This podcast was created with the help of Caboolture 4015TV.
Have something to say about our community? then get in contact with Scott Lachmund @ 4510tv.com
If you want to hear the complete interview in its original form, please watch and listen to the video podcast above and turn on “CC”!
Transcript (with creative licence to make it a bit easier for the reader to follow)
Hi Scott Lachmund 4510 TV
Today’s episode viewers we want to capture a story of one of our locals Romecca Sawer’s.
How you going.
Good thank you.
Now the reason I wanted to catch Romecca is I recently put out on our Facebook page the hashtag, #yourstorymatters.
I really wanted to discover this and explore this a bit further with some locals around town because everyone has a story and Romecca’s kind enough to cover hers today. She’s going to share her story about surviving child abuse and we’re going to go through the story up to the current stage.
We’re going to get a bit deep on your journey and then we’re going to turn the story around to the next chapter of your story and how you’re helping people, and how we can ask our community to also help.
So Romecca for our viewers thank you for your time and thank you for wanting to share let’s start at
So I grew up in Guam, Guam for those who don’t know Guam it a territory of the U.S.A. It isn’t far away from here actually and it’s an island.
At the age of five years my story begins, really at five growing up in a home where I was surrounded by domestic violence and that’s when my child sexual abuse started and which had led me into quite a destructive journey through my life. Going into addictions like eating disorders, substance and
alcohol abuse, anorexia to bulimia which lasted for about 15 years
All throughout school I was bullied and never never felt loved, never felt like I had a place in this world.
At home I heard all the negative words of why I shouldn’t be here, and by growing up in that sort of environment there was no nurturing there was no encouragement, there was no love that I truly felt.
This environment did not help me to want to wake up and explore what life was really about and to dream, so it really was about how can I get, how am I going to get through today, do I want to get through today!
Which then led me into it even deeper, as I went from a child to my teenage years, being surrounded by the bullying and just hearing it wherever I went.
I just heard those negative words that just told me that I just didn’t belong and wasn’t loved and so because of all that It then became worse, I ran away and into my early adult years just started drinking even further every day.
I had really gotten into promiscuous behavior and I became a prostitute actually at 13 years old! Not realizing that it was, but that’s what it was
It was that I felt a need to be loved and wanting to yeah just take control somehow and in that I just became just really self destructive witch included self-harm and attempts of suicide.
I never took on the label of depression, I didn’t know what that was because I was quite isolated and didn’t have any friends so I just thought that the only way for me to feel better was to find a way to feel numb and so my addiction to alcohol and drugs was the answer for me.
I then just partied and partied all the time as you know It didn’t matter, nothing else mattered.
How did you how’d you come out, how’d you break away, how did you escape?
I found this gentleman, who I thought was crazy, because he was telling me how; when I first met him, he was the only
Scottish man on Guam and of course I was lucky enough to find him.
He walked up into the pub that I worked at and he asked me for a cab.
He just started to speak life into me and tell me that I was beautiful and that he loved me and I just still thought he was crazy
Later I became pregnant and I still struggled with my demons. Initially I was still addicted to alcohol, I tried to stop many times. Of course while I was pregnant I was sober and so that was a blessing and then I came here to Australia.
I desperately pleaded and said; this was 12 years ago, just pleaded with him please just take me away and it will be different and he said it won’t be different and I didn’t realize that when I came to Australia in 2006 that I actually carrying my baggage with me. That it was going to be with me.
No matter how far I went my baggage was going to come along with me until I unpacked it. That’s when things started to change, so I knew that I had to make that choice.
After one drunken night down the Gold Coast I realised, after seeing my children in the car and hearing a recording of myself, I realized that something had to change. I had to if I wanted a life and not be a statistic and not to die early, because I deep down I really felt that I was meant for more and so I guess I just kept nurturing that and fighting just fighting.
Romecca you’re a lady of faith now did that help the survival, did it help the change in your life and in your patterns?.
I’ve came back to my faith about two years ago. Initially I really didn’t want anything to do with anything spiritual. I kind of wanted to take life by my hands and be the one in control because I lacked trust in anyone.
Eventually I learned to just let it go, and for me to be at peace I had to forgive. I also just had to be happy, I had to find that empathy to be able to forgive and to see that to be able to do what I needed to do I had to let go and be so I to come to a place of peace and love.
You spoke about your kids, you know you’ve got a loving partner now and in two kids. How much did they know about your journey.
Have you been open with them?
My daughter I basically had to come out to and be honest with my eating disorders in order for me to stop that. I knew that I had to expose it, I had to
get that support and help because I knew that I couldn’t do it alone, so that’s where my spiritual support came in.
