Monday, March 23, 2009

Please Welcome My Guest, Author Kimberly Elliott

About the Book:

A wonderful read for all parents, teachers, counselors .... we need to open our eyes to child sexual assault and help put a stop to this silent epidemic. The sexual abuse of a child creates a devastating family crisis. Parents want to know what to do and say to help their child but they also want to know how to respond to and heal their own emotional turmoil. As a parent, you need to know it's okay and natural to act with disbelief and denial.

This is my story, a mother's story, about the abuse of my daughter and my struggles to over come. I thought I could trust my family members. I thought I knew and could trust the legal system. I was wrong. As a parent, I couldn't find help for ME...what to expect on this journey with my daughter and her recovery. I didn't know how much pain I would suffer as well. This is my story and my struggle toward recovery. Some how, some way, I hope it gives you hope for your journey as well.
About the Author:

As a National Sales Leader in the Pharmaceutical Industry with 18 years experience, author, entrepreneur, professional speaker & Nationally Certified R.A.D. (Rape/Aggression/Defense) trainer, Kimberly brings a unique depth of knowledge and sensitivity to her specialties of: Advocacy for Change in the Medical Industry and Personal Self-Defense and Anti-victimization Education.

She gives readers & audiences powerful insights into the Pharmaceutical Industry. She has been featured in the British Medical Journal and has been a guest on numerous National Radio Programs.

As a victim of crime herself, she is also dedicated to providing workplace, personal, and field staff safety training classes to senior executives, management, and employees of a vast array of private businesses and corporations, professional organizations and associations. As a R.A.D. trainer, she also trains teachers, parents and children in school districts nationwide in personal protection and awareness. This is done by teaching simple mental and physical techniques and strategies individuals can use to avoid victimization in their daily lives. Her safety programs have yielded positive, immediate and long lasting outcomes.

Her behavior based anti-victimization presentations will shape & change the attitudes of your employees. This in turn will help you change portions of your safety culture and liability! Her combination of warmth and sensitivity along with her expertise, substance and inspiration, invigorates and energizes people to take action in their personal lives.

Kimberly focuses on the needs of each client, customizing her message to each group she addresses. She speaks around the country to Corporations, Associations and Consumers about personal safety and the need for health care changes in the U.S.

Kimberly’s diverse clientele include: YMCA, Bryan-Cave Law, Anheuser-Busch, New Frontier Bank, Bonneville Radio Group, Catholic Health Association, SCI Engineering, Jefferson Smurfit, Ronnoco Coffee, Coldwell Banker Realtors, Maritz, MO Nurses Association, US Bank, Prudential and a host of other household names, educational institutions, churches and non-profit groups.

Kimberly lives happily in Missouri with her amazing husband, two spirited children and a “zoo” of animals including a Newfoundland , three cats and a rabbit. She enjoys traveling, swimming and reading.

Here's what she has to say today:
18 months ago, with the disclosure of the sexual abuse of my young daughter, I came as close to “living hell” as I’d ever care to embark.

We have been to the bottom, risen up and been pushed back down again as we’ve cycled our way through recovery. Yes, each step along this journey has made me stronger; it’s definitely given me thicker skin and a new view on life and people in general. None of it has been easy and I’ve lost many meaningful relationships along the way.

Has it been worth it; this fight, this journey?

Most definitely. My children are the ultimate gifts that God has entrusted into my care.

So as a parent, a secondary victim to child sexual assault (CSA), how do we survive, let go, move forward and begin to thrive again?

That has been my greatest challenge.

It seems as though the moment I have it “all figured out” and life begins to move in a positive direction, I step on a new land mine and I’m back at square one yet again.

I realize, desire or not, I have been called to take this journey and I have to trust the future isn’t limited by what I see right now. That there is so much more waiting out there for me.

I understand that the joy in life isn’t guaranteed. I realize there will be typical ups and downs and these events are what makes the journey exciting and worth experiencing. I definitely, from the first wail from my daughter’s determined lungs, knew child rearing wouldn’t be easy. Yet, never in my wildest dreams or nightmares, was I able to prepare for the deep grief that CSA brought into my family’s or my life. No one can coach us on how to deal with a pain that shatters a heart so deeply. Those who casually say “Aren’t you over that yet?” don’t understand.

This much I will tell you about grief from CSA: If there was ever a second, or a moment, when you suspected or knew you had been betrayed at the deepest level by someone you adored and a splintering pain began to shred your heart, turn your world grimly unbearable to a point where you would consciously choose denial and ignorance about the betrayal rather than feel this way…that is one-millionth of what it feels like at the moment of disclosure.

