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This is going to be a short diary, because I'm on my way out the door. I arrived safely in Bellefonte last night, and will be attending day one of the trial of Jerry Sandusky today, along with fellow Kossack Roxine.

As a quick recap for those who may have missed this over the weekend- Roxine and I are putting together a book for the victims at the center of this case who are set to testify this week. There are 8 of them in total, ranging in age from 18-32. Through the prosecution team, we will be able to get a copy of the book to each victim directly. Our goal is to have it in their hands before they testify if possible, which is why we are in a bit of a time crunch here.

For more backgruond, read the following diaries:

Tree Climbers: Send a Message to the Penn State Victims (Action Diary)
PLEASE HELP: We Are the 1 in 5-Stand With the Penn State Victims
TREE Climbers: In Judges Chambers with Jerry Sandusky
TREE Climbers: We Stand in Solidarity with the Penn State Victims (ACTION DIARY)

So here is how this works-If you want to have your message seen by the victims before they testify, you need to submit it by 5PM EST today. You can leave it in the comments, or send it to wearetheoneinfive@gmail.com. If that address gives you any trouble, use Roxine@Treeclimbersinc.org Please sign with your real name or initials if possible. If you don't feel comfortable doing that publicly, you can message me privately. Or don't! Whatever you feel comfortable with. I have chosen, along with a few others, to state my name publicly as a show of solidarity with the victims who will be forced to reveal their names in open court.

We will be putting those messages together into a binder which will then be passed on to them, hopefully before they take the stand. However, we have decided to put together something more formal as well. A book that will be professionally bound and personalized for each of the young men. If you would like to write something to include in this volume, we are extending the deadline to June 29th.

The messages we have gotten so far have been amazing! I have done a bit of work on the book, and wanted to give you all a sneak peek at what it looks like so far:

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For Someone Awakening to the Trauma of His or Her Past

For everything under the sun there is a time
This is the season of your awkward harvesting,
When pain takes you where you would rather not go,

Through the white curtain of yesterdays to a place
You had forgotten you knew from the inside out;
And a time when that bitter tree was planted.

That has grown always invisible beside you
And whose branches your awakened hands
Now long to disentangle from your heart.

You are coming to see how your looking often darkened
When you should have felt safe enough to fall toward love,
How deep down your eyes were always owned by something.

That faced them through a dark fester of thorns
Converting whoever came into a further figure of the wrong;
You could only see what touched you as already torn.

Now the act of seeing begins your work of mourning.
And your memory is ready to show you everything,
Having waited all these years for you to return and know.

Only you know where the casket of pain is interred.
You will have to scrape through all the layers of covering.
And according to your readiness, everything will open.

May you be blessed with a wise and compassionate guide
Who can accompany you through the fear and grief
Until your heart has wept its way to your true self.

As your tears fall over that wounded place,
May they wash away your hurt and free your heart.
May your forgiveness still the hunger of the wound.

So that for the first time you can walk away from that place,
Reunited with your banished heart, now healed and freed,
And feel the clear, free air bless your new face.

JO Donahue

'
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I was sexually assaulted when I was 12 years old by a group of boys. It was a small town and I was horribly ostracized and bullied. Somehow...I knew that if they really, really had been through what I had been through, if they truly understood my story they would not say bad things about me. I believed that if they really knew, they would understand.

This thought helped me immensely when I faced people who judged or blamed me. And there were many in our small town. My whole fifth grade class was invited to a party, but the girl told me that I could not come to the party, because her mom told her she had "heard about me" and that her mom didn't want "girls like me at the party". I cried. Felt different. Did my stint trying to make the pain go away. I laughed with them when they made fun of me. I tried drugs, smoking and cussing. I acted tough even though I didn't feel it inside. I didn't set boundaries because I was afraid of the fight. The feeling of losing the struggle was such a big trigger for me, that I would have rather given in. I still have trouble with that feeling today.

