I’m so pleased to say The Clean Slate Diaries was an OVERWHELMING success! Thank you to everyone who attended and shared your comments, support and love! It genuinely confirmed the critical importance of this event, as well as the education of others that is necessary in the prevention of this violence.
I was deeply humbled by the numbers of people who came out to witness this celebration along with the artists, sponsors, and local and national media that became involved. But I am most grateful to our courageous speakers who put their fear aside to speak out – this is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Because of the extensive outpouring of support and interest in continuing this event, we plan to present The Clean Slate Diaries annually - in addition to possibly hosting the event on a national level as well!
When I visualized The Clean Slate Diaries event five years ago, I still didn’t know why I was doing it. Honor, dignity and respect – were all things I wanted to extend to survivors of Rape, Incest & Domestic Violence – but I never realized how deserving I was of these things and had somewhat overlooked the importance of recognizing myself.
To properly prepare for what I wanted to convey at the event, I needed to go back to the point when it all changed – when all the hopes and dreams I had planned out before me – vanished in an instant. I found this photograph from when I was 20 years old. It had been 6 months since I was raped, had become pregnant from the rape and then consequently terminated the pregnancy. Soon after, I somehow managed to find the one man hell-bent on making sure I continued a path of humiliation, suffering and abuse. I remember this being one of the darkest periods of my life.
When I looked at this picture, it reminded me of how lost I was in darkness and isolation and how I believed that this was all I deserved in life. Going back, I slowly remembered how devastatingly painful it was all those years ago. I could see in my eyes that something transformed me – the happy, innocent “me” was gone. My vibrant smile, erased. I needed to do something to honor this beautiful young woman and creating The Clean Slate Diaries did this in ways I never imagined! It honored not only my path, but all the paths of those who know firsthand this walk of loneliness, despair and shame.
When I look at this picture now, I am proud of all we accomplished with The Clean Slate Diaries. I feel that I restored some of the dignity and power I lost all those years ago. I see the pureness of my unique and original sense of style and how I marched to a different beat even all those years ago – all was not lost! I celebrate the bravery and perseverance I had to have to physically make it through those dark days. And I have the utmost respect for the incredible courage I found recently to be completely vulnerable and open in sharing my deepest, darkest secrets publicly in the hope that I could maybe help one person.
These days, I am content in knowing I did indeed help at least one person in this process … I helped me … and that has made it all worthwhile! YAY!
In solidarity, love & peace ~