The Power to Rise…


This beautiful and vibrant artwork by Kohava Howard, immediately spoke volumes to my soul!

The colors and her image, made me think of myself as I bravely continue on my healing journey.

At times I found myself, revisiting the painful areas of my past and hovering there, literally stuck in a dark place within my mind. Those moments lead me to feeling not only depressed, but caused me to isolate from my family and friends.

The Power to Rise…

Through therapy,  recovery and my relationship with God, I have learned that it is ok to feel the pain. I no longer stuff my feelings, but I talk about them, freely, without fear of judgement.  I face those memories with courage, completely accepting both the good and bad memories of my past. Applying truth and love has given me my freedom.

As I continue to meditate on the woman in this picture, her image depicts tremendous amount of strength, which transcends beauty and radiates of her perfect peace and hope for her future.



This poem is in tribute to the little girl, in me, who at 9 years old, unexpectedly became the victim to the abuse of a family friend.

In the early morning hours, just prior to dawn.

you silently stepped into the bedroom

and viewed your next victim.

Your excitement grew,

as you placed one of your hands,

upon her flat, pre-adolescent chest,

and moved the other hand beneath the covers.

As you attempted to reach her innocence,

she flinched… and fear overtook her as she see’s you hovering over her.

STOP! She yelled.

You glared at her disgustingly,

and quickly left the room.

She was the lamb to the slaughter,

the doe to the hunter.

The ultimate sacrifice to the appetite of,

this dirty old man.

Denise Boyd Copyright ©


Spring of ’84

Parking Lot
The Latin word rapere “to seize,” from which rape is derived
In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I am breaking my silence and sharing my story…
I was very excited to be going on my first date with this guy that I had met at the mall. He was tall, with an athletic built. He was very handsome and quite charming. He was not only charming, but very polite. When he came by my house to pick me up, he was a proven gentleman.
As we walked to his car, he quickly opened the car door for me and we drove off.
It was in the evening around 8:30pm, we were on our way to a late dinner. As we passed by my high school, he proceeded to drive into the parking lot. I looked at him with a nervous smile and asked him why we were here? He let me know that we had some time to kill before dinner and he wanted to hang out and talk before we go to the restaurant.
The talking quickly lead to kissing, which lead to him getting on top of me, pulling my skirt up and   entering me without a condom. I told him I was a virgin and begged him to stop and that he was hurting me.. his response, “I will be gentle”. The charming and polite gentlemen, quickly turned into a cold, self-gratifying, jerk. He had entered me, which was followed by much pain. I felt dizzy, as my head was spinning, and every emotion from anger, shock and despair engulfed me.  I couldn’t believe what was happening.
The next thing I hear is a tap..tap..tap.. on the window and a light flashing into the drivers side.  
 He immediately jumps off of me and pulls up his pants.
He rolled the window down, and it is a police officer. The officer asks us what
we are doing and asks for his license. The officer than shines his light on me, and asks me for my name and birthdate. I give him my real name, but a fake birthdate, I pretended to be 17. You see, even though I was being violated, I wanted to protect the violater. He was 19 and I was 14. 
If I told the officer exactly what was going on, he would have been arrested on the spot.
But…I was too afraid to tell the truth. The officer then tells us to leave the property.
He drives me home, leans over, kisses me on my cheek and tells me he had a great night.
Without responding, I get out of the car, go into the house, take a shower and cry…
I didn’t tell anyone until I was an adult because I felt as if I had
encouraged his behavior.
TODAY, I realize that I was not to blame, that I did not encourage him or provoke him to rape me. Today, I NO LONGER live in Shame.
 Live Help for Sexual Assault Victims and Their Friends and Families      1-800-656-HOPE

Instead of cursing the darkness….



“Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle”. ~ Benjamin Franklin

She uncovers the secrets that haunt her in the middle of the night,

..those undisclosed images that have been safely tucked away in the remote areas of her soul..

the lurid haze of unforgiveness, obscured the beauty of a girl, I once knew..

the immunity from freedom continued to drape its heaviness around the core of her being..but the weight of those lies no longer have permission to confine her worth..

from under the pain of her past, she reveals her desire to truly live…. 

Writing about my journey is not easy, but, it is a necessary part of my healing.

I see every post as an opportunity to let someone know, that they are not alone.

Words that are silenced, are lethal secrets to destroy your soul. Speak your truth. – xoxo Denise

The Monster in the Closet..

