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I met Becky last May 2016 at a woman's retreat on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Needless to say, we had much in common to share with each other. I was so impressed with her vulnerability in sharing her story. She is a true inspiration. A woman who has given us our voices back. A woman who has compassion and understanding of others and the bravery to stand up and be heard.

When Becky asked if I would consider being part of this project I whole heartedly said "yes!". I've always been quite open speaking about my past on a "one on one" basis with people I trusted. I thought I was good with sharing my story. I had done it enough times . . . just not publicly. I always spoken of it as a matter of fact, like I was never impacted emotionally by these events that shaped my life.

As the reality became closer of the video being posted and the book being launched was when I truly had to start facing my "shame". To accept being "seen". I was lamenting to my husband the other night "what have I done?! . . . everyone can see this now . . . it's on social media . . . it's in a book."

His reply? Karen, you must tell your story. It is your obligation to women. It is the truth and you've done nothing wrong."

Thanks to Becky I'm actually facing this and allowing myself to be vulnerable. I am learning there is strength in vulnerability. I applaud all the women out there who are vulnerable and fearless in telling their stories. This is the way awareness and change happens. Thank you Becky Norwood for giving us the platform for our voices. xoxoxox

For the first time I've been facing sharing my past with white knuckle fear. What will people think? What will people say? People who I don't even know, will know some of the darkest parts of my life. This is such a place of vulnerability. This is the first time I've really had to face this rather than continuing to ignore it.

Karen Mason
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I was raised in a domestic violence home. I am a survivor of incest and sibling abuse.

I am in recovery for alcohol and drug addiction. I take medication for PTSD, depression and anxiety. I have gone through all the pain of my past and it no longer haunts me. I share my experience, strength and hope with others.

I have written a book of poems about the abuse. I am a volunteer advocate at Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault home.

Hope and healing are possible. It takes a lot of hard work that's leads to an amazing journey

Local shelters, mental health facilities. Emergency phone numbers, AA, books and other resources.

Terri Lanahan
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As I read this book I found myself thinking, "what I've been through is nothing compared to this! My own story could not be as inspirational." But Becky does an amazing job of reaching all survivors of any kind of abuse. I quickly saw that even though each of our journeys may have different events along the way, the struggles - and triumphs - are the same. This book is packed with so many gems that inspire me to fly even higher than I ever dared dream. Thank you, Becky, for your courage to be vulnerable in front of the world and for your generosity of spirit in sharing this beautiful story of choosing love over fear.

Siobahn Sackey
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I was raised in what everyone thought was a "normal" middle class home. No one knew what happened in the privacy of our house. My father was full of rage and my mother was an enabler of that rage. It took me years to put the pieces together and become happy and healthy and free of self-doubt and self-recrimination.

I am out on the other side of it. But I'm always a work in progress. I still have some fears to conquer, but not nearly as many as I've already done away with!

Write my book so that I didn't have to keep the secrets anymore.

Be patient with yourself. It takes time to be kind to yourself.

Read, research, find a support group, find a great therapist.

ROBERTA BROWN
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Thank you Becky Norwood, for your bravery in sharing your story with the world. Although these abuses are ugly and horrific, they need to be uncovered to prevent them from happening to and hurting someone else.

Your honesty and the real way you give words to your feelings is not only brave but it is a testament to what an angel on Earth you are. These stories must continue to be shared in order for the millions of other victims of sexual abuse to feel safe to share their own. It is only in this way that we can continue to help others heal their own pain that they can thrive themselves and be women they love.

Thanks are not enough.

Janet Bentley
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My story was my first love. I would do anything for him and he knew it. He was handsome, charming, manipulative and controlling. He destroyed my self confidence, demeaned me as often as possible and demanded perfection from me all without me realizing it was happening. He broke my heart daily and yet had me so dependent that I would apologize for being weak. It was rarely physical but the abuse was constant.

I am still in the early stages of recovery, but I am using my story to reach out and let others know they are not alone.

Writing Survivor. By sharing this book, fictionalized as it is, I have admitted what happened to me and allowed those I hid it from to peek behind the curtain to see the scars.

It will be painful and difficult. You will want to run and hide. It is ok to feel that way. It is ok to hurt and to admit some days it is just too hard. Just don't bury it. The pain might hide but it is not gone. Acknowledge it and ask for help. There are so many willing to walk along beside you.

Counselling and shelters are incredible. I have worked with a couple shelters in Vegas. Both the Safe Nest and my personal charity The Shade Tree are amazing. Reach out and find ones in your area. Also hotlines and groups on social media. I have met so many people that truly understood what I had been through once I took the chance to admit it. They cane forward and have been an incredible support system.

Renee Jean (Mitchell)
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I am a survivor of childhood domestic abuse, sibling abuse, and childhood sexual abuse.

I am no longer traumatized by my past.

Dealing with all the pain of my past and getting sober.

There is hope and there is help. Recovery is possible

Reach out for help using hotlines, shelters, churches, and mental health service

Terri Lanahan
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For a little more than a decade I was sexually abused by family members who I adored and looked up to as my protectors.

I acknowledge that I am a survivor and have learned to forgive those who have abused me. I needed to learn how to forgive so that I could grow on in my healing to help others go & grow through their healing.

I now mentor and assist other abused children & adults. I also wrote my 1st novel about my abuse.

Know that what ever the type of abuse one has encountered, that the victim is not at fault and must first learn to forgive themselves and ultimately forgive their abuser, so that the victim can grow on through their lives.

RAINN- RAPE ABUSE INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK

Michele D. Croswell
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I give The Woman I Love five stars!

Becky Norwood is a brave woman to tell her story. She is even more brave to gather 31 other women to tell their story in her latest book "We Choose to Thrive."

I am proud to be included in the 31 women that tell their stories in Becky Norwood's book. I know that certain situations trigger me, I can only imagine how Becky feels listening to all of the particulars of our individual nightmares. But, the silver lining is that we all chose to thrive. We all chose to tell our stories to help others overcome their difficult pasts, or even their current circumstances. We stand together, we stand strong, and we offer ourselves as examples of survival.

Thank you, Becky, for giving us the opportunity to be of service to others.

Roberta Brown
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I just finished Becky Norwood's book, The Woman I Love, last night. What a story and what an inspiration.

I met Becky at a women's business event last year and was quite taken by her presence. I had no idea about the challenges and horrible experiences she had endured. Bringing her story to print shines a light on the "taboo" topic of sexual abuse (and other forms), thus bringing out the awareness and change that is much needed.

Becky encourages those who have suffered in silence to speak up and heal and she supports them in the process. Though a very difficult topic to write about, Becky shares her story with grace and power as well as with love. Beautifully written, heart-felt and vulnerable sharing .... a must read for anyone who has experienced abuse, those who have witnessed abuse, and those whose loved ones have experienced abuse. Thank you for being the change for so many women and children, and men.

Wendy Foster
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