I got therapy. I recommend this. I drifted. Picked the wrong husband twice. But I found my purpose. My purpose became helping other survivors. Today I am a very successful counselor. I work with all kinds of folks, not just survivors today, but that was my main expertise in the beginning. Find a purpose. You have one. You must find a way to take this pain and make it into a positive strength. We together must validate the pain of this crime. The secrets, the triggers, the truths. You possess them. Don't fight them, find them and share them. The world needs to know the truth about this crime even as it makes others uncomfortable. Know and be compassionate for their discomfort. I always knew that if I had a choice, I would shut my eyes to the pain of this crime. It is not nobility but my lack of choice that meant that I would accept and be humbled by the pain of this crime. Not that I was better than anyone else. Today I understand why others who haven't been there choose to shut it out. Who wouldn't? If they could.

Those of us, who have been there are there for you today. I thought I was gay. I thought I might become a perp. I thought I would hate men. I struggled with all these types of thoughts. In the end I help men today...and I don't hate them. In the end...I didn't become a perp...men especially worry about this. As long as you accept the pain, and don't suppress it, you will be fine. It's the suppression that creates perps. You don't have to suppress, you have us. It didn't make me gay. I just wasn't born that way. And today, I help many gay kids find support. I could relate a little to that pain because of my fears. I was afraid it would make me sterile. I was afraid I would go to hell. Today I know none of those thoughts turned out to be true. Some do, some don't but most important is not what happened to you but how you choose to deal with it. Choose love. Choose to love yourself the best you can. Eventually we get there. Eventually we find the path of truth and know who we really are in the world. Bad things happen to good people every day. Innocent people. Choose a path that makes a better life for you.

Sending thoughts and prayers your way. We stand together as one voice against this crime.

Katie Jensen Ms LMHP

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You may ask yourself sometimes-"why did this happen to me?" It can be hard to understand why you were singled out. You probably wonder at times if there was something you did to deserve this.
The truth is, you didn't deserve any of this. But it may benefit you to know that you have helped many people around the world by coming forward, in ways you don't even realize.

I am also a survivor of sexual abuse. I was 10 years old when it happened, and I never told anyone for over 17 years. I finally did this past January-after reading about what happened to you. Your case affected me profoundly. I remember watching the coverage of it in the media and thinking about how awful it must have been to go through that. To have to sit there and watch as the most personal and painful details of your abuse was made public, and became part of public debate and discussion. So much of the coverage was around Joe Paterno and the Penn State football program-and in the midst of that, nobody seemed to care about the impact this was having on you.

So I spoke out. I wrote a post on a very popular website, and I told the world-it happened to me too. It happened to me, and it is awful, and it can destroy your life. And as adults, we have to be more responsible when it comes to protecting our children. We cannot allow this to happen again.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, because I was so scared of facing it, and even saying those words out loud. But I thought about the courage it took for all of you to come forward and tell the truth. I thought about the fact that one of you was even bullied out of school for speaking out. And I knew that if you could do it, so could I. So I did.

Since I spoke out, my life has changed. I have joined forces with another sexual abuse survivor named Roxine Behrens. Like me, she found the courage to speak out after reading about your case. Together we have created a nonprofit organization to help other survivors of sexual abuse. We hope that you all are the first among many survivors who we will help through our organization.

And none of this would have ever happened if it weren't for you.

By coming forward, you ensured that this man would not be able to hurt any more children. And you empowered other survivors across the world to find their own voices, and use them to protect other children too. Like a pebble thrown into a lake, your disclosure will have ripple effects for miles and miles. You have saved countless children from suffering your same fate.

Be proud. It is OK to be proud. You survived one of the hardest things a person can live through, and come through the other side. You are an inspiration.

Hold your head high and be strong.

With love and solidarity, always

Rebecca Berry

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How you can help





1. Recommend, republish, and share this diary

I know, I know, it's a bit obnoxious to ask to be recommended, but we really want this to stay visible so that everyone who wants to participate has a chance to do so. Even if you are unable to participate, please recommend and share so that others who would like to submit a message see this on time.

2. Send a message

Leave it in the comments section, or email it to us privately at wearetheoneinfive@gmail.com. All identifying information will be kept confidential. Please see the first diary for ideas on how to make your message more personalized.

One important thing to say to them-"I believe you". The defense team is going to try to impeach their testimony and will be accusing them of making false allegations. As a survivor of sexual abuse myself, I can honestly say that is one of the most hurtful things to be accused of

3. Donate

We estimate this will cost around $300. If you can afford to donate anything, please do so-every little bit counts!