My husband been an absolute support and I know that it is the biggest thing that a survivor needs to go from victim to become empowered and to be an absolute, to stand on that. I would say on that that ground of being a survivor is to to be open to that help. To receive, to ask for help and not feel that you have to do it alone because you’re never alone.
Once again for our viewers I appreciate your strength and your honesty to open up and share your story because you know I hope that someone watches this and wants to make a change if they’re in a similar situation. This is where your survivor turns into further strength that you’re about to launch your book in a couple of weeks time.
“Because I Was Abused” from victim to empowered woman your first book.
It hits the shelves in a couple of weeks time and for our viewers we’re going to add a link to our video when that does get published. So again we’ll talk about that shortly, but tell us about the book.
Well the book has been a healing it has been a way to be a voice for those who feel that they don’t have a voice, who aren’t in that place where they feel that they are strong enough yet.
it really was about sharing the story from the voice of a victim, exactly what it sounds like, what life is like for a victim through their life of being a
child to a teenager to an adult and the challenges we face in this journey.
Writing my book really brought out even more healing and it really exposed a lot of just what I put my family through.It wasn’t to condemn myself but it really was to be aware and to appreciate even more so the journey that a supporter and the family of a survivor, what they go through and how amazing they are and the strength that it takes for them to be able to be that supporter. That’s why I do what I do
Just as you’re talking as a supporter and probably as your husband or as your kids and those around you, I’m trying to think of the words but there’s a strength in that as well to support someone with no judgment that sound right from a supporter.
Absolutely he was the first person I say if he just showed me unconditional love, there was no judgment ,he just met me where I was at and he just spoke life. He told me basically all the negative things that were spoken to me and basically spoke the opposite, that’s where I began to allow myself to
receive and to believe that I was worthy, that I am worthy and that we are all worthy and we’re all able to then come out and be the person who were destined to be.
So you are now into the next chapter, you are now an empowered woman sharing a message and not only through your book but you’ve also now started up your charity “Meant To Rise“
Again for our viewers we’re going to have some extensive links after this video so when you’re on our website watch the video but then scroll down we’re gonna have some links to “Meant To Rise“
Tell us about the charity.
Yes so the charity really is all about rising “Meant To Rise” and I was only able to get it started when I had fully healed and because I am now healed and empowered I am able to support those who are walking their journey.
Now you talk about “Meant To Rise” a not-for-profit organization that you’ve set up as founder and president that includes support groups, drop-in support, programs, workshops, community education, counseling and advocacy. All services available by people connecting with yourself and then I would imagine you then have referral services in the sector as well yes?
So we currently have a drop-in center. We’ve been fortunate enough to start and “Lives Lived Well” based here in Caboolture have given us an office space that we can work out of until we are able to raise enough funds to get a permanent home for “Meant To Rise” where we can have our survivors come in and just receive the love and support that they need and that we know we can provide for them.
Currently we have support groups for women and we are coming up with men’s support groups which is fantastic. It really is about just letting them know that there is no shame, no guilt, just to come out and receive that support. We’re ready to walk with you on that journey. Whatever or wherever it is they’re at in their journey were there to walk with them. It really is about them and not what I think is best for them because it’s their time, their journey.
One of my magic words “You need some funding you need some support” and what I do take pride in along with Andrew as we produce 4510 TV
for our Caboolture community, what we pride ourselves on is that we do a shout out down the camera for donations.
So if you’re looking to donate towards “Meant To Rise” and you want to help this charity of victims of abuse, particularly child abuse, we’ll put some details in our links, because there’s many many services available that need support.
I know there’s government sectors and various organizations but we all need funding.
You’ve got the dream you’ve got the vision. You’ve got the framework and you’ve got the experience. You’ve walked the path, we just need that little bit of funding to kick-start the next chapter.
So for our community if you are out there, once again we have some some links that you can use to donate to”Meant To Rise”
Romecca once again we appreciate taking your time in sharing your story.
Check out this cover, if you see that around; once again we’ll have some links.
Just reading the back cover of the book “Because I Was Abused” a book entailing the life and mindset of a child sexually abuse from the age of five
Available in a couple of weeks time we wish you all the very best for your book launch and maybe let’s revisit in six months time and see where “Meant To Rise” is and how’s it going.
I’m very excited for what’s to come for “Meant To Rise” and I know it’s truly meant to be and we are authentically here for those survivors
and we’ve just got amazing power behind it, thank you Scott.
That it from Romecca Sawyers and thanks for listening.