By: Brad Wilson
Before I continue on, I’d like to add a disclaimer to this episode, especially if you have young children around who can hear me speaking at this very moment: The following episode contains mature content. Listener discretion is advised.
Today my guest is psychotherapist and author of “Unbroken: One Woman’s Journey to Rebuild a Life Shattered by Violence. A True Story of Survival and Hope”, Madeleine Black (She lives online at https://madeleineblack.co.uk)
At the tender age of 13 her innocence was shattered and her entire life experience was forever altered on one night where she was gang-raped by two American teenagers.
I would like us to take a moment to visual our lives as 13 year olds. What was your middle school life experience like? What did you worry about? What were your chief concerns in life?
“It’s never too late to find your voice” – Madeleine Black
Because of my good luck for lack of a better word, my memories are still of a naive and innocent boy that really knew very little about violence and evil in the world at large.
I can’t even begin to fathom the amount of emotional strength that Madeleine possesses.
In our conversation, we discuss her decades long road to recovery, what we can do as parents and members of society to first help reduce and then eradicate sexual abuse … and this is of the utmost importance because recovery as a victim of sexual assault is an extremely long and difficult road that no one should have to walk.
Anyone who’s watched helplessly while a human being they dearly love attempts to overcome the physical and psychological effects of sexual abuse can tell you there are no simple magic-bullet solutions.
When it comes to the first steps that can be taken in the battle for eradication meditate on this quote by Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
The reality of the current world we live in was created because good people saw evil, sat around, and did nothing. Let’s change that by taking action whenever evil enters our sphere of influence.
Madeleine and I also discuss forgiveness and her quest to help as many human beings affected by sexual assault as possible find their voice.
To listen to this episode of “The Process with Brad Wilson” podcast, click any of the links below:
04:06 Your book “Unbroken”, can you tell me the central story on which your book is written?
04:48 – Can you tell me about some of the experiences and the things that you’ve done that have helped you the most in your road to recovery?
05:43 – How did you hear about the individual therapies?
06:23 – What was the catalyst that, you know, when you made the decision that you’re gonna live the life as best you could, and, break out of the shell that were in?
08:44 – What was your process for dealing with it when it came back again after you were a mother?
10:24 – Emotions build up power over us when we ignore them.
10:45 – Do you remember any specific breakthroughs?, any specific moments when you realized that, “Yeah, I’m gonna get through this”
13:23 – Forgiveness.
14:14 – How do we go about improving the rape culture, the words that we use?
15:58 – What do you think the process is that makes somebody inclined to commit a form of violence…, this form of abuse, and how can people do a better job of curtailing that sort of behavior, from an early age, so that, things are more prevented?
16:43 – The ideal age for relevant and effective sex education.
16:15 – An example of Holland’s sex education for young people.
17:37 – What about their (Holland’s) rate of assault (sexual assault)?
18:31 – Could you tell me what you believe to be the true nature of the human race, like, how would you describe humans to them (intelligent life forms observing us from a distance)?
19:14 – Have you ever had the inclination to see what happened to them?
20:15 – Imagine that there’s a carbon copy, 20 year old version of you that’s out there, who’s had a similar experience. What would you suggest as first steps on the road to recovery?
20:52 – Actionably, how would she find her voice? What would be some first steps that she could take?
22:50 – As a psychotherapist, have you taken steps to ensure that nobody else falls through the cracks like that?
23:14 – What’s a common assumption that people make about their lives that you think they should spend some more time thinking about (regarding their belief system about sexual abuse)?
24:21 – What’s a tragic thing that you regularly see that you wish you could change (in relation to being a therapist)?
25:36 -What actionable things can people do to have awareness?
26:59 – Have you ever strongly believed something only to reverse course later on?, and if so, what led to that change of belief?
28:01 – The realization that she had a choice and letting go.
29:17 – What do you do if you have a personal relationship with somebody that is negative?
30:47 – Are you a fun of any blogs or resources online?, and if so, which ones?
32:04 – How long were you on a digital detox, and what steps did you take?
33:02 – The good and bad of social media.
33:58 – Are there any books that you find yourself re-reading, every few years, and if so, which ones?
35:52 – Do you have any projects that you’re currently working on, besides your book, that allow your soul to breathe; your passion?
38:12 – Is this your life passion (speaking out)?
38:57 – If you could share one truth with the world, what would that truth be (in relation to recovery and healing)?
39:27 – Where would that support be located online if they want that kind of support?
40:46 – Helping people find their voice by speaking out.
42:06 – The Forgiveness Project