Donate with Paypal
Donate with Credit Card

Please note that if you make a donation of $25 or more you will get one of these bracelets:

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We are giving these bracelets to the victims and their families as well-so it can be one more way that you can show your solidarity and support.

I will be gone most of the day, and will not be able to respond to comments. I will be posting a diary tonight detailing what transpires in the courtroom over the next 8 hours or so. With opening statements and the beginning of the first victims testimony, it is likely to be a very emotional day.

My heartfelt thanks to kishik, 2thanks, Smoh, and all of the others who have helped keep this going in my absence, as well as everyone who has read, shared, and contributed. This community never ceases to amaze me.

Originally posted to TreeClimbers on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 03:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ha! So much for this being a "short" diary (12+ / 0-)

    Off to court, have a great day everyone!

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"- MLK

    by SwedishJewfish on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 03:58:15 AM PDT

  •  dear Kossacks, ONLY REC THIS COMMENT IF YOU (24+ / 0-)

       AGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING:

    [Rebecca will Copy the names of Recommenders to the statement below, as if you have signed this comment. If you recced this yesterday, you do NOT have to rec it again today.]

    Dear Survivors,

    We believe you. Please remember that what happened to you was not your fault. It happened to you without your consent. You are brave for coming forward and speaking the truth. Thank you for your courage.

    Empower your kids to protect themselves! Renee wrote 2 diaries about radKIDS, a national skills-building program.

    by 2thanks on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 04:23:59 AM PDT

    •  I will shepherd this statement and signatures. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spirit Dancer, kishik, kait, glorificus

      I will copy the names, remove duplicates, replace kos names with real names where permitted, and post as a comment.

      Due to Rebecca's travel, the deadline for comments may be extended. We will all wait to hear about that.

      Again, thank you, Kossacks, for allowing use of your real name. We welcome that, but please think about the risks.

      Empower your kids to protect themselves! Renee wrote 2 diaries about radKIDS, a national skills-building program.

      by 2thanks on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 11:29:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  2thanks.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kait, glorificus

        Can they send you a kosmail if they don't want it on the intertubes in public view?

        All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

        by kishik on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 12:04:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Instead of posting to a comment, I will (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kishik, kait, glorificus

          kosmail the final work to Rebecca.

          Though all names that I have on this comment have come from the internet, I will still just send the consolidation to Rebecca. She will add any real names that people have emailed to her.

          Thanks, kishinev. I think this will be better.

          Empower your kids to protect themselves! Renee wrote 2 diaries about radKIDS, a national skills-building program.

          by 2thanks on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 01:03:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  if you are picking up... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tommyfocus2003, kait, glorificus

            More, please don't forget tommyf's poem he put up in the other diary (from yesterday's diary).

            All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

            by kishik on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 01:20:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks kishik (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kishik, kait, glorificus

              I don't want to fall between the cracks.  If I had more time I would write more - some narrative - R & R know me.  I could have something more Friday afternoon.

              The work is so important.

              •  Oh tommy! (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tommyfocus2003, 2thanks, kait, glorificus

                I didn't want to repost it here without your permission!

                It's an incredible poem.  

                Can you post it again here in this diary?

                All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

                by kishik on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 01:54:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is a beautiful poem, tommyfocus2003. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kishik, tommyfocus2003, kait, glorificus

                  No, I am just gathering the sigs for the multi-signature comment I posted of Linda's moving note.

                  (I am assuming the deadline has been set back due to SJF traveling; I am waiting to hear from R or R about the deadline.)

                  Empower your kids to protect themselves! Renee wrote 2 diaries about radKIDS, a national skills-building program.

                  by 2thanks on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 04:09:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You are a Wonder (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kishik, kait, glorificus, 2thanks

                  You are an amazing individual
                  I know
                  Because you and I made it through
                  to the path of Hope and Accomplishment

                  We were in a forest
                  It was dark and frightening at times
                  We thought we were alone
                  That no one remembered us

                  But they did

                  And most of all, we made it through
                  Some of us went through more than one
                  Frightening and difficult time and place
                  But we made it through

                  Some of us escaped once
                  Only to be tripped again
                  But we made it through
                  And so manyu remember us

                  It is becoming brighter
                  You will see
                  My life became better
                  I was able to love and be loved again
                  by others who are wonderful

                  Stay on the path of Hope and Accomplishment

                  You are a wonder

                  thomas
                  Tampa, FL

  •  Your book is beautiful and moving, Rebecca. (12+ / 0-)

    A brief note about the final presentation:

    You probably already thought about this, but ...

