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As a teenager living in my abusive family home, a poster hung on the closet door. It contained a favorite poem of mine, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.


By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

I knew my life was not normal. My road definitely turned out to be the road less traveled. I sit here now, as a 58-year old, free, and independent woman! During the (almost) first 47 years of my life, I was a victim and psychological captive of extensive childhood abuse which included sexual abuse, clergy abuse, and human trafficking; and, I then slid into a marital situation of abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, torture, deviant religious practices (ritual abuse), and mind control. Not only was my life different, than one taken on a more normal path, due to the extent and intensity of the abuse suffered; but, it is also different because of how I became a healthy individual in spite of it all.  I am a survivor and much, much more!

Freedom from the perpetrator(s) began a process. First, the actual physical freedom allowed me to take a true breath. Later, after much work, I became freer in an emotional, mental, and spiritual sense. Initially, PTSD was a constant reminder of the abuse in my past; yet, now I am mostly free of the PTSD symptoms. I am now able to stop, turn around, and see the road I traversed. The path took me through hell and PAIN to a place of freedom, deep peace, and moments of intense joy. I sit here in gratitude … hard-earned awareness of all the goodness I have been given to counteract, and let me live through, the evil and hell that life held for me.

Tears are close as I write. Over the years, I have learned to acknowledge tears as a friend of sort. Tears are a release for me. They originate from sadness, tension, and/or joy.

No one should ever suffer abuse from anyone. Unfortunately, too many of you have been on similar roads of abuse. Now you may be searching for meaning, for freedom, for happiness, peace, joy, financial security, friendship, and more.

Deep down, I know my purpose on this earth is to help others on their road to freedom and peace. The pain and suffering I endured is not without meaning. I think I’ve known that since I was little. Now that I am healthy, I desire to help other survivors thrive.

There are many forks in the road we take in life. We make many decisions to turn left, right, or go straight. I hope you choose the road for you and for your healing. You are worth it!!