5/10/18 #SameHere Hero: LaToya Smith

Today’s #SameHere🤙Hero: LaToya Smith (An incredible story of strength. This recount is so simple & straight forward, that it serves a an excellent illustration of the power of “getting sh&t out of us.” If you remember back a little over a wk ago we touched on that truck that keeps digging deeper & deeper tracks – analogous of how obsessing about our thoughts just further entrenches them.


LaToya held her thoughts in, out of fear. But what is so empowering is how much simply writing a letter – sending it to someone who hurt her, & sharing it w her fam, did for her. We often look for intricate solutions when our complications seem involved. In LaToya’s case, taking it from her head and putting it on a paper lifted a tremendous weight. We welcome LaToya as the newest member of our #SameHere Advocacy Alliance!)


“When I was in the 7th grade, I was molested by my sister’s husband (now ex-husband). It was the scariest moment of my life. He came to me while I was asleep & in a section of the house that no one else was in.  I woke up to his touch & I froze. He ran, but we eventually caught eyes. I was too embarrassed to share the depth of my story with anyone. So, I held the details in.


Carrying the “secret” was so painful. Since I didn’t know how to speak about the abuse, I would get easily agitated or become distant when triggered. It got to a point where the abuse was always on my mind. For years, when I woke up the abuse was the first thing on my mind & I could feel it happening to me again. It was hard to push away & the thought of it became unbearable. I know now, that what I was experiencing was PTSD.  No one else knew because I didn’t speak about it & no one questioned my mood.


I decided to reach out bc the pressure I held became too much. I confided in close friends & began to see a therapist when I was in graduate school. Counseling helped, but being vulnerable about the situation was really hard for me, so I didn’t get the most out of it. Many years later, I was advised to write a letter to my abuser & to mail it certified. That letter brought liberation & gave me unbelievable strength. I eventually shared the letter with my fam & they were able to read all of the details from that night.


The more I spoke about the issues, w people I trusted, the better I felt. In my experience, keeping the secret enhances the pain. I don’t think that all of my fam members can fully process the incident for themselves. I realize that it is traumatic for some of them too.


My Pastor & friends are supportive & are available to listen when I need to speak about it. #SameHere bc It also makes me feel good to know that sharing my story helps to give other people strength.”

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