Fiona (The Renegade) is a music video about the struggle and the healing of child sexual abuse survivors.
Child sexual abuse is virtually an epidemic in the United States.
Sadly, most children never speak up about their abuse until long after it has stopped. Some children may even completely block memories of their abuse–only to have them surface later in life, hopefully when they can better deal with the trauma and emotional pain.
Dealing with childhood sexual abuse is a grueling and confusing process that can feel completely overwhelming to survivors. Seemingly simple interactions and situations can suddenly cause extreme anxiety, panic attacks, stress, illness, depression and other side-effects. However, fully accepting what happened and releasing the resulting inner-demons of self-judgment, self-hatred and low self-worth is the only path to true healing and a life of peace, joy and freedom.
If you are a survivor, finding a safe place to let your voice be heard is an important part of that healing process. It also helps other survivors. Creating a community of individuals who understand each other like no one else helps to relieve the isolation and shame most survivors feel, and reminds us we are not alone on our path. There are others like us who have been there too.
Since I started The Fiona Project, I have met many survivors who have privately shared their stories with me–many more than I could ever have imagined. They are around us all the time. Friends, family, neighbors, church members, and even strangers share their stories with me when I speak about The Fiona Project. My voice creates a safe space for them to acknowledge their own experiences.
Unfortunately, most survivors carry their stories silently out of unduly placed shame and guilt, or because they are trying to block the pain of the abuse by not thinking or talking about it. But an important foothold to healing is when we become willing to “tell the truth” of our abuse for the child inside that was hurt and had no voice. Speaking up may be the single most frightening step an adult survivor can take toward their own healing; and it might also be the most liberating.
If you have experienced child sexual abuse, telling others openly that you are a CSA survivor under safe and appropriate circumstances can kick-start your healing process. You are making a commitment to yourself to stop being ashamed of something that was not your fault! The pent-up stress and tightness in your body can release as you finally let go of your secret. Tears flow… breathing begins… and your life starts to change.
In sharing with others, you begin to understand the prevalence of your shared experience and that you are not alone!
When we break the silence together in numbers, abusers will no longer be able to hide their dirty deeds in the darkness of children’s fear and shame. There will be too much knowledge shared. Educators, family members, doctors and church staff will know the signs of someone grooming a child for abuse and what to do if they suspect a child is being abused. The children will know they are safe to tell; and we will believe them.
As a society, we must #UndoTheTaboo around child sexual abuse and become comfortable with the topic. We must educate ourselves and empower our children. We must start listening to the voices of our little ones with educated and understanding ears. We must believe them when they tell us that someone we know and trust has acted inappropriately with them. We must finally stop protecting the abusers and start protecting the children. This is what the FIONA project is about.
~Asha Lightbearer, Founder
#UndoTheTaboo #metooCSA #healmetoo #iwillnotbesilent
Asha Lightbearer is a singer-songwriter and child sexual abuse survivor. She was born and raised in a small town in New England and spent her university time between Middlebury College in Vermont and Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus, OH.
Asha had what most would probably consider a typical childhood. However, she fought with depression, suicidal thoughts, alcohol, promiscuity, intimacy and trust issues for the majority of her teen and young adult life. It wasn’t until her early forties that she began having traumatic flashbacks of sexual abuse. But once she acknowledged the abuse and finally accepted it as true, her healing began almost immediately.
Since then, Asha’s life has changed dramatically for the better. She founded The Fiona Project music and arts movement for child sexual abuse prevention and healing. She created and manages HelpforSurvivors.org which provides easy-to-use, uplifting resources for CSA survivors. And she released her first music video, Fiona (The Renegade), which was the inspiration for The Fiona Project movement.
Today, Asha is in a positive, healthy relationship with a loving and supportive life partner. She is actively pursuing her musical aspirations (AshaLightbearer.com). And she enjoys spending her free time writing music and watching her son race motocross.
She is also the music director for One World Spiritual Center in Roswell, Georgia, which provides fiscal sponsorship for The Fiona Project’s non-profit CSA prevention and healing fundraising and awards.