The Let Go… Let Peace Come In Foundation was established in March 2008 as the result of a vision held by the founder Peter S. Pelullo. Peter was fortunate enough to have the early support of a few gifted men and women who served the foundation and created a basis for success in this pioneering organization. In honor of their time and tremendous effort, the foundation wishes to recognize these remarkable individuals as part of the Let Go…Let Peace Come In family.
Annie B, Healthcare Professional
As a sexual abuse survivor I have spent 30 years suffering and 10 years recovering from that suffering. Having been wounded at a very early age, my memories for years lay deep in my psyche without my awareness. As a result I endured decades of undiagnosed PTSD as well as a half lived life in which I could not get anywhere I wanted to go. I was in daily pain as a result of the abuse and my fear of allowing my memories to surface and to feel my way into healing was immense. I didn’t think I could live through it. I was blessed with an angel for a therapist who helped me countless times to continue a journey I wanted to cut short. I was later blessed with a group of survivors who shared their stories and their pain openly, honestly and courageously allowing me to see that I had indeed made progress on this incredibly slow journey of healing from sexual abuse.
For all of this I am a changed person. Wounded still, yes but utterly changed. Suffering no more as I now continually allow what comes up, to come and go. My heart has opened in a way I could never have imagined it ever would again. I began with a hardened heart and now have grown and am continuously learning the limitlessness of compassion and love for myself, others and their paths. When I began this journey, it was all about sexual abuse. It consumed me. While this path still includes sexual abuse it has widened and deepened and has become just one human’s journey with many other gifts, heart breaks and surprises.
Being a part of this foundation and a voice for others who have yet to cross over to the other side is one of those gifts and surprises. Someone held out hope for me until I was able to hold hope for myself. Holding and offering hope to those who have little or none is the spirit that this foundation was created on. I believe in healing with others. I believe in the power of the human spirit, particularly many human spirits gathered together for a holy purpose such as the purpose of this foundation: To offer hope, healing and change to a survivor who can find in him or herself even the smallest desire for it.
Lonni P. Passionate Survivor
As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I am honored to participate with the purpose and concept of Let Go, Let Peace Come In Foundation. The name is long but so is the journey to recovery – but not impossible!
As a survivor, I understand how difficult life is when we keep our secrets safely hidden and never allow anyone close. I too was trained to be that way; ‘keep your mouth shut’, ‘it’s your fault’, ‘this hurts me more than it hurts you’, ‘children should be seen and not heard’, ‘only because I love you’, ‘one day you’ll thank me for this’, ‘you made me do it’,etc. All lies of course!
As a survivor, I know the importance of exposing the secrets the abusers worked so hard to train us to keep – their secrets, not ours! Secrets fester inside us; they destroy our lives and cause so much internal pain that life is unbearable. Abusers’ secrets destroy our ability to ever feel real happiness. Abusers’ secrets are like black holes created by the abuse we suffered as a child that continuously sucks up and absorbs any hint of light or happiness that may come our way and leaves only the black void in our souls and our lives – in our very existence! Black holes cannot be seen but we know they exist by the impact they have on everything around them – as it is in space, so it is in victims.
As I survivor, I understand that exposing my father’s vile secrets means accepting that he lied – that I have nothing to be ashamed of and it was always his shame! By purging his secrets, the unfathomable power imprisoning the black hole inside me deteriorates and weakens and slowly dissipates from my life – allowing light and happiness to seep in – finally.
As a survivor, I will not own him as ‘my abuser’ – he abused me – I was only an innocent child! I want to tell the world how vile of a man he truly was (he’s dead now, perhaps answering for his crimes) but to do so will still cost me my job and acquaintances. It’s already cost me my family. Life is not easy for those of us who have been abused – everything is much too complicated.
As a survivor, we all need to do what we can to ensure help for future victims of childhood sexual abuse – because as long as sex permeates our societies, pushes people to think non-stop about sex and desensitizes people to ‘normal’ loving sexual activities, the problem will only intensify.
As a survivor, I implore all other survivors to send a short paragraph about what happened to you when you were an innocent child. Including a picture of yourself distinguishes you as a real person but a male or female silhouette is provided if you prefer. We will reach over 10,000 survivors – count yourself in!
As a survivor, I see that society would like to think that we don’t exist, that we simply disappear – perhaps we were supposed to be swallowed up in that black hole too. We need to show them that we ARE here! We survived! But despite our strength, life is a struggle and there IS a problem with childhood abuse! United, we can make the impossible possible!
It’s Time To Tell!
Margie M., Author, survivor
As an incest survivor I had started a movement called The Lamplighters, a movement that currently has 41 chapters in six countries. I was also the author of the Repair series: Repair Your Life, Repair For Kids and Repair For Toddlers, all a program for recovery from childhood sexual abuse.
