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Ever since I joined Daily Kos, I have been amazed at the outpouring of support.  Not only by the tips and recs Tree Climbers receive, but also the support Rebecca and I have received offline through the generosity of so many of you.

And while I won't name individuals in this diary, I wanted to take a moment to share with the rest of you exactly how powerful this community is.

The kossack who volunteered to help found this group - Tree Climbers - and the other kossack's who tend to it every day, creating templates, republishing diaries, commenting on every person's story - bearing witness for all Tree Climbers who are slowly finding their voices...

The kossack who offered assistance drafting legal documents, reviewing budgets, and providing overall general help offline as well as on...

The kossack who already has made a HUGE impact on Tree Climbers - both by sharing their story as well as opening their wallet... showing through both word and deed that they are behind this 100%...

The kossack who, after posting about her own personal trials and tribulations, volunteers their time to research on behalf of Tree Climbers...

The kossack who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our venture and who volunteers to share this with us...

The kossacks who sign up on a daily basis, some ready to share their stories, others just to bear witness to those who can...

And to the lurker kossack who just picked up the phone - when I randomly called an organization 2000 miles away for information and said "Tree Climbers?  I think I've heard of that - WAIT...are you on....DKOS??"

Each and every one of you have made an impact on me.  And I feel comfortable speaking for Rebecca as well - without you guys, we wouldn't be doing what we're doing.

And I sincerely thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your unwavering support.  

In less than a week, Rebecca (SwedishJewfish) and I are going to unveil what we have been working on, behind the scenes, for the past 3 months. Both of us have lived for most of our lives carrying the shame and guilt of our childhood sexual abuse.  Viewing it as something painful and horrible, and something we just had to "get over."

An excerpt from a poem I'm working on...

The silent tears that no one hears
Innocence ripped apart
You stole my childhood in front of eyes that looked away...
But there is no "getting over" having your childhood stolen from you. There is no "getting over" that kind of betrayal. Trauma of this magnitude stays with you. It is impossible to simply forget.

One of the most isolating things about sexual abuse is feeling like you can't talk about it.  It makes people too "uncomfortable."  And there is no safe place, no forum, no platform to really talk about your experiences - with people who truly understand. We fear being judged; we feel guilty about forcing the outside world to experience what we have lived through; and we are embarassed that we had to live through it.

But here at Daily Kos we've found a place where we are allowed to speak the "unspeakable." This community provides a safe place where we have found the ability to use our voices, to tell our stories without judgement or fear.  The first step in the recovery process is TELL -.  It is also the first branch of our TREE...

Today my heart is singing.


MATTHEW WILDER
"Break My Stride"
(Matthew Wilder, Greg Prestopino)

Last night I had the strangest dream
I sailed away to China
In a little row boat to find ya
And you said you had to get your laundry cleaned
Didn't want no-one to hold you
What does that mean
And you said

Ain't nothin' gonna to break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on movin'
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin'

You're on a roll and now you pray it lasts
The road behind was rocky
But now you're feeling cocky
You look at me and you see your past
Is that the reason why you're runnin' so fast
And she said

Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on moving
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on moving

Never let another girl like you, work me over
Never let another girl like you, drag me under
If I meet another girl like you, I will tell her
Never want another girl like you, have to say
Ooooooh
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Oh-no, oh-no, I got to keep on moving
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch the ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin'

Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Oh-no, oh-no, I got to keep on moving
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch the ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin'

Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Oh-no, I got to keep on moving
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch the ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin'

Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Oh-no, oh-no, I got to keep on moving

Originally posted to Roxine on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS and TreeClimbers.

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