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Take-away From Lance Armstrong

I’ve followed Lance Armstrong for years.  Being the cynic that I am, I have never been able to totally buy into his innocence……but I have wanted to.  Lance Armstrong and the doping scandal have more in common with sexual abuse issues than we think.

It is tempting to believe the perpetrator of a sexual abuse allegation.  Just like it is tempting to believe a world-class cyclist who swears up and down that he didn’t do anything wrong.  Believing them is so neat and tidy.  No one has stir up a bunch of unpleasantness by asking uncomfortable questions.  And it is such a nice story; “I am a pillar of society”, “Those who doubt me must have an agenda”, “I am pure and innocent, just like you want me to be”.  Believe and you can walk away with a clear mind to go about your business in peace.   Question the validity of their character and be prepared to have other’s come at you with their claws out.

That is exactly what happened in the Armstrong case.  Those who went against the “party line” were punished.  They were ostracized from the cycling world and left stranded and alone.  Why is that any different than going against an abusive father, coach, teacher, or religious leader?  The accuser is usually more suspect than the perp. The only difference I see is that most of those in the Armstrong case were punished and turned away as adults at the time of their “discretion”.  An abused child has already been beaten down by the abuser during their youth and far more vulnerable and damaged by the bullying behavior of those around them.  Even when an abuse victim comes forward as an adult, they have spent years living in fear with their dark secret and are easily squashed. 

Lance hid behind his charity foundation for years.   It is difficult to call someone out for their behavior when they are doing humanitarian work.  Hello Catholic priests!  “It isn’t possible that these “selfless” individuals could be doing something illegal and immoral; they are providing so much for others”.  What a crock of crap. 

We like heroes.  We don’t like to question them, we just like to admire them and blindly hold them in high regard.  It feels safer to have strong, powerful people in charge.  A father is the head of the household and no one wants to believe that he could defile his young.  A priest is the mouthpiece for the man upstairs and we don’t want to acknowledge that he may not be keeping our best interest near and dear to his heart. Lance was the comeback kid.  He was a hero.  He beat cancer and then rode to victory.  Who wants to mess with an inspirational story of that magnitude?  We want to believe, damn it! 

Abuse survivors have their work cut out for them.  They have to go against the massive machine of human nature.  They have to tell uncomfortable truths against bigger and more powerful people.  Many among us say we want to believe abuse can happen, but it is easier said than done, for to follow the abused means to walk away from the masses.  And that is scary.  


To walk away from the masses is to walk alone.

Is the massive machine really bigger and more powerful than the power of one to stand agains't that wall of weak links?  I'm not sure I beleve that perception.  I'm not sure it's people we should be calling out either.  It's not the person who committed the act that we must punish.  It's the behavior and lack of conscience that we must address both legally, but first emotionally conscious and self respectfully.

A lot of people made a lot of money on the laurels of Lance Armstrong's self interests  A lot more will be coming out on the doping that still exists in all sports.  So this is an appropriate analogy to abuse.  But as far as punishing just the man, who was brought up by a 17 year old who lied about her age just to get a job in order to provide for her son is a one demensional aspect.  She married 4 men before she found love, which reflects on the environment that Lance grew up. He was named after an athlete who never lived up to his expectations.  Lance, her son, had to make sure that he would live up to his mother's expectations, at ALL costs.  I'm not making excuses for the guy, I'm just shedding some understanding to how his ethics were learned and applied.  Success for himself, whatever the cost.  Unfortunately, it has cost him his integrity,  That can never be bought or stolen.  Only sold, by himself...and he has.

That's where I believe true survivors have it easier than the masses, in the sense that they understand right from wrong.  They just don't have the tools to be able to see themselves as enabling because they have been listening to what their perpetrators have buzzed into their psyche about how they should fear the masses and what the world believes about superficial characters, heroes and the like.  Not until someone else acknowledges their pain and suffering to help them see how truly strong and powerful they have been to have endured the hurt and not given in to fall with the weakness of those masses can they stop listening to those false voices that play no role in the true act of life and living well.

Those that spoke out against' the doping may have been ostracized and left alone but they perservered because they would not be silenced by that.  They have been justified by their own proactive stand.

When someone truly looks into another persons soul, who they are, what they characterize by what they believe, they begin to understand the goodness and evolving of human nature.  It's more complicated than we can imagine, and more enlightening into the nature of true compassion for one another.

I would venture to say,  walk away from the masses or the self imagined machine of public judgement and find yourself.  Heed your conscience and your gut instincts for whats right, and let that move you forward.  It's relieving.  It's invigorating.  It's self satisfying by greater rewards in future living.

Think it and you will come to understand how to believe in it.  You will.


Could not have said it better.  What a beautiful and powerful perspective.

I appreciate getting your feedback because my alter was afraid I was offending in your thought provoking insights into the mind and heart of the healing.  But I also felt in my heart of hearts that you would get what I meant because you helped me question how I got from where you treat to where I am.

It hasn't been an easy road and like many sisters & brothers here,  I'm blessed and lucky to have you and Stacey and all the wonderful devout enlighteners here to always lift my spirits but also help me share my misery when feeling lost and alone.  It takes a huge load off to be able to do that.  Our goal after all is to accumulate less gravely, more smoothly paved roads,   You have all done that for me.  Thanks, and thanks again!!

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About Stacey Lannert

Stacey is free. In January 2009, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence of life without parole. She is currently speaking out about sexual abuse and sharing her message of love, healing and forgiveness.