Today and Every Day, I Fight.
I sit on the edge of the silence, beckoning for the words of others with stronger, more powerful voices. They float along the river of complicity, only screaming out the words that fit their agenda, or the agenda of the wizard behind the curtain. When will these voices take a stand, and speak out? Who will be the one to not comply with the wizards, and be a beacon of light for ALL survivors? We are one in our abuse, there is no elite, or Olympic level for abuse!
I am but one voice within the over 99%, of abuse victims-without the backing of the name Olympian, we are the same in our abuse. Yet treated like we don’t matter- there is no elite or Olympic level for abuse! I represent the looked over, ignored, used, and under reported survivors. Main stream media has allowed past abuse to go unchecked, present abuse to continue, and future abuse to happen. Even for the Olympian’s, and elite athletes.
Frustrated, alone, sad, and confused-I will never stop fighting for the safety of future swimmers, and athletes. The echo of silence is slowly creeping back, but I will not allow it to trap me in a prison of unspoken words. USA Swimming has 1000’s of bodies buried all over the world and 10’s of 1000’s of victims. Because of this I cannot stop the fight against those who choose to cover up, keep quiet, and ignore ALL the victims, and keep quiet about the abusers.
What is your part in the decades long history of abuse? Those who’ve said to me- I want things to change, I want to make a difference. WHAT are you doing to change what has gone on in USA Swimming? Do not speak of change, while doing nothing.
Put a stop to further abuse, make right the abuse from the past, and make changes to ensure no one has to ever be a victim again! There’s no level of elite or Olympic level abuse victim, or survivor, we are equal in our pain. Ask yourself- what am I doing to stop abuse within our sport?!!!
On a side note~
Throughout my coaching career, I believed there was only one way to coach, and I coached like that for a very long time. I have used terms that my coaches used when I was a swimmer. I have used different forms of exercise to punish swimmers that chose not to do what was asked of them. I spent many a day frustrated at swim practice-wondering why being at practice made me so unhappy, and why some swimmers were never happy at practice.
It took my abuse, and some incredibly amazing people, who’ve taken an extremely large amount of time, to help me and teach me- that there is another way. Gone are the punishments, gone are the authoritarian sayings, and coaching. I will do things differently, swimming should be fun and swimmers should enjoy coming to practice. Not out of fear of their coach, or anyone else.
~ I had to add a couple more paragraphs, because Chris DeSantis doesn’t like it when I don’t have enough paragraphs.