We all have stories

Abuse stories we tell each other, and ourselves, define who we are and what we are becoming. They either play out as our redemptive paths or find us lost in our ‘panic forest’.

For my entire life, I could have both of those experiences in a single hour. My own story is woven into the Thriver Sisterhood. It begins with a five-year-old who locked herself in a bathroom to draw pictures in her journal of what she wanted to do to her abuser.

THEN EVERYTHING CHANGED
Two years ago, I decided to tell my story to others. What evolved was a movie script that took me to the depths of flashbacks, paired with heart- stopping anxiety attacks, to the delight of a line of dialogue that made me dance.

What does this mean to you? Like me, our life stories only sprout wings when we take life affirming steps that scare the hell out of us.

Sign up for the blog, check out the website and discover how your story can play out with the largest sisterhood on the planet. It is not easy. But anything is easier than staying lost in that forest.


With a fierce resolve, willingness to face and heal the past, outrageous humor and determination to create a better future, this unlikely sisterhood moves forward with joy, inspiring us all to thrive.

~ Pamela Jaye Smith, Hollywood mythologist, writer and producer

14 Responses to “We all have stories”

  1. Fran Geenlee says:

    Child abuse, whether physical or verbal must no longer be condoned by our society, nor others around the world. The female of our species are more often the ones subject to it, but boys are not immune, either. Sex trafficking and slavery is on the rise. Unheard of in my younger days. I am 87 years old, and I say bravo to the young women, and men, who stand and state their right not to “take it” anymore. It’s a human right to grow up free from such oppression.
    Bravo to your Thriver Sisterhood blog and its effort to shine a light on this neglected subject.

    • Nancy Harkrider says:

      Your message went right to my heart. You have always been one of my role models. Thank you for your offer to sent to others. Hope springs eternal when we work together toward wellness for ourselves and others.

    • Lora Schachtili says:

      This is so true. Many people don’t understand that most boys/men process sexual abuse differently from girls/women. There is a lot of research that supports this

  2. Lora Schachtili says:

    Nancy,
    Your work on helping women who were sexually abused children is outstanding. The screenplay captures the essence of experiences women may have struggling to become a Thriver Survivor! Your ideas for the blog are very helpful and useful
    Kudos for leading a movement!

    • Nancy Harkrider says:

      And kudos back to you my sister. It is no exaggeration that I could not have done it without you. What a fabulous idea to post the announcement of the Thriver Sisterhood on your FB page. In the first day of the blog being up, I have had other supporters “passing it on.” And a dear friend sending the blog to his daughter who is ready to be a thriver.

  3. Jim Cody says:

    be free. walk on. lovely stories in a lovely life.

  4. Nancy Harkrider says:

    Ah, everyone needs a poet in their lives. You may not remember but the picture of me in this post was one you took of me at Mt Shasta. Blessings to you and keep on bring joy into the world.

  5. Laura Moll says:

    Dear Nancy, You and your story are inspirational. Walking into my pain has brought me more freedom and joy than I ever could have imagined! And hearing that the same is true for others reminds me that the work doesn’t get easier, but the rewards are well worth it. Thank you for your loving light in my life!

  6. Nancy Harkrider says:

    Sharing the light with others will make us a force to be reaconed with. And we feel that sisterhood across the planet. Having you read an early version of my screen play was so powerful. Through that long winter of writing and crying, I felt the warmth of the blanket you created for me. It took a sisterhood and the people who love me to arrive at my “coming out” celebration. PASS IT ON

  7. corll says:

    Your story and the artistic, graceful way you’ve done the heavy lifting stand as a model of possibilities.

    • thriver-admin says:

      Corll,
      So like you to express yourself so eloquently. A model of possibilities is indeed what this sisterhood is about. Thank you for being there through the heavy lifting.

  8. Debra Samuel says:

    I’m grateful that the universe led me to a serendipitous connection with Nancy and Lora at a time in my life when I need it most. Once again, I find myself thrust into taking life-affirming steps on what I now realize will be a lifelong journey of healing and transformation and everything about this re-emergence of the trauma in my life and the consequences it has wrought is scaring the hell out of me. I am resilient – having so far outrun, survived, transformed and thrived in spite of – and because of – the long shadows that sexual abuse casts on a life. And yet, I find myself surprised at the age of 60 to find that the shadows I finally believed I’d conquered through decades of therapy and spiritual reflection have once again knocked me down to the ground of my being. It gives me great solace to share my voice with the Thriver Sisterhood as I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.

    • Lora Schachtili says:

      Debra, I have read all of your posts on the blog. Your comments are poignant and are excellent at illustrating the struggles many women experience on the road to thriving.
      I am very excited to have you join in our efforts. Your career experience will be very valuable to the Thriver Sisterhood as will your resilience.

      • Debra Samuel says:

        Lora, I chose to work as a family engagement specialist and certified youth/adult mental health peer support counselor during the past decade due to my lived experiences with sexual abuse and the mental health treatment I subsequently sought to aid in my recovery. Through my work, I hoped to connect families and children with the education and resources required to avoid or heal from similar experiences. I believed I was strong enough in my own recovery to do that work and, for almost a decade, I was. But, much like Eliza’s/Nancy’s on-air flashbacks while attempting to educate others about the trauma of sexual abuse, I began experiencing flashbacks, nightmares, and panic attacks as my trauma re-emerged after years of witnessing others’ trauma. While I’ve returned to therapy and am on the road to thriving, once again, it’s a hard road to walk alone. It’s been very healing to connect with others on this journey and to read and reflect on the redemption stories of The Thriver Sisterhood.

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