If you read my earlier post "The Process of Going Public" you know that a local Chicago Sun-Times publication, the Oak Leaves, did a story on my efforts to help survivors of sexual abuse through my organization "R U PHIL?" This is the continuation of that post. I suspect there will be many of these "Going Public" posts to come.
The article came out last week (posted below). A week or so later than anticipated which gave me extra time to 'twist in the wind' and wonder what response I would get to the article. As I mentioned in the first post I felt vulnerable and naked in revealing my story to a perfect stranger who planned to write it down and put it in a place for the world to see.
When I saw the article online I felt tension and anxiety in my stomach. The same tension and anxiety I felt when I was 'twisting in the wind' only 10 times stronger. I literally stopped breathing when I saw my picture when I was scrolling through the Oak Leaves' website. My face has been in the paper many times in my life but it was all sports related not about the my real story or my whole story. Reading the article was uncomfortable but I made it through it. I thought it was well written.
I posted it to the R U PHIL social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook but I was hesitant to post it to my own personal Facebook page. My personal Facebook page would be the quickest way to alert people to the story and a one-time announcement to friends about my story and what I was doing. If they wanted to follow the story and R U PHIL they could do so by going and 'liking' the R U PHIL page.
What a tremendous response from friends and people that I don't even know! The story from the paper was copied, tagged, liked (and all the other social media terms) many times by people. People have reached out and told me their stories which is what I want. I hope that my speaking out will help other speak out, get help if they need it and stop any cycles of abuse that may be happening in their families or communities. I am touched and feel empowered by all the responses.
I even had one friend call me and ask, "Are you sure you want to be out there like that? Are you ready for the fishbowl? Have you thought about the dark side?"
Yes, yes and yes are the answers to that question. If my willingness to be uncomfortable and transparent with the world will help others then I am willing.
Great things aren't accomplished without great sacrifice! Somebody said it. I believe it!
That's All I Got!