My father had raped me when I was 13, sleeping with a rosary under my pillow. When my mother found out about my father’s night time raids she blamed me and had my father beat me as punishment for what he was doing. Her motto about my father had been, “Even when he’s wrong, he’s right.” I ran away from home when I was 18 after a beating that almost killed me. For the next 2.5 decades I went from one abuser to another until I found myself married to my third abuser, a man so abusive that the counselor I was going to said I would never survive him. That counselor got me into recovery, a process that took five years. During my recovery I found out that my second husband had sexually abused my two oldest daughters. When confronted on his deathbed about it, he told me, “Sure I did it. It was their fault.” They were four and five years old. My youngest daughter had been raped at gunpoint when she was seventeen while she worked at a fast food place. That made four out of four, proving that children of an untreated incest victim stand a five times greater chance of being molested themselves.
During my recovery years I did everything that I later used in writing the Repair series. Once I was finished my motto was, “If I’d known life was going to turn out this good I would have started it sooner”.
After watching the stats over the years regarding child sexual abuse and seeing what everyone was doing I was overwhelmed by the idea that the people who were working to make a difference were too numerous to count. And while they were all making a difference in their little corner of the world, I kept thinking we needed more. I had spoken with colleagues about the need for something we could be a part of that was bigger than we were, something that could reach its hand out and bring everyone on board the same boat, rowing together.
I originally heard about the Let Go, Let Peace Come In foundation from another survivor when he recommended me to them as a board member. I gave it much thought and decided I was too busy. I got a phone call from the same friend. He tilted the scale a bit towards the foundation but, I was still dubious about what I could even contribute. Then I received a phone call from Peter Pelullo, the Founder. I was very impressed with Peter’s heartfelt commitment to this foundation. We shared backgrounds and where we were in our life. The more Peter spoke the more I could feel a tug. I’m not sure if he was aware of me not wanting to come on board but he was so convincing that I found myself feeling as if I’d never entertained any thoughts of not joining. I knew that what the world needed was someone who was going to bring something different to this war on childhood sexual abuse. Thousands of websites for non-profit organizations, blogs, and personal websites seemed to not make a dent in what they were trying to achieve as I could see the numbers not going down. But Pete seemed to have his finger on a different pulse. He wants to help, not with words, but with action. I had never heard anyone so devoted, so dedicated, so passionate about what he thinks the world needs. It needs to let go and let peace come in with dedicated therapists that he will bring to the foundation. I was on board!
Paul F., Husband, Father, Friend, Fire Chief & at last a Human Being
As a participant in this Foundation I would like to attempt to describe the impact on my life that childhood sexual abuse has had. For a look into the mind and emotional life of a twelve year old who was abused let me begin when the impact of what was done to me sunk in. I developed some strategies to help me survive and feel safe, the biggest one was “No one will ever hurt me again” I accomplished this by never allowing anyone to truly get to know me. I changed neighborhoods that I hung in regularly. I would start to hang with some people that I met in school, church etc. and when they started to get too close to me I would leave and go somewhere else. In this self imposed strategy, I felt like I was protecting myself, when in fact I was creating my own isolation and loneliness.
Fear of others knowing what happened kept me shut off from true connection and friendship. I found comfort in the bottle, I began drinking to drown the feelings of shame, rejection and betrayal, all this by the time I was twelve, when I should have been playing sports or anything else a healthy child might participate in. I eventually married at the age of twenty four to a woman I have been with now for over thirty years. After my son was born and my wife wanted more from our relationship, my strategy of pushing people away kicked in automatically. This is when my drinking problem became the focus of my many problems and inability to cope, she was leaving, I was scared to death, I got sober at the age of twenty five and we stayed together.
Many years later the true nature of my difficulty with living life surfaced it was and is the dreaded reality of trying to hide childhood sexual abuse. I have been in and out of therapy for years. My parents made me go to counseling at the age of sixteen but I did not have the courage to disclose the truth, at that time. I was under the false impression that it was my fault. If only I was stronger, smarter or something other than what I was I could have prevented the subtle manipulation and betrayal.
Now that I found my way into the community of others that have been living with the impact of childhood sexual abuse and have found the courage to talk about it, I am beginning to heal my wounded soul. I would seek out professional help for the symptoms of abuse but not disclose the fact that I was in fact sexually abused. I would feel better then stop going for help, only to regress and go back for help. This process of starting and stopping finally resulted in full disclosure about the abuse to a therapist who put me in touch with people who truly understood, the freedom to talk openly and feel safe in doing so has given me my life back. The recovery process is not easy but is extremely rewarding.
It is my hope that this brief description resonates with someone and inspires you to seek a community/therapist in your area where you will find the sense of belonging and healing that I have had the good fortune to find. Please care enough about yourself to help us help you.
Loren Due, Ph.D., Son, Father, Brother, Survivor and Victor over Childhood Sexual Abuse
What a joy to be asked to be on a board on subject dear and near to my heart. As a survivor and victor over Childhood Sexual Abuse I have a passion and ministry to bring healing and deliverance to anyone who will receive it from the results of Childhood Sexual Abuse.
