Many of our survivors want to share their experiences and triumphs. Operation Care is happy to share letters and poetry provided by survivors who have come to us for help. Click on the titles to read each submission. If you would like to share a story of your own, please contact us or call (209) 223-2897.
Courage & HopeMy teenage son and I arrived at Operation Care scared, shaken and embarrassed. Our home was no longer a safe place. I tried to make my marriage work. For years, I thought it must be my fault. If only I was smarter, I would know what sigh or word not to utter. Maybe then there would be less yelling. If only I was faster, I could clean the house and cook each meal on time. Maybe then there would be fewer complaints. If only I could remember that whatever I do, think, or decide, will be wrong, maybe then there would be some peace in the house. If only I could obey without question, there would be less anger. If only I was dead, I would not upset anyone anymore, but then my son would face the madness alone. I must stay alive for him. | Each time the police were called to take me away, they left me at home with an Operation Care leaflet. All the officers urged me to call and get some help. Their eyes spoke the words they are not allowed to say. Yet I stayed, hoping to make things better, ashamed of what had become of me, scared to take the leap. Troubles only got worse. Now the physical violence was returning with added verbal abuse, berating and mocking insults about me and my family, including my dead parents. | One morning, while the yelling, taunting and mocking of my deceased Mother was happening again, the world went silent. I stood, turned around to face the madness and roared “Shut-up.” Such a bold proclamation went beyond the point of return. It will never be forgiven or forgotten. Again the police were called to take me away. Lies were told, but the police were not fooled. Again they gave me an Operation Care leaflet and suggested my son and I leave the hostile place we call home for a few days. We took refuge in a rustic clapboard cabin, a wooden box big enough for two wood bunks and a chair. My son deserved better. I swallowed what pride I had left and went to Operation Care. I am a 57-year old man. I expected no sympathy for me, but maybe for my son. The Angels at Operation Care treated me with warmth, respect, and care. They listened with an open mind and would not allow me to be embarrassed. They lifted my shame and restored my dignity with compassion and understanding. Each and every Angel gave me a warm smile. They all care about us. With wise guidance, they gave me strength and direction. Always ready to listen, the Angels cheer our highs and soothe our lows. They encourage our path to progress and know what we cannot think of. | Thanks to the Angels at Operation Care, I am no longer a broken man. Their tenderness, sympathy and care lifted our despair, gave us hope, confidence and self-worth. While house hunting, the Angels at Operation Care provided shelter with motel rooms, food, gas, and direction. They listen, care and act. Their tireless efforts continue with their Fresh Start program. Although I may not feel worthy, they helped us get a home by paying for the move in costs. They filled the home with food, cookware, kitchen items, towels, and more. They even paid the deposit for our propane service. My son and I have a warm home now. | The future is bright and hopeful. People do care and understand. Thank you Operation Care. The glow of each Angel’s Halo casts light upon the darkness of despair, guiding us back to a colorful world filled with warmth, hope and love. Operation Care and it’s Angels have my eternal gratitude. | Printed with permission of the author.
A Poem by SamanthaBroken Love… Teardrops fall From black and blue eyes|Some nights I just lay here and cry.| When you say I love you,| Then throw me away |All I can do is think of yesterday.| We used to be perfect, Hugs and kisses galore | But to you it all became a bore.| How could you do this I loved you so much, |But in the end I flinched at your touch.| You would hit me, And I would cry | Sometimes wishing that I could die. | My friends would warn me, But I couldn’t see. | The only thing you wanted to do Was destroy me!
Letter - By AnonymousLetter from Undisclosed Client I just wanted to say to each and every one of you that I have met . . . thank you from the bottom of my heart for the time and energy, the understanding and consideration that you have shown us. It has made such a positive impact on our lives. Everything that has been said and done will never go unforgotten. Joan, thank you again, you are such a wonderful person, and I am so glad we have met. Until we meet again, take care. XOXO p.s. And from the words of my daughter . . . Peace Out!
Driven by Pain - By CrystalDRIVEN BY PAIN Pain always brought rain, | Shame always left me with nothing to gain, | But, as I stand and face my fears, | Of being left with pain and shame, | I find I’m no longer standing behind my peers with pain, | I stand beside them driven by courage to excel beyond, | Today, I trust the rain to help the soils of yesterday, | To blossom my tomorrow
Healing - By RascalHEALING What do you see When you see Yourself? | Do you see a Friend You know all About? | Can you say Hi and I love you Without a care Of what might Come from the Person You have become? | What do you Risk if you Let her speak? | Will a secret Come out You have tried So hard to Keep? | Don’t worry, it’s ok You can let that Person come out To play. | Nobody will ever Again make you think There will be A price to pay!
A Note from Candy - by CandyI just want to write a few words for anyone reading this. My name is Candy. When I was 9 years old I was molested not only once but many times over many years. Today I am 38 years old and a survivor of molest. I just want you to know, if your reading this, and you’ve been molested you’re a survivor too.
