If you have experienced sexual assault at any time in your life, I am here to tell you: You can shine again, without shame. As an overcomer of incest, I have been on a decades-long Hero’s Journey and have reclaimed my authentic, powerful voice and choice. I am now committed to helping others do the same.
My Hero’s Journey began in 1991, as I was entering my junior year at the University of Washington. I was twenty, and as I stood in the center of my family’s living room, my voice trembling, I said to my dad, “You sexually abused me as a child.”
“I didn’t do that,” he said, staring at me from the white wicker love seat.
I lost my family that day. By August, I was in therapy, scared to face the reality of my sexual abuse at the hands of someone meant to protect me, but even more terrified to live the rest of my life in a prison of shame and self-hatred.
As I fully immersed myself in my recovery, two intentions formed within me, gifts of grace for the journey that would lead to Parillume:
1. I will be whole. No matter what I have to do, no matter how long it takes, I will be free from my perpetrator’s shadow.
2. Once I’m free, I will bring others into the light of healing with me.
Over the following two decades, I gained more and more freedom through various healing resources – some spiritual, some emotional, and finally, some physical. I became a mother, home schooler, non-profit founder, and business owner. I grew and grew until one day I had an experience unlike any before it…
~ The Origins of Parillume ~
It was my last EMDR session in the fall of 2011 and I saw myself…
Huge. I was bigger than life, and certainly bigger than my perpetrators. I stood outside my family home and lifted the roof. I knew my dad had something of mine in his closet, and I was there to get it back. I reached in and pulled out a small gray box.
Lifting the lid, I found a beautiful, large, white, sparkling diamond. It was me: the true me, a treasure hidden from my awareness, stolen by my perpetrator. I reached in to the closet again and gathered hundreds more like it, gray boxes with glorious diamonds inside, each belonging to someone just like me.
Then, suddenly, I found myself in a wheat field, with the gray boxes strewn about me. As the sky grew dark, a soft wind, like the breath of God, gently lifted each lid. Clusters of stars appeared above me in the sky, but in each cluster there were a few empty, black holes. Then each diamond floated from its box into the sky and found an empty space to fill, clicked into place, and began to shine as a star. Those new stars lit the wheat field with their brilliance.
~ Free to Shine!℠ ~
I wrote that experience down and titled it “Hidden Treasures,” knowing it held the key to my life’s calling and the purpose for my pain. I filed it away for a few years until, after my divorce and with my only child about to leave for college, I knew it was time to tell my story and create a beautiful space for others to tell theirs and to shine in their lives. It was treasure-hunting time!
And so Parillume began.
My mission is to provide a lit path, with practical tools and a supportive community, to transform survivors into thrivers in the aftermath of sexual violation. My vision is that, as we shine together, we will transform the national conversation about sexual violation from shame and silence to heroism and fierce hope.
My work is to help you seek the rewards for your Hero’s Journey. As a Freedom Facilitator℠, I awaken access to the original designs, dreams, desires and delights of my clients by understanding the unique challenges and opportunities facing the overcomer of sexual violation. This work yields great rewards: the capacity to be fully expressed with the exuberance and joy of a child and the effectiveness of an adult, without the inhibiting label of “survivor” or the fear of exposure. I do this through my Free to Shine!℠ Facilitation Program.
From wherever you are, from whatever has happened in your past, I invite you to begin or continue your Hero’s Journey. You are a treasure and deserve to SHINE from the inside out! Will you join me today?
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