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 ©









26 thoughts on “A FAMILY LOST

  1. She-Ra says:

    I need more than just a “Like” button here. I want a sad face and an angry face, as well as a heart. The ‘sad’ and ‘angry’ for your past, but the ‘heart’ for your strength, resilience, determination, and pride in who you are becoming. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • summerSHINES says:

      Thanks She-Ra-that is heartfelt and so supportive and sweet. I know ‘like’ buttons are inadequate for these kinds of posts! I don’t feel particularly sad and angry anymore-it’s strange. I’ve reached a stage of dignified acceptance I reckon, and I feel full of optimism and confidence about my plans to branch out into media work. It’s strange as I know my family will not be proud of me-they will actually be the opposite-but people I haven’t even met can be my most loyal supports! Thanks so much 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Christine Smith says:

    This is one of the bravest blogs/articles I think I have ever read and I am so glad that through the medium of RED January I could be a small part in supporting your steps forward on the road to recovery (is that the right word?) during the past couple of months. Big hugs x Christine x

    Liked by 2 people

    • summerSHINES says:

      Aw Christine…I so appreciate what you’ve said here. Thank you SO MUCH. I feel empowered after writing it. 🙂 I have made peace with my past and am ready to move forward now 🙂 Massive hugs xx


    • summerSHINES says:

      Thank you so much for that 😊 I feel very self assured about what I’m doing…after going through hell and surviving- nothing seems that difficult anymore! I really do want to inspire…I think that’s what I was born to do 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ken Smith says:

    Bravo! I am so proud of you! For all that you have accomplished, the arduous and painful path you have walked with dignity and grace. You are an inspiration to all of us! I am so glad I found you when I did. Witnessing this BadAss metamorphosis is something I will always treasure and never forget. You are an incredibly brave , creative and witty young lady and you will always have a special place in my heart! ❤ I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you?! (( Hugs )) 😚 Barney

    Liked by 2 people

        • summerSHINES says:

          I wrote a post inspired by you. My most recent one…I mentioned you in it but haven’t put a link in as my brain hurts 😛 You can leave a comment then people can find your blog. You are one person who I really appreciate on the blogopshere but I need to devote more time to 🙂 I will try and change that 😘😘 X

          Liked by 1 person

          • Liz C. says:

            WOW! I just read it, and I am blown away. Are you on a mission to lift up my spirits and make my day? ‘Cause that’s just what you did, you know.

            A BIG THANK YOU!!! I will just reblog it (your comments might be turned off, which is OK). I totally understand turning off the commenting feature.

            Anyway, I’m so touched. T_T

            My favorite statement was “As much as I love the stimulation of colour in my life-I need a lot of blankness too in order to feel rested and safe.”

            I feel like we are soul sisters! Seriously. Love you and hope you’re enjoying your blank day! ❤ ❤ ❤

            Liked by 1 person

            • summerSHINES says:

              I am so pleased I made you feel better! Usually it’s the other way round 😊😘❤ I read your blog earlier and it lifted me out of a low mood as I could relate to your inner conflict between wanting to produce a quality blog that inspires, whilst also feeling shitty yourself sometimes. You can’t be fully altruistic…self care is an act of love to yourself. We are soul sisters. You are in my heart 😊😍❤

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Breaking the Cycle of Abuse says:

    So powerful, I’m proud of you. I identify with so much of what you wrote in this letter. I’ve thought for awhile of posting a letter to my own “ex-family”, it’s been over 3 years since cutting them completely out of my life. I’ve wondered if I’m doing the right thing using my own name and face. There’s always some sort of identity crisis for abuse survivors, isn’t there.
    I’m always grateful to find other survivors who are speaking out. We are all part of the same club, even though our own experiences are unique. I’ve just begun moving my blog to WordPress and would love any feedback from you when you have the time.

    Until then, keep up the great work. Recovery really is the best revenge! Happiness is the opposite of what they want for us so we just have to find happy moments in every day to exact revenge.


    Liked by 1 person

    • summerSHINES says:

      Hi Nicole…thanks for your message 🙂 I’ll join your Facebook group and connect that way…you sound just up my survivor street 😊 Publishing things that are personal is a big decision…I have changed my name by deed poll so I am not linked with my family of abusers. They are not aware of my new name or blog (that I know of). Even if they were in feel secure in publishing the truth….as long as I don’t name (their) names it’s ok in my book…but I understand safety (psychological and literal) is important when you have PTSD. Happiness and success and speaking the truth publicly will be my revenge. I have lots of positive plans for my future 😊 Best of luck to you too xx 🙋


  5. touched2mysoul says:

    This was awesome to read! I too have walked away from my family. I did it for me! What you wrote is so profound! I applaud you for your honesty. You stated what many want to say but don’t have the words. I support you in your journey and I can tell you … you are not alone … I am a survivor as well. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

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