And Then There’s Oprah, Thank You Very Much

I have quite a playlist of songs in the memory bank of my mind. This morning it was set on George Gershwin’s musical, PORGY AND BESS: “Summertime…and the livin’ is easy.” ‘Guess that’s because it is easy for me right now. Peter and I are  in Maine, traveling to the Stone Coast Writing Conference which will be held in Freeport next week. We’ve been having fun together, and haven’t been reading the paper or intentionally watching TV.  But we do get on Facebook or see news clips on the TV’s that are in restaurants from time to time, and when we do, it’s hard to digest the continuing reality of senseless tragedy occurring throughout the world. And then there’s OPRAH.

Yes, OPRAH. She’s still doing it. She’s working hard to educate parents and our society at large about sexual abuse. She’s working hard to protect children from sexual abuse. And she’s working hard to help survivors recover. Thank you, Oprah Winfrey.

Last night I watched her interview Matthew Sandusky, son of the Penn State sexual abuse scandal Jerry Sandusky. You can see the interview at http://www.oprah.com/mattsandusky. He spoke about how his father groomed him for the abuse and then sexually abused him for years, and about how he’s doing now.  My heart went out to that guy and I admire him for what he’s doing. As the mother of four I could also very much relate to his angst about how his choices to tell would or could affect his family. He’s talking about collateral damage there, stacked with layers and layers of issues.  When a child molester abuses a child it causes a ripple effect of pain and shame throughout the lifecycle of that child and his or her family.

In my own situation, unlike Matthew’s going public, I didn’t worry about how the publication of my memoir would affect my husband. I knew he could handle it and wanted to.  He was with me 100 %. My angst concerned my children. How would it affect them? And what I ultimately came to was a core belief that we had given them the internal resources to deal with how it might affect them.  They did ask me to change their names in the book and I honored their request.  And for now, in this blog anyway, that’s all I have to say – with a strong possibility that there’ll be more to add on another day.

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