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My name is Karen Fennell, and I am a psychotherapist who treats sexual abuse survivors. I am also the mother of a son who, as a child, was sexually abused by a family member. My son came to me when he was 19 years old and told me he had been sexually abused when he was a little boy by his uncle. The news shook me to the core. My world was rocked by sexual abuse,
and I didn’t have anywhere to go to seek information and share profoundly personal information. If I, a professional working in the field of abuse recovery, felt this alone and frightened, I can only imagine how those with less experience must feel.
Plain and simple; sexual abuse sucks, and it takes time and patience to heal. My son, my husband, my children and I spent several years coming to terms with the abuse. As we inched toward renewed health, I made it a mission to use my professional training as a therapist working in the field of sexual abuse recovery, combined with my personal experience as a mother, to offer a roadmap back. No one should have to go it alone.
I have worked tirelessly to help and/or support those affected by childhood sexual abuse. I maintain a private therapy practice in Charleston, South Carolina. A significant portion of my caseload consists of abuse survivors or their family members. I also speak publicly on this topic as often as I can. In addition, I wrote a book detailing my family’s experience called Straying Towards Truth: A Therapist’s Personal Story and Professional Guide to Healing after Sexual Abuse. I am deeply committed to assisting those traumatized by childhood sexual abuse. My professional training combined with my personal experience make me uniquely qualified to assist and support.
If I can reach someone in need in my office, it’s great. If I can reach them during a conference, I’ll do that. If I can help someone through my book, I consider it one more person who is not journeying alone. Naturally, when the opportunity arose for me to join forces with Healing Sisters, I jumped at the chance to participate in yet another vehicle to contribute to the healing process of abuse survivors and their loved ones.
This is my first official blog entry on Healing Sisters. I am joining forces with Healing Sisters because I believe in their mission. I am truly excited to offer a safe place to share information and seek support for anyone impacted by childhood sexual abuse. I wonder how much less burdensome my painful journey would have been if I had had a website like this where I could have instantly found a community of others who “get it”.
Please be a part of that community. This is the beginning of a new journey for me as well. Join me on my blog page. Ask away! I spend most of my days in my office with clients tackling everything and anything related to sexual abuse. No question or concern is taboo. I have heard it all….nothing shocks me. Often, people exposed to abuse are timid to seek out information because the topic is so unseemly. I plan on “going there”. I plan on posting answers to questions I receive, but in addition, I plan on covering topics that I feel are vital to understanding the impact of childhood sexual abuse. So many behaviors, thoughts and feelings expressed in adulthood originate in the abuse suffered as a child, but the connection is not obvious, so therefore, misunderstood. Let’s begin to understand the connection. We are all going to be healthier and safer. I value each and everyone’s story, struggle and triumph. I’m sitting here at my computer, poised and ready to begin……
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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.