    The Survivors must be in some sort of a protective bubble, and someone will have to screen letters before the Survivors read them.

    Therefore I suggest that your final presentation allow pages to be removed by the person who filters letters, so that person does not have to reject the whole book.

    Thank you again, dear Rebecca.

    Empower your kids to protect themselves! Renee wrote 2 diaries about radKIDS, a national skills-building program.

    by 2thanks on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 04:35:33 AM PDT

  •  Beautifully done... (12+ / 0-)

    So far! Thanks for the sneak peek.

    Remember to give yourselves time to recharge.  And places to re-energize the soul and your hearts and minds.

    All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

    by kishik on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:13:39 AM PDT

  •  Rebecca, we are so proud of you and Roxine (14+ / 0-)

    Those young men from Penn State are truly heroes.  But so are both of you.  Thanks for standing up for what is right, for not backing down from adversity, for supporting those who need your help, for refusing to be victims any longer, for making the effort to upend your lives and go to Pennsylvania, for creating a charity that will help countless lives, and through those efforts prevent future children from suffering abuse.

    In short, thanks for being the two strong, amazing women that you are.

    "Safety and security are the result of collective consensus. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear." - Nelson Mandela. Donate to TREE Climbers

    by TX Freethinker on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:30:36 AM PDT

  •  Its amazing to see something so wonderful (12+ / 0-)

    Blossom our of something so terrible and ugly.

    You climbers are amazing people, never forget that.

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:58:49 AM PDT

  •  There can be no shame in speaking truth to power. (7+ / 0-)

    You have done absolutely nothing wrong.  Never be afraid of what the defense attorneys will say in their attempts to "help" their client.  You have the truth on your side.  Stand tall and proud and tell the world what this grown, powerful, popular man did to young boys and how he brought this nightmare upon you.  He is the one who faces the condemnation of the world, not you.  The acts he committed, the pain he inflicted, the perverse mind games he played, all are on him.  You had little or no support all those years ago, but you have it now.  We believe you, and we are going to stop this man and send a message to those of his kind.  No more hiding in the shadows and feeling guilty.  The era of the victims of sexual abuse silently carrying their pain and misplaced shame is over.  Bless you for doing this.  You are a true hero in every sense of the word.

  •  P.S. What's with the Rachel Fail? What happened? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nephew, 2thanks, kishik, JayRaye, weck
  •  Thank you both for being there (8+ / 0-)

    for these victims...and for us.  You are both very strong and very special.

    One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.

    by The Nephew on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:05:43 AM PDT

  •  This is amazing. I'm concerned, though, about (9+ / 0-)

    the composition of the jury. Roxine wrote she was pleased at the judge's actions, but the judge is not the jury.

    It just sounds too likely to be pro-Penn State. I've seen people lie to get on juries for traffic offenses.

    Rebecca and Roxine are doing great, important things, but I'm still concerned.

    I applaud the young men's courage.

    •  I am concerned about that too, Glorificus. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, The Nephew, kishik, weck, kait

      This diary addressed many issues around the jury selection:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      And this comment in that diary by Bud Fields is long but worth reading imho.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Empower your kids to protect themselves! Renee wrote 2 diaries about radKIDS, a national skills-building program.

      by 2thanks on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:33:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But i believe.... (6+ / 0-)

      It lays in the hands of the people in that community to do the right thing.

      If the verdict comes down Guilty, by members of this community, it will have more bearing than on those from the outside if the venue had been changed.

      If it's a blatent whitewashing, you know that there will be an appeal, and then the request for a change of venue will have much more weight and more likely to be granted.  And that will bring on some further reasons why the community around Penn State needs to think exactly what their community represents.  Is blind support worth it?