I know first-hand what it is to be ravished by my own father, brother and sister. At the age of 4 and my brother was 13; he started raping me over a period of years when we had to share a bedroom in the two bedroom shack that we lived in. My brother and I shared the bunk beds and my sister who is 18 years older than me shared the same bedroom; she slept on a cot or smaller single bed.
My dad was a Pentecostal Evangelist and Associate Pastor when we lived in Pasadena never had a full time job but worked as a cement carrier and a janitor in a woman’s clothing store. He would take me with him sometime in the evening to work and I would see the mannequins some with no clothes on but most dressed very sexy. I would wander around the store while he worked and I would get turned on by the mannequins dressed in panties and bra display outfits. Once I saw my dad doing something with a mannequin and then he saw me playing with one he started to “Diddle me” and told me not to tell.
I discovered later in life that my family thought I was a “cute” or a beautiful baby and that my sister had dressed me in pink as if I was her doll. My sister who is my step sister, but I was raised to believe she was my full sister. As a teenager I saw my sister having a nervous breakdown and I was left at home to watch her because my dad thought she could be healed – she would masturbate in front of me. My sister who was 18 years older than I was also my baby sitter for a long time along with her girlfriends who were twins. These twin sisters also were my sitters when my sister was not available and they also treated me like their little play doll. They played with my little instrument as they played with each other.
You are probably wondering where my mother was! She was working three to four jobs to keep food on our table and provide a place for us live. When you live in a two bed room shack and three people are staying one of those two bed rooms a lot can happen and it did. My mother and father slept in the other bedroom unless we had out of town ministers visiting us.
From all the encounters I had as a child starting at age 4 and going on for some time I progressed into a sexual addict until I had a Significant Emotion Event (SEE) where the Lord told me not to do to my son what was done to me. I go into detail in my soon released memoir: “A Pentecostal Whore.”
From all I have experienced and lived through to become a survivor and victor over Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Addiction I know by the grace of God that I can give to this organization of the knowledge gain through my years of formal education and on the job experience. My resume lists all my various rolls in corporate America and my current role with my wife in running our Home Care and Temporary Medical Staffing company as our ministry tent work.
The resume does not tell the story of what is in my heart concerning the desire to be a help to whoever will receive of my knowledge and encouragement to know that they too can be an over comer and victor to Child Sexual Abuse. I believe I am a messenger of hope and joy for those who will receive. Being a part of a board that is committed to exposing, confronting and revealing the truth about Childhood Sexual Abuse is exactly what I want to do. To know that we will help Adult survivors with therapy, encourage thousands of people to tell their stories, an established a day to acknowledge Child Sexual Abuse and be a part of an international organization is an awesome task.
At one time I was on thirteen volunteer boards of directors and none of those boards demonstrated what I have seen done after one meeting this week in Philadelphia. Anyone can talk a good game if they know how to talk, but what I have seen with action behind the talk lets me know that we will accomplish much on behave of Childhood Sexual Abuse survivors who will allow us the opportunity to be of service to them and our various communities.
I appreciate the opportunity of being a part of Let Go…Let Peace Come In organization. I will do all in my power to promote the excellence of this organization
Michael Skinner, Father, Grandfather, Musician, Advocate
I am a father to 5 wonderful daughters, a grandfather to a precocious seven year old granddaughter, and a friend to many. I am also a professional musician who plays the guitar, sings, writes songs, plays the drums, and has released 3 musical cds that have been sold in every state of the USA and in many parts of the world. As a drummer I spent two years in the late 70s touring all of Great Britain with the hard rock band “American Train”. We got to eprform in many of the same venues back then as did The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, AC/DC and so many more. As a singer/songwriter/guitarist, I have performed throughout America – from Boston, MA to LA, CA and many parts in between. My musical endeavors have given me so many valuable and intersting experiences. I’m also an advocate, public speaker, and writer of published articles that address the concerns of mental health, trauma, and abuse. I like to hike, swim, camp, explore, spend time with family and frinds, read, listen to music, watch Public Broadcast Stations and movies, listen to National Public Radio, and I love coffee and pizza!!!!
That is who I am as a person… but I also deal with complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression (major at times), severe back problems, and mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). My health concerns are the result of a childhood and teenaged years filled with the pain and suffering caused by severe and protracted sexual, physical, and emotional abuse from my parents and many of thier friends.
Please know. I AM NOT A DIAGNOSIS – a diagnosis is not a destiny – It is not my destiny, though many have tried to make me feel otherwise, I am not an illness. But these health concerns have affected so much of my life due to the stigma and discrimination of those labeld “Mentally Ill”. I am the founder of Surviving Spirit and I hope to be part of the change in addressing and eradicating the stigma and discrimination that so many survivors of trauma, abuse, and mental health concerns face every day.