As I spend the summer speaking around the country about My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints, I am constantly humbled to see the courage of people who, after being silent for years, gain the courage to speak publicly about being a victim of childhood sexual abuse. By their witness, they encourage others, showing them they are not alone.
Now Michael Barrick has joined the ranks of witnesses. A Christian author and blogger, Barrick had recently reviewed My Peace I Give You. Yesterday, he revealed on his blog that the book stirred up deeper emotions in him than he was initially willing to admit:
In short, I read much of it through tears. While Dawn’s accounts of the abuse she suffered are compelling, that isn’t why I was crying. The tears came because memories of the sexual abuse I was subjected to when I was a child came flooding back. The tears, by the way, were far beyond my control. Many times I had to get up and walk or even take a fairly long hike.The experience moved him to open up to his wife about what he had suffered:
"Good God," I found myself saying, "That was 50 years ago. I can't remember all that, and I can't remember the reasons I stayed silent." Yet, individual moments remain very vivid.Do read Barrick's entire post; it is intense, but ultimately inspiring. He concludes that the most important first step to healing for victims of childhood sexual abuse is to tell the truth—meaning to stop repressing painful memories, and instead reveal your pain to someone you trust. I couldn't agree more. May Barrick inspire other wounded souls to follow his lead.