      Change that comes from within is so much stronger than change that comes from the outside.

      All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

      by kishik on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:06:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is not change. Sandusky may be stopped (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SwedishJewfish

        from further molesting, but he's already committed crimes. Even in small towns people don't know what goes on in other people's houses.

        I'm not much enamored of the idea the "community around Penn State" spends much time thinking of what they represent.

        An appeals trial is more trauma for the witnesses, if they have grounds for the appeal.

        I'd be very happy if a new broom from outside swept the foulness out.

        We'll see.

    •  Same here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, kishik

      Juror Selection

      All you need is one fanatic to decide not guilty to somehow vindicate their hero Paterno.

      Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

      by Mannie on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 02:22:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you forget... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SwedishJewfish

        all you need is one who goes against the tide to dig in their heels and not be whitewashed.

        I heard interesting commentary from a philly lawyer interviewed on NPR.

        oh - and I tend to be someone generally optimistic about things.

        All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

        by kishik on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 04:24:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Personally, I hope (0+ / 0-)

      that every member of that jury is "Pro Penn State". I hope they come garbed in Blue and White. I hope they bring their pom poms. Really, I do. I swear I do.

      Who to better even begin to grasp the reality of the betrayal? Or to feel the depths of it? Who better to somehow transmutate into the children of the silence? No, these members of the jury may not have been orally or anally raped serially by this man. Until now.

      They are his victim, too. And, as each witness against him huddles on the stand, lowering their profiles, clutching their arms to themself, wishing only to retreat back into the anonymity of the silence, let every one of those jury members want just to run to them, and hold them. May it be so! May their tears be those of understanding, of shame for perhaps the first time in their entire lives. May their shock be so real that they act as humans act.

      For then, you see, that is when they will truly understand and appreciate their own culpability in this catastrophe. Then they will make it a personal life decision to seek out these children of the silence BEFORE such ugliness even begins.  They will be the protectors of us all. Even at Penn State. Or Ohio State. Or Florida State. Or the University of Minnesota. Or UCLA. Or even on the street where they live, or under the very roof where they sleep at night.

      And we, the children of the silence may, just may, come to believe that not every adult is a danger, that there is a difference between love and caring, and violent betrayal and manipulation.

      Yes, let them ALL be "pro Penn State". The more "Pro" the better. They will NEVER equal, but they will most certainly begin to approach the necessary understanding of the never-ending nightmare which has had to be the life of the children of the silence.

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 09:45:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dear SWJ and Roxine and Tree Climbers, (7+ / 0-)

    So upsetting to hear the news  quote the defense team on how the victims maybe are all liars, worse they are in a conspiracy. Their names are being made public. Sandusky is the actual victim here.

    Then I wake up this morning and here is another great diary, defending victims.

    The MSM could at least use this trial as time to educate the public on the sexual abuse of children, how silence=power for the abuser. Blaming the victim has the long term effect of increasing future SILENCE. But, no, haven't heard that yet.

    Be strong at the trial. Brave Rebecca and Roxine. To purposefully put yourself in pain in order to support others! Our DKos heroes.

    We love you and support.

    Sending Love and Support,
    JayRaye

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

    by JayRaye on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:40:31 AM PDT

  •  I don't think I've left a message yet (6+ / 0-)

    If I have, I apologize for leaving a second one.

    You are strong. Because of you and your bravery, many will speak out who otherwise would have kept their survival of childhood sexual abuse to themselves, a rotting thing that eats away at the soul. You are the reason many will free themselves of the secret and share it with those who need to know. You are the reason many parents and others who care and can do something will look for telltales of child sexual abuse and protect a child who needs it most. It is your courage that shines a light and disempowers the lies and the shame.

    You have helped many whom you may never know. It takes decades for some of us to tell our stories. It took me forty years to tell my mother. What you do in court will continue to help long after the trial has ended.

    You are strong. You have survived and you will survive. I stand with you.

    River Curtis-Stanley

    Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

    Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

    by Kitsap River on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 04:35:32 PM PDT

  •  UPDATE (6+ / 0-)

    I met all of the attorneys for the victims this morning and they gave me their cards. They are so thankful to receive your messages and can't wait to give it to their clients.

