Tammy Gagnon tells her story about rape on the hollischapmanshow.
1.Tell us a little about yourself,and your new book No Longer Silent.No Longer Silent
I was born in Washington, Dc, and raised in Alexandria, Va.
My paternal grandfather began to rape me around 9 yrs old and this went on for about 2 years.
He used my fear of punishment by my fathers belt to keep me quite. After this secret was exposed, when I began crying on the way to be dropped off at his home in DC. I never seen him again but my fathers drinking got much worse and I’d overhear him talking to my mother about the validity of my accusation. He actually went after a night drinking to find and kill his father.
When rape i felt like dirty little girl because nobody ever explained what had happened.
I ran away from home by 14 years old and spent many years on the street, or in violently abusive rape relationships. My first husband broke my ribs and threw my pup out of the window going 70 MPH (only a few incidents that happened) I was sentenced t 10 years in prison for drinking related charges by the age of 30. One of my many incarcerations happened to be an IN-PT Therapy program.
Its the beginning of my life Triumph as they didn’t address the rape and drinking….
They dug much deeper into the rape incest, and then helped me face it.
2.Share with us the perversity of human will.
I’ve been hurt,rape, and near death on at least a dozen times but I didnt give up, 2 attempts of suicide, 2 brutal rapes and additional near death experiences, but I try to regain some grain of hope and resume life again and again.
3.Flees home at 14, what was the breaking point for you?
I attempted t go back to the good little girl that made my parents proud of me but it couldn’t be obtained, I didn’t understand what had happened and still thought everything was my fault. Even when my grandfather rape me and told me to keep it quite happened except the belt, he said my parents would be so disappointed in me and since they didn’t even want to talk to me, I figured that had happened..
4.That touching quickly escalated to oral sex and other intimacies.This kind of rape is going on more then we want to believe!
I don’t remember dates so I’ve gauged the length of time by photos, where he lived, where we lived and where it happened. He would even visit my twin size bottom bunk bed with my parents 2 doors away.
5.Give us your thoughts about the Penn St issues,churches, is their signs we can look for? how do we let the kids know they can come foreword? its not their fault.
This is a one of the biggest reasons why I continue to talk about my story. I’m no longer that helpless little girl who said she got rape,
But it has to be told! People are afraid to tell because of how “they” will look, people might think they asked for it, or they are broken forever? People still don’t fully understand how rape,being violated or abused in this way can result in severe long term effects and damage.
That any human would judge a victim as such is ignorant of the issue and needs to be educated but they don’t want to seriously research the effects because its easier to ignore if you play possum. It doesn’t & won’t make the facts change though, its damaging but there is healing if you have the knowledge of where to begin? This is what I also speak about and even offer Life Coaching for anyone who has been through a rape.
I’m such a happy, positive person and love to maintain an attitude of gratitude but the stats on this silent epidemic has got to stop! I only know my story to share to help other victims know that I’m smiling and have re- learned a healthy life and how to love myself…wholly, they can too!
6.You were nine year old when this molestation filled her young mind with guilt and rage.How is your relationship life now? Do you trust men?
I have trust issues with everyone, especially men.I’ve come a very long way and can “pull my collar” if I feel an old behavior is creeping back. I haven’t been in a relationship in years, I fell in love with me and have spent every waking moment building my Foundation, speaking, reaching out and helping others. I won’t turn over rocks for a relationship…when its time, it will be right, and I will have the proper tools 😉 Communication and honesty are critical on any level of healing and trusting again.
7.She was well-behaved at home and an “A” student in school. Was this a way for you separate from what was really going on in your home?
I was raised in a strict home, the old school “Kids are to be seen not heard” but I was always seeking praise by over-achieving even before I even remember my grandfather coming into the picture. I think all kids genuinely do, that’s why its taught to praise kids…They need it, thrive for it & want it!
8.Her body began to mature and her emotional needs changed,who noticed your body changes? what was the emotional changes?
I didn’t care about pleasing my parents any longer, I’d given up and rebelled against the rules. I know now that mentally I was screaming for help but I had no idea. It was my mother that noticed I was developing physically and she insisted I start wearing bra’s.
9.She hungered for someone who would listen to her and give her the support and comfort she needed to overcome these memories,why do you think it was so hard to find some one to listen to you?
I was trained “not” to talk about the rape events at all by my mother. I never verbally told anyone that the rape had happened only acting it out and then much later when I was drunk I found a voice but that instilled more drinking desire to find that same voice more often, of course drinking it didn’t come out positive, it was usually negative and end up rape.
10.Final comment: What’s on your “Bucket List?” Top 5 things
you’d still like to do?
#1 ~I need Donations to complete the “Silent No Longer Foundation” to also provide sponsorship programs for any child that wants to participate in sports, music, cheerleading, whatever else is only financially obtainable, speaking etc..
#2 ~Build a large “safe-Home” for Teens & offer aftercare or Therapy(with dogs & horses is in my plans for the trust issues and bonding of victims)
#3 ~Obtain my Psychology Degree to better help victims
4#~See my book to Film Production to the finish, we are in the beginning, my Producer is seeking Corporate sponsors to move ahead
5#~I want to visit Disney-land! Ha!
An amazing True Life story of one womans 25 year journey to battle back from the edge of death.
As she reclaims her life and voice to share her story as never told before.