Last week, we met an amazing resilient artist, Amelia Presley, and learned a little about her story of child abuse. This week, she is going a little deeper and sharing more that I am confident you will find compelling. Thank you for all the comments and shares last week! My followers are the BEST!
I’ll turn it back over to Amelia.
It was very difficult to start talking about “Harm Nobody Else.” I felt that as an adult, I learned to overcome so much. I made it through abusive relationships and decided not to put up with that type of treatment anymore. I joined the military and overcame sexual harassment and abuse. I became a very tough person on the outside.
The Commanding Officer at my first unit referred to me as “stoic.” I gained a reputation of being someone who could take anything thrown my way. I was thought of as strong, and believed that I finally was. The truth is that I had just learned to take any type of abuse and bury it under a tough exterior.
When I told my story publicly, it felt like a huge weight was lifted and was replaced by the weight of pulling that truth into myself. I fell into a very deep depression, but for once, I expected it. I prepared myself to have thoughts of suicide and I did. But since I was prepared to have those thoughts, I was able to get through them. I learned a pretty life-changing lesson through that. I remember lying in bed feeling as if I wanted to disappear. I had no need to reach out for help. I didn’t want help. I wanted to die. Then I remembered to just push through. I told myself to just wait and the thoughts would pass. Sure enough, it wasn’t long until they were gone. Then came the revelation moment. Thoughts of suicide are intrusive. They happen when your mind is not firing on all cylinders. Thinking of all you have to live for during that time does not help, because your mind is not well. Thinking of all you have to live for only makes sense to a mind that is thinking logically. People who suffer from depression should prepare themselves to expect those thoughts to come, but to just remember to wait. Wait and wait until those thoughts pass.
I decided to record a music video for “Harm Nobody Else” by myself in the home where the abuse took place. My three-year-old daughter played me in the video. The decision to cast my daughter came from a very heavy moment in the studio while I was recording the song. That entire day was magic. The people who where with me in the studio were so supportive, cheering me on through the process. Toward the end of the day, I finally broke down. I was recording one last run on the vocals when I started to visualize what the music video would entail. I started to see the words I was singing play out, and I saw my story from start to finish with me as a three-year-old child. My daughter is the same age as I was when the abuse began and I suddenly saw her face replacing mine. Then I broke and stopped singing. I started to cry and couldn’t gather my composure. I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone harming her. She’s so little. I decided soon after that, I had to have her play me as a child in the music video.
I needed the video to be painful because without that, it wouldn’t be real. It’s so easy to go about life and block the injustices of the world out of your mind. That’s a big reason why abuse remains a secret. A “Behind The Scenes” portion was added to the end of the video to show that my daughter was actually having fun when we recorded the scenes. I’m extremely proud of her for taking directions so well, and showing the emotions I was asking her to show. She won’t know how big of a part she played until she is much older. Her performance will change people’s lives.
Facing your own truth is the hardest thing you’ll ever do in life. But it is also the most liberating thing you’ll ever do.
I am dedicated to documenting my healing process in sequence, so that others may feel empowered to do the same. I am dedicated to showing every unpolished truth about the process. That includes insecurities, “mess-ups” on stage, such as my performance on The Country Network when I choked from the nerves of knowing I was about to tell my story before playing “Harm Nobody Else.” It includes being honest about depression and anxiety. It includes being honest about thoughts of suicide.
I want anyone who’s been through any type of abuse to know this: You didn’t ask for the cards you were dealt. It’s time to pass the back to the dealer.
Your abuser will more than likely never accept the blame, but that does not mean that you have to hold onto it. The blame is NOT yours! The shame is NOT yours.
THIS IS NOT YOUR SECRET!
You can follow Amelia’s jouirney here: