’t even get the opportunity to land, what is the point of having one?

I will answer each and every person who has reached out to me. Thank you so much for telling me the impact my story has had on you. Thank you for the ability to see beyond the horror portrayed in the article to see the essence of who I am and why I am doing this. I received so many amazing messages and one heart breaking message from a determined mom whose daughter disclosed abuse and died tragically days later. This woman’s pain and courage gave me the courage to post the online article to my social media sites to share with my friends.

As I have always said, each and every one of us is a little broken in some way. I am just a reminder to others that no matter the trauma, it can be possible to rise above suffering and make that flight on broken wings.

Thank you from my whole heart. Your words have lifted me up and inspired courage to push through my fears to continue to be that point of light for others. You have all been points of light for me today. xx

About cjbailee

I don't see myself as an author with a book, but a woman with a story and a message of hope and resilience. I want to use my lived experience and the lessons learned to help inspire others. Transforming the victim/trauma story and speaking to the possibility of what can be achieved when we have inner drive, a sense of worthiness and the love and support of others in our lives. I am a woman, a mother, friend, poet, writer, an advocate, an activist, a motivational speaker, a kid at heart, a deep thinker...a human being who suffered extreme abuse as a child and who continues to reclaim what was lost as an adult. I am someone who's been to hell and back and has come out whole on the other side of it to let others know they can do the same! I have an important message of hope, love, forgiveness and resilience. Come take a journey with me and discover how connected we all are and how truly achievable happiness and freedom is.
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4 Responses to Points of Light

  1. kyle cogan says:

    you’re a very inspiring person who a lot of people who go through such things should look up to because it is often something people never get over when I sat down to send you the email I sent you yesterday, I was struggling with what I should say because a heavy subject like that often makes one search for the right words and tread so carefully they never know what could trigger strong emotions

  2. cjbailee says:

    Thank you Kyle. ANd thank you so much for your email. It meant a lot. Don’t ever worry about what you say. Your message landed exactly as you had intended and I sure appreciated that yesterday. Cheers. CB

  3. I.I. says:

    I want to tell you how brave you are in revealing yourself to the world. I suffered a great deal of physical and psychological abuse from a very young age, and as a young adult felt ever more alienated when a psychologist I tried to speak to looked so traumatised just listening to what was a just a minor event; I apologised to her and walked out half way through the appointment. It amazes me as an adult how blind adults were or wanted to be (for me it was always wearing a cardigan in 40+oC heat among many other things). Like you, I separated my mind (for me it was music). I struggle to fit in anywhere, and my keeping to myself alienates me from ignorant people (mostly women), who instead of offering me friendship, bully and torment me, not knowing anything about me. I’m sure your brave book will bring awareness to people who take so much for granted – even simple things like a hug from a parent to a child and how precious that is when denied to you.

  4. Pingback: How do we start the discussion? Child abuse… « Thoughts From Jas

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