On May 1st, at my daughter’s disclosure, I felt a searing pain in my heart. It was physical – I swear it was. If you are called to enter this world of CSA, there is no turning back. We are not allowed to refuse that call. It is like nothing else, with the possible exception of the pounding waves of the ocean. To the untrained casual eye, each wave looks the same. It is not. No two are the same.

As I examine, the up and down, emotional, inner-turmoil I’ve been struggling with recently, I’m reminded of the tug-of-war game I play with our new puppy. She has a long, blue, rope doll she loves. She brings it to me with her tail wagging.

I pull.

She pulls.

I pull it out of her mouth. She grabs hold again and shakes and shakes and says grrrrrr. The harder I tug, the harder the puppy pulls. Finally, I just let go. Then she comes right back again, for more.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is I have never successfully treated or solved one problem in my life by obsessing or controlling. I’ve yet to accomplish anything by worrying. And manipulation has not wrought one successful outcome. The best possible outcomes seem to happen when I let go. That doesn’t always mean I get my way. But things work out and, ultimately, the lesson becomes clear.

As a parent dealing with the aftermath of child sexual assault, I forget there are so very many things that are outside of my realm of control. I want to continue to cling to the past and the way it used to be – because it’s comforting and comfortable. I want to believe in the legal system the way I believe it should be and should function.

Unfortunately, there are certain events that we may never be able to accept fully. What can be accepted, though, is that we are required to live with this pain, hurt and loss and find a way to move on. There are many days that I have to remind myself to stop asking “Why?” but rather ask “what” the lesson is.

I guess this is all a part of being a “work in progress”.

Through disclosure, life as I had known it disappeared. I don’t know why I’ve received some of the blessing I’ve been given; I don’t know why some of the sorrow has come my way. All I can do is trust that whatever comes my way, there’s a lesson at hand. I didn’t bargain for this but my spiritual journey has begun. I’ve surrendered to the experience and I do believe something as broken and scraggly as I am right now can be brought back to life again.

The first step to acceptance, healing and recovery is the hardest. Sometimes it’s the second step that gets you. Getting information, support, and encouragement is helpful. Necessary too. But life is meant to be lived.

What I can honestly say to you is: “It’s going to be difficult, harder than you can imagine. It’ll take time. But you can do it! You’ll come through.” No matter what path you’re on, others have walked it before you, and some will follow you there. Each step you take is uniquely yours, but you are never, never alone! That is the message that I truly hope I can leave with everyone who chooses to read “Shattered Reality”.

- Kimberly Cheryl ; Author, Shattered Reality


Please leave a comment to welcome Kimberly.


  1. So few understand what Kimberly has gone through, and yet there's many struggling with those same issues. It's a sad state of our world today, but a very real aspect. As a foster parent, I saw the child's end of struggles, but their pain ripples out to affect so many...

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. Thanks so much for hosting Kimberly on your site!

  3. Welcome to Double M, Kimberly. I hope you enjoy your stay here.

    Morgan Mandel

  4. Thanks Kimberly for sharing your experience and your advice. And thanks Morgan for bringing her story to us.

  5. Great interview! I commend Kimberly for writing such a soul searching and heart wrenching book and making such a painful life - altering experience known. I greatly enjoyed this book and the drawings - enjoyed the writing and my heart goes out to the entire family and think your strength is so great.

  6. This sounds like an excellent book. As a mother, my heart aches thinking of what Kim and her family have gone through. How wonderful that Kim is able to share their experience so that others can learn and heal.


  7. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Wow - touching article. CSA is among the most heinous of crimes - I applaud Kimberli for having the courage to write about her family's personal experience like that.

    Best wishes for your book - I hope it reaches out and touches and helps heal the lives of many!

  8. Oh my goodness! How sad. :-( Thank you for sharing. I haven't really been a victim, but I know both an abuser and those who have been abused. It's sickening and I completely get that you felt a physical pain.
    Trust no one, that's how I feel when it comes to my children. We can't see what people are hiding.
    Praying health and healing and lots of blessing for your family!

  9. Hello,
    I just joined this site and this is my first experience with it. How amazing to find a book written by a mother dealing with her child's sexual abuse. I am a victim of CSA. It happened when I was six. My parents' didn't deal with it well--they didn't know how. It happened 54 years ago. I've just written a memoir, "Following the Whispers," which explores the impact being a victim of csa had on my life.
    Blessings to you, Kimberly, and best of luck reaching those who need to hear your words of wisdom.

    Karen Walker

  10. Thank you Morgan for having Kimberly. Yes CSA is the one of the worst of heinous crimes. I too was a victim of rape as an adult. The healing began after the perp died. But now a family member who is close has been bringing up memories of family functions and happy times that she had with the perp. My hell starts and ends likened to when you make a cake and stir the batter, over and over. I haven't told this to anyone. Thank you both for letting me have my say.

    Cindy Hernandez

  11. Anonymous4:21 AM

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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