This is a message to my real-life ex family.

” I know you will find my summerSHINES blog eventually, assuming you haven’t already…

You may have found my page via the mental health selfie/blog posts I wrote for Mind…And as I embrace more media opportunities, many other channels in which you could come across me in will be opened up. I need to make it very clear, I am not doing this as an attempt to stimulate contact with you. That is something I never wish to happen-exactly as I said to the police. Nothing has changed on that score.

There are certain things I want you to know…

I will not be revealing your personal details [such as names and locations] to anyone in the press. I also do all my blogging and media work under the pseudonym Imani Summer, so that nothing will be linked with the family name and reputation you very clearly wish to uphold. Quite why I have chosen to protect your anonymity like this I’m not sure of. In a bizarre way though I don’t want to hurt you, which is absolutely irrational given all the ways you have betrayed me as your daughter/sister. I guess there is still a small part of me that loves you and wants to protect you (bizarre, but weirdly true). Bonds are hard to sever.

Any revenge I am seeking will not come from bad mouthing you, but from becoming the bestest version of myself. My revenge will not be coming from name calling and blowing your identity. I have no motivation to do that. My revenge is actually not anything about you-it is about me.

My revenge will come from RECOVERY-from dignity-from upholding the truth at all times-from being authentically myself- from refraining to be intimidated by you-from holding my own as an empowered, self-confident, resilient and intelligent adult woman who is not too frightened to share her story and doing it with dignity. That is the only revenge I’m seeking out. When I was mid-breakdown, dealing with the psychological fall out and aftermath from those protective dissociative walls crumbling and my traumatic memories re-emerging, I read an excellent book by Carolyn Spark called “Recovery is my best revenge”. That phrase became my mantra for my ongoing survival.

RECOVERY TRULY IS MY BEST REVENGE, and that revenge is starting to happen right now. Carolyn Spark is my role model-she came from a very similar trauma background to me and has made a successful living out of educating professionals and interested survivors about the effects of trauma on the brain, body and psyche-also how survivors can help themselves cope with the long-lasting destructive emotional effects of childhood abuse and assault.

My revenge will come from living the best life I am capable of living, and helping as many other abused survivors as I possibly can in the process, by speaking out in an inspirational and educational way as I do on the summerSHINES blog and beyond.

I don’t expect you to be pleased I’m doing this. I don’t expect me writing and talking in the media will make you feel particularly comfortable or secure. But given all the things you have done that have made my life immensely uncomfortable (under-statement of the century), I think it’s only fair you now take a sharp hit of discomfort for yourself.

Maybe you believe I am being disloyal here, and you wonder how I could do something like this?

I thought exactly the same when you abused me!

I  also had those exact same thoughts when you collectively treated me the way you did after my abuse disclosures.

I doubt you’ll be proud of me. I doubt you’ll be happy with me. Scrap the ‘doubt’ word, I KNOW you won’t approve, be proud, or be happy with me. But I don’t need your approval. You have absolutely no influence over me anymore and I know how much you won’t like that as you want to feel in control, and despise any situations where control is taken out of your hands. I guess the relinquishing back of control is a survivor’s right though don’t you think- an essential part of the healing process. Everything I choose to do from now on is to help me heal. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. I just don’t consider you anymore. I guess it is because you didn’t consider me. So, our separate lives will continue to roll on as they do.

This is all for me-for my benefit-and most importantly for the benefit of all the PTSD survivors out there who need a role model of inspiration to instil hope and SHINE in an otherwise gruelling and challenging world. It is actually NOT about you at all.

That is my message to you-my family lost

summerSHINES ©