Today was the launch of my website. It was a great accomplishment for me. Not only did it give all of you a little history and background about my life and my upcoming book, but I hope it also gave you some insight and hope for your own situation.
I’d like to start by saying a heartfelt thank you for all the messages, emails and texts I’ve received from all of you wonderful and supportive people. Most telling me how brave and courageous I am for sharing my story. Some asked why and how? Well, the answer to why is simple: I want others to know they are not alone. I want others to know that I've been where they are. I've been hopeless and suicidal. I felt that I wasn't living. I know what it's like to be trapped and not know if you're just going crazy or it's all in your head. I want others to know that if you are a victim of emotional abuse and revenge porn, I know what it feels like, to feel your life is over, completely destroyed, and you don’t know where to turn. This is the most important reason I knew I needed to speak out.
Once you become a victim of emotional abuse and revenge porn it’s true that your life will never be the same, but I learned firsthand that you are the one who has a choice to make it better. You start by speaking out. Being the only parent to my 5-year-old son, knowing that someday these barbaric acts of cruelty would somehow be seen by him, I knew I had to do something. It's not even about you anymore, you start panicking about how to protect your child from abuse and slander about his mother.
I knew I wanted to be the mother that my son would be proud of. He will know that his mother stood up for herself, and helped others. I don't take shit from anyone! People can't just throw your naked images on the Internet and write the worst things about you and try to destroy your life and you do nothing about it. People need to be held accountable, and that is why I’m working with my attorney and New York State senators to strengthen the laws against these abusers and get the message out: You can't just try to ruin someone's life because you're angry and vengeful. You just can't!
I was also asked how? How did I find the strength to speak out? Well, that's super easy. My son! He is my light. He saved me from taking my own life. I was silenced for so long and all it did was bring me closer to death and he didn’t deserve that. He is the reason I am who I am today. The only good thing that came from my relationship with his father is that my son was born.
Even though there are still some images of me on the Internet, and some terrible slanderous posts, I could no longer let it break me. Speaking out gave me strength I did not know I had. It had gotten to the point that I was barely living and meeting people because I was afraid to give them my name. Now when I do meet someone new, I am very straightforward and tell them a little bit about what I’m going through, so that it’s not a shock to them when they look for it—because they do. It’s just human nature. If they want to judge you based on the lies online, then let them. You don’t need them in your life. Simple as that! I have dropped people from my life because I no longer have room for the gossipers and fake friends.
As I continue to tell my story, the how and the why work together. My son will know his mother was a fighter, a mother who didn't let people get away with hurting either of us. His father walked away from him when he was 3, and that was an unforgettable hurt he had to live with. I was never going to allow him to be hurt like that again if I could do something to prevent it.
I have a passion, the passion to help those who feel they aren't as strong as me, the passion to help those wanting to hurt themselves to turn their lives around. It has become a very big part of my life to advocate and speak out, not just for me, not just for my son, but for all of us. My son deserves the very best in life and I was not going to let some vengeful asshole ruin that by using the Internet to destroy my whole life. Nope, not me, and no, I am not sorry!