So many people have asked how I overcame all the obstacles I’ve had to face over my lifetime. My response is two simple words:

I told.

When I was 12, I knew I could no longer live my life in silence and revealed to my mother that I had been abused for six years. This confession was the first of many acts I would have to perform in order to keep rising.

I wrote my memoir Who’s Protecting Me? because I decided, again, it was time to tell.

This time, I wanted to reach the hearts of women who have survived sexual abuse, domestic violence, homelessness and hopelessness and reaffirm their divine right to the better lives they deserve. I needed to speak to the scores of men and women who have not yet learned the power of forgiveness and self-love.

When I thought of how much I had overcome in order to be my true self, I knew my children needed to know the path I took to become their mother. My own mother needed to know how the courage of facing the truth had transformed us all.

My story is not at all unique. Countless children, men and women have navigated the pain of sexual abuse while achieving great success in their lives. Many are highly accomplished survivors because they have to be.

Others are not as fortunate. They live and re-live the trauma of their abuse or unfortunate circumstances daily and never quite master resilience. They are stuck in dead-end jobs and fruitless relationships. Their daily battle is to get up and keep going. Even though their bodies appear to have risen from darkness and resumed respectable lives, they are often still in mere survival mode. Their hearts, minds and spirits have not yet learned to leave pain and limitations behind.

It is my hope that Who’s Protecting Me? inspires every reader to heal, to use pain and misfortune as a fuel to build resilient lives!

This is the story of how my own resilience began.