It has been nearly two months since #Stargazing2013.
I wore my Joanie dress. That’s what I love to call the green dress that I feel channels Joanie’s style from Mad Men.
The room was filled with family, friends and even a few strangers. I was nervous. I nearly lost my temper looking for my other earring. Emotions were running a little high.
Don’t worry. I founded it and kept my cool.
Once I arrived, warmth, love, hope and encouragement seemed to be hanging from the ceiling. It tinkled like crystal chandeliers and inspired hugs that rose out of the ground and up through entire bodies.
I told my story. I cried. I even got that verklempt voice. You know the one that sounds like a duck. I kept it together. Breathed. Paused. Continued.
It was not easy but it wasn’t terribly difficult either. Love is a funny thing that way. It inches stepping stones closer together and opens bolted doors to meadows filled with fireflies.
I shared my big and scary dream.
I started an organization that aims to –
Honor the bravery of children who have survived sexual trauma with a community invested in the healing of their whole being.
It’s called The Firecracker Foundation.
I want to make sure that children who survive what I did, have the love, therapy and support they need to have a healthy and happy future. I think our community should be invested in their healing.
I know that we should not leave them behind to fend for themselves.
I asked everyone who attended #Stargazing2013 to join our community. I told them – you belong with us.
Offerings of gifts I do not own.
And then we set some stuff on fire.
Sparks flew. The fire launched and it seems to be heading for a steady blaze.
Just a few days after the event, Louise Knott Ahern told my story in the Lansing State Journal and then it was picked up by the Detroit Free Press.
Thirteen men and women volunteered to share their stories and images in a calendar project that will be sold as a fundraiser. Their vision turned art photography will impact the hearts of fellow survivors and gift others a deeper understanding of what it means to have to live with the consequences of sexual trauma.
Yoga studios around town are offering donation based classes to fund yoga classes for trauma survivors. The first one was yesterday and you can view a full schedule here.
My board of directors is training, strategic planning and committee building. Grants are being researched and programs are being built with the honor of our youngest survivors in mind.
And how do I feel?
It’s taken me a few exhausted days of stumbling about to figure that out.
I am proud.
I am proud and deeply in love with what is happening around me.
I am proud, in love and filled with so much gratitude, I can hardly contain it.
And, if I were being completely honest, I would admit that I’m a little frightened.
A good healthy fear never hurt anyone. I’ve heard that pride goes before a fall but perhaps if it’s tempered with crashing waves of gratitude, I’ll be able navigate this sea without too many shipwrecks.
Most of all – more than anything – I feel…
Over heartache and rage
Come set us free
Over panic and strange
I want the whole damn world to come and dance with me.
Dancing so hard,