I have a very vivid memory of going to see Annie [as a young child]. I remember crying after it was over, because I didn’t want it to end and I knew that was what I wanted to do.
I had stuff to overcome. I was molested in my own home. You know, when you don’t feel safe in your own home, it’s a very hard place to live. It definitely made me turn to food.
I got progressively heavier and heavier. I was self-conscious about my body, but thank goodness I could switch it off and kind of perform. Thank goodness I had gotten a phone call for an audition for the movie Hairspray [at age 18].
Ricki Lake on Dancing with the Stars, November 15, 2011.
As a survivor of childhood abuse myself, I know the strength it takes to try and silence the voices in your head and heart that haunt you long after you’ve broken free. It’s not an easy thing to do, and just when you think you’ve buried those demons, they come back for you with a vengeance.
It takes a lot of strength and courage to trust a stranger when you’ve been harmed by the very people who were supposed to protect you. But the one thing I’ve learned is it can be done. That all of us are worthy and that we matter.
~ Sherrilyn Kenyon, author.
Of course, I never actually “forgot” that I’d been abused, but I avoided acknowledging it most of my adult life. Instead, I’d try to minimize it in my mind. Even some of my closet friends were confused by the fact that I came from such a good home and yet was subject to such fits of melancholy. Why was I struggling on a daily basis with my identity? Why was I subject to sudden panic attacks and debilitating depression? Eventually, I came to understand that a child who has been abused sexually is in every sense robbed of his or her identity.
Peggy Lipton, breathing out, (p. 37).