    They also thanked me for our being there today and said they would be sure to let the victims know that we- ALL OF US are standing behind them.

    "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

    by Roxine on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:09:53 PM PDT

  •  I'm back! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, CS in AZ

    I had a terrible awful no good very bad day and I'm drinking wine with Roxine to make it all better :)

    Thanks for all the new messages!

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"- MLK

    by SwedishJewfish on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 08:19:45 PM PDT

  •  Only saw this now, but great job as usual (0+ / 0-)

    tip one for me, eh?
    You and Roxine are truly shedding light into this very dark matter. For which you deserve our thanks and commendations.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:27:16 AM PDT

  •  I have a message to send, please (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SwedishJewfish

    Dear Survivors,

    Never doubt yourselves. For you have taken your pain and used it to reach out to others who are, or who someday could be in terrible pain as well. You are heroes for telling your stories. I believe, respect, and admire you without condition. As the mother of a 13-year old, I just want each and every one of you to realize how brave you are for trying to save another child's life. Thank you so dearly.

  •  missed the chance to tip (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SwedishJewfish

    so please consider this my tip and include my name on this effort.

    Thank you all for your diaries on this trial, I would also like to send some strength to you all across the tubes. Take care of yourselves too!

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 08:06:18 AM PDT

  •  I'm Sorry to be late. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SwedishJewfish, Roxine

    I found this at something after 4 AM this morning. I have been crying ever since. There is so much I would say to these victims, yet the words cannot be written.

    They say that, in combat, soldiers see things, experience things that forever change and affect them. They say there is no worse experience for a human.

    They are wrong, dead wrong. Believe me when I tell you that there are things humans do to one another that make may soldiers wish to return to the battlefield, just to get away from some of those things.

    I have been a child of the shadows, and a child of the silence. I am one now. I will always be one. Triggers? Indeed. No one can ever answer the only question we would really want the answer to, and it is left for us alone to somehow find a way to just move on with the life we are left with.

    I've spent a life trying to be in service to others. That's my therapy. I have always felt that I could reasonably offer a counterweight to the terrors I have known. The shadows still beckon. The silence still screams and thunders. It always will. For me, the question of my life is not "Why? Why me? What did I do?". The question for my life is "What can I do to make it better?"

    If I cannot be larger in my answer than the enormous nature of the question, those like Sandusky will, no matter the circumstance, win.

    I am NOT my circumstance!  My solution has been to try to bring some balance. I like to hope that, even in one or two ways, I have. That is my answer to the question that has no answer. Even the score, help the good guys win. Help those in whose eyes I see the "me". The knowing look, the "face". Yes, it is real.

    I did not choose to BE the victim. But I certainly can choose to REMAIN the victim. For us, you see, it is really not about justice, or (in most cases, anyway) retribution. It is about survival. It is about somehow carving out of the morass of confusion, a life of purpose.

    Yes, there are many, many places worse than the battlefield. There are many sounds much more terrifying than an exploding bomb. I have been there. I have seen them. I have heard them.

    If we do not acknowledge our own nature, we will forever remain the victims. I cannot somehow resign my membership as a child of the shadows, a child of the silence.

    But I can make it damnably difficult for anyone to ever seriously believe that they have some right to force even one more into the club. I do that. It's my way. It is what I can do to help bring some balance into the shadows, and some voice to the silence.

    What choices will each of YOU make? What contributions will YOU make? The battle never ceases, and the warfare is relentless. There are much worse places, after all. You have been there, and may be there still.

    You are not now, nor have you really ever been alone. You, and maybe even I, CAN make a difference. Because you see, the truth is that we are ALL children of the shadows, children of the Silence. But, I have discovered what I think is some pretty incredibly, and awesome news.

    We are, every one of us, children of the Sunrise. It is we, and we alone who have the right to bring light into the shadows. It is we alone who have the right to bring sound to the silence. What we have felt and seen as something which has made us less, or less worthy, is in fact the cruel and necessary learning required to be the light and sound of tomorrow's children.

    Let's do that. That will be enough.

    Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
    Economic
    Left/Right: -7.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

    by Bud Fields on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 10:24:59 AM PDT

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