I have written and re-written and re-written this probably close to 4 or 5 times, I think I finally just realized I have to just have to write it and not care about what others are going to say in response to this post. My intentions by this are not to start any drama by stating some of my opinions, my only intentions are to bring awareness to abuse and to how strong the victims of abuse really are. God has put this topic on my heart in a very tender spot and I can not shake it, so I knew I had to do something about it. Writing is an outlet for me and it is where I feel safest letting my true feelings out. I also think it is something that makes it harder sometimes because I do post this on a public platform and anyone is able to read it and that is something that is always in the back of my mind. So, be kind and sweet like always and I hope to see you all in two weeks or less!
This past week something extremely impactful in the United States happened. A man named Larry Nassar endured a seven-day court trial after he pleaded guilty to molesting and sexually abusing seven young girls between the ages of 6-15. However, that number only began at seven and over the course of seven days, over 150 young girls and women, parents, spouses, and other friends and family members testified to the judge (who was the most amazing judge I have ever seen or heard of before.) about all of their horrific experiences of being sexually abused by Larry Nassar. Most of these women were patients of Larry Nassar while he was practicing Osteopathic medicine at Michigan State University. Most of his patients were the gymnasts from a well-known gymnastics training gym for elite and Olympic gymnasts called Twistars. Twistars, located in Lansing, Michigan, was just one of the multiple locations where Larry Nassar used his master manipulation to brainwash the young women into believing he was a trustworthy friend and doctor. He definitely was not the typical doctor. He gave these girls presents and he even opened his family’s basement in their home to his patients when they endured injuries that needed immediate attention.
These brave and strong girls endured more than molestation and abuse and that is a fact. When dozens of these girls went to their coaches and parents and even head of MSU, they were told they had mistaken a medical procedure and that there was no way Larry Nassar, the Olympic team doctor, would ever do that to these girls. The parents could not fathom that a man they were trusting to provide medical care to their daughters while most of them were in the same room. These girls have had to live for over 20 years with the shame and the horrifying nightmares and depression that this man has caused.
As an 18-year-old female, a Michigan native, someone who loved the short time they were able to do gymnastics, and as a citizen of the United States of America, I can not even describe the sickening pit I have had in my stomach because of this mans crimes. The fact that such a respected university in the state of Michigan would fail so poorly is honestly embarrassing for Michigan as a state. USA Gymnastics, if I was a mother I would never let my daughter compete for the USAG Olympic team or even on a National team level. To be honest, I don’t even know I would put her in the sport at any level right now and that breaks my heart because when I moved from Michigan to Virginia, I had to stop taking gymnastics after only being involved for a year or so and I regret that my parents did not push me to restart taking classes again once we moved. Lastly, I can’t even stomach the thought of knowing had I not moved from Michigan, I would have continued with gymnastics and because of the stress of the sport on the body, my chances of being one of this mans victims would have been incredibly high. That sickens me to measures I can not even put into words.
To anyone who has ever been abused, sexually, mentally, physically, or emotionally, know that you will be okay because you are stronger than you can ever realize. Also, you need to speak up and I know how terrifying that is and it will never be easy, but if you don’t that increases the chances of more people getting hurt. No abuse is ever okay and no one should ever get away with it, no matter their fame or reputation. If no one listens, DO NOT give up because eventually someone will listen.
To just be a bystander in this last week’s events is heartbreaking enough, but I cannot even imagine what it was like to be one of those survivors who chose to look their abuser in the eye and tell him how they feel. The one thing I have learned this week was that God gives us a life of forgiveness and more strength than recognizable. He will protect you when you put all your trust in him.
This week on Friday, I will be having extensive hip surgery to correct the deformity in my hip and also a labrum tear. I had planned on recording a video blog series and posting those instead of having to sit down and type things out. Sounds lazy, I know, but I am not going to want to have to put hardly any effort into writing out blog posts or doing any of that stuff. I still am planning on recording those to upload during that part of my recovery time, but I probably won’t be posting until at least the week of the 11th of February. I do not even want to promise that because I do not know how I will be feeling or how busy I will be with school work.
Thank you again for all of the support and kindness, I truly appreciate it!
Peace Out – Kiley