Reaza – by ReneeI was a lost child for so many years, with so much destruction inside. I loved my family so very much not to ever know or think that one day I would be a victim of my father. Not knowing or really ever understanding at 12 years old. I was watched while I took showers. I was watched as I dressed and undressed. I was touched in places I didn’t like, although, I loved him so much. It continued and continued. I paid a price a price deep within. I buried my secrets, pain, confusion, and distrust for so long. Now I am 33 years old and I want to make it clear: IT WASN’T MY FAULT. I know this now after 21 years. Why did I wait so long???? I don’t have to wait anymore. I’ve found that child that was lost. She knows she won’t be hurt and she has someone who can hold and love her. That child is me.
I Survived – by JonnivThe molest began at age 5 until I was 12 years of age. He was a member of the family, who molested me. Thanks to the Adults Molested As A Child class and some counseling I got over the hump. With help you can get thru the pain too.
I Survived – by RubyBeing a molest survivor is one of the hardest issues I have had to deal with. I was able to deal with the pain, but the betrayal was the hardest for me. In the years that I had to keep my secret, I was a mess. Like most molest survivors I too turned to men, drugs and alcohol. I didn’t put the two together. I never used the incest/molest as an excuse. I just thought I was this bad person that everyone portrayed me to be. I never thought that my actions would bring me to prison. But today here I sit. The Adults Molested As Children (AMAC) support group has taught me to let Go of the shame and the guilt. I have learned to love myself as a person. therefore, I could love another person. I have learned to trust again, which was very hard for me. Everyday I get stronger in my healing. I now know I have no reason for being ashamed or anything to feel guilty about. I was a child who had no knowledge of what was going on. So, therefore, it was not my fault. Now, today, I am a woman with knowledge. The knowled to know that I am a good person, and I can love again. I feel stronger as a woman. I know I don’t have to let my past bring me down. My life living the nightmare is over. Now I am able to live my life with just the memory that has made me the loving, trusting woman that I am today.
Vicki – by VickiOh how so many of us suffer behind this silent betrayal. So many turn on you saying: ‘You could have stopped it!’ ‘You deserved it!’ ‘You need to be touched!’ ‘Keep it to yourself!’ On and on… | My cousin Kimberly was just 13 years old in 1979, a happy go lucky child. Big brown eyes. Always smiling and singing… But Kimmies’ luck ran out. When a man who’s in prison chose to rape her, he took her innocence, killed her by snapping her neck, and burned her. He poured gasoline all over her body and his apartment. And lit her on fire. | ‘CLOSED CASKET’ Never to see Kimmie again. Her life gone, and the man alive fighting for his freedom. Can he really see the anger and pain he caused my Aunt? She’s locked in her own prison as she couldn’t protect her youngest child. She’s lost in alcohol and depression. And I’m sure guilt as the whole family seems to feel because we couldn’t save Kimmie. | When you sexually assault someone – You also hurt and destroy everyone in the family, as well as close friends. You cause grief and depression and you actually rape the whole entire family, as well as kill them. You took something that definitely wasn’t yours to take!!! And you scar many victims that will take it to their grave. | Wake up world! It’s NO SECRET you have been sexually assaulted and its not your fault!!! ‘Heal by speaking out. Don’t’ keep it in the closet! Don’t bury it! Open up and force the abuser’s to stop. And save yourselves and others so they won’t be as unlucky as our precious kids like my cousin Kimmie and many, many others.
All in the Past – by CharityIt’s always there-always lingering | You think, ‘Everything’s okay now.’ | ‘None of that matters anymore.’ | ‘It’s all in the past. Nobody even has to know.’ | But it’s part of your life – part of you. | And you want to let people know you. Know about you. | But you’re afraid to let them know. | You’re afraid of what they’ll say. Afraid of being hurt. | ‘What would they do if they knew?’ | ‘What could they do?’ | ‘They wouldn’t want to help!’ | ‘Would they want to help?’ | ‘What if they knew?’ | You’re happy now – on top of the world! | But you keep falling back. | One day, somebody asks, | And you want to tell them. | But that’s not what they want to hear. | They want to hear that I’m okay – that I’ve always been okay! | I’m not – I wasn’t. | ‘It’s all in the past!,’ you say. | But it’s here – now.
Point Last Seen – by HannahThis is a story of triumph! Hannah lived as a battered wife for seven years. Eventually, she took her two children and ran. Her abuser continued to stalk her and, even took the children in an attempt to control her. During this time, Hannah found work with the National Park Service, as a search and rescue tracker. Using the skills of survival she acquired as a battered wife, she successfully located many lost persons. This is a story of courage and survival, taking you on her personal journey toward independence and self-reliance. She demonstrates the acute powers of observation that have helped her and her children survive. Point Last Seen is a memoir worth reading.