During my elementary years, I attended a wonderful catholic school. Prior to the first day of school,  my Mom and I attended a school function that gave us a chance to meet other parent’s, students, the teacher’s and staff.  Being new to the school, I was really excited to meet some friends. My Mom was a single mom and worked full-time, she didn’t want me to stay home before and after school by myself.  She was so grateful when she met a really nice lady, her husband and daughter at the school function. The lady was a stay at home mom and offered to let me come over before and after school.

The beginning of the school year started off great. I made friends easily, I enjoyed spending time before and after school with my newly inquired, “Babysitter’s” family. I was happy.

My babsitter’s house was less than a block away from school so, me and Laura (not willing to reveal her real name), were allowed to walk to her house from school.  Laura was a few years older than me and had her own key, so we let ourselves into the home. It was oddly quiet and seemed as if no one was home. As we walked passed her parents bedroom, the door was closed. This was in the early 70’s and the door had a peek hole where the key would go, the peek hole gave us a direct view of the bed, in which her parents were having sex. As Laura and I stood there peeking into her parents room, I was shocked and uncomfortable, Laura seemed relaxed and kind of entertained. It did not surprise her a bit, and when I wanted to walk away, she laughed and wanted me to continue watching. I didn’t and quickly ran into Laura’s bedroom. Laura walked into her room, turned on the television and we waited for her parents to check on us.

As weeks went on, life was normal. Before school, during school, but after school things began to change. Laura began showing interest in me, not like a friend or like a big sister, but an interest in touching me.

She had a walk in closet, with room for us to lay down. As time went on the trips to her closet caused me to loose all sense of myself and my surroundings. She would make me do unspeakable things, that a child should never experience. From that point on, I don’t remember much else about my babysitter’s house.

The above image portrays the shame, guilt and confusion I felt at 8 years old. 

My trips to the closet continued, until my Mom no longer allowed me to go to the babysitter’s house.

When I recently shared my childhood sexual abuse story with my Mom, she didn’t know I had been abused by the babysitter’s daughther.  At the time, Laura’s mother said that she could no longer watch me. To this day, I am sure Laura’s Mom knew what her daughter was doing to me in that closet and instead of helping me, and getting help for her daughter, she chose to turn a blind eye to the abuse. Looking back, I am sure Laura had also been a victim of childhood sexual abuse. She went from being a victim to victimizing others.

For those of you who are Adults that were victims of childhood sexual abuse, I encourage you to get help  . In time, you too will be able to Share Your Story..even anonymously. Let’s join hands and make a stand to END Childhood Sexual Abuse.
Denise Boyd Copyright ©

Cutting the ties that bind….

My pulse is racing, sweat is pouring from my forehead, the lump in my throat is being crushed with each attempt to swallow. A panic attack is nearing…so I open my eyes, and realize I am ok.

Cut the rope from around your neck that’s attempting to choke your reality..

As a survivor of sexual abuse. There had been many years that an “invisible” rope was draped around my neck. Every flashback triggered a negative reaction that seemed to bring an overwhelming sensation of choking.

Literally know..the feeling of desperately trying to cry out or speak, but the tightening of the muscles around my neck, made it impossible.

The intense emotional pain from the abuse, had me wanting to crawl out of my skin in order to find relief.

“On the Other Side of Fear, Lies Freedom” ~ risingbean

For many years, the pain laid dormant around the exterior of my heart. Which prevented self worth and love to penetrate.

Every prior resistance to healing, is no longer confined to the barriers of those walls.

For over 40 years, I allowed the abuser(s) to have power over me…power over my way of thinking…power over the way I behaved….they controlled my destiny…because I gave them all my power.. Yes, many days, the pain still exists, but I am in a state of constant change that is taking me from despair…to reclaiming my life.

To live in freedom, is MY RITE OF PASSAGE.

I believe that on my Journey to Healing, God is the source of my Strength.

Shatter the glass of any negative in your past, Remove the burden carried upon your back.
Cut the rope from around your neck that’s attempting to choke your reality.
Stand with hope, truth and a desire to face all trials with dignity.
Breathe deep the fragrance of sweet victory. You have the power within to reach your every dream.
Stand up and know exactly whom you are, Lift your head my sister and no longer look down.
For a virtuous Woman is emerging from within.
Copyright ©2008 Denise Boyd