Interviewer: Hi, Joan. Thanks for agreeing to do an interview. Why don't you give me a background of your story?Joan: Breaking The Silence is my personal story. It is the story of my life and what happened to me. I agreed to have Diamante write Breaking The Silence in an attempt to help others who have gone through the same abuse and problems that I have.
Interviewer: How are you hoping that telling your story will help others?
Joan: Well, people that have been molested and sexually abused usually feel alone, like no one else can understand their situation. I wanted my story to help them realize that they aren't alone. And to help them know that they can heal no matter how severe their abuse was.
Interviewer: Is it possible for someone to heal completely if they have been sexually abused?
Joan: Yes, healing is possible. It is a long process. it definitely takes time. And it takes understanding. That is why people need to hear my story. To know someone understands and has felt the pain they are feeling. It will give them hope that they can and will get better.
Interviewer: Have you completely healed?
Joan: When you say completely, do you mean to ask if I never think of what happened to me any more?
Interviewer: I mean have you been able to move on successfully without your past haunting you any more?
Joan: What happened to me will always haunt me. I'll never forget it. But I have come to terms with it and I realize there are good days and bad days, but the bad days don't last forever. I have hope that better days will come again.
Interviewer: So people who have been sexually abused will never forget? What can you tell them that will give them hope?
Joan: I can tell them that the pain will lessen year by year as they deal with their abuse and the issues it has caused in their lives. I can also tell them that the days will get better more frequently as time goes on....they will reach a point where they may not think of what happened to them for six months before they have a flashback. And then when they do, it won't last long at all. It is possible to be happy. I mean, nobody's life is perfect.
Interviewer: How have you healed over the years?
Joan: By my belief in God, by going to counseling for years, by believing in myself more and by believing in the possibility of my dreams coming true.
Interviewer: In closing, what advice would you give to someone who has experienced sexual abuse?
Joan: I would tell them to read my book, to get in touch with a good counselor and to find a group they could join to meet others who have been through what they've been through. It is critical to have hope and to know that others have made it through that type of trauma. And I would tell them they are never alone. And they aren't damaged. They can absolutely heal and have a wonderful life if they are willing to face their demons. As I call it, they can become mighty overcomers!
Interviewer: Thank you, Joan, for sharing your story and for being willing to help others. I wish you great luck with all of your endeavors and I hope your book helps many people to become 'mighty overcomers'!