date of testimony: January 16th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
It is hard to believe this agonizing nightmare has been on replay for over a year now. For many women it has lived inside of them for much longer. I can still remember the feeling of disbelief last October when I realized that what I had thought was medical treatment over ten years ago was actually sexual abuse.
This case has taken all of me, every ounce of my being to press forward. The world that we live in does not allow time to heal, and it never will.
Life continues to come at lightening speed. My career continues to demand my very best, and my family responsibilities do not take a time out.
What’s left is a tank on empty due to the emotional stress of the afterlife of what you have done. My children and my husband get less than my best due to the many sleepless nights and layered days of scratching and clawing to stay afloat.
Prior to realizing what you had done to me I was a woman who once woke up each day with a smile, positive attitude, and end the day with just enough leftover energy to play with my children and successfully put a mark on another day. I gave humans the benefit of earning my trust and most often took the time to see good in most people
The past year has been nothing like those times. My days start with exhaustion from a less than restful night’s sleep and they end with fatigue from all the distractions and emotions that fill each day.
I have always believed that I can accomplish whatever life throws my way with a restful night’s sleep, and I cannot sleep because of what you have done. I have made jokes in the past saying that I’ve never witnessed a bad’s night sleep and for that
I was forever grateful for God giving me the ability to sleep soundly. Over the last year I have cried more nights than not and I have experienced flashback nightmares of the abuse. I’ve woken up from such bad nightmares that I vomit. The anxiety this has caused me is what leaves me feeling like there is nothing more to give.
Today I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, and friend that is struggling each day to find peace and joy in all things that once made me happy.
Conversations are overtaken by Larry Nassar and the obvious pain in my voice is hard to avoid. Those that truly know me know I will never be the same.
November of last year I began seeing a therapist for what I now know is post-traumatic stress disorder. My deepest pain and fear was the thought of my two young daughters ever being hurt like this. The fear that invoked was crippling. I was unable to send my children to daycare due to the paralyzing anxiety I was experiencing. And birthday parties, sleep-overs, large crowds of people steal the joy of creating memories with my family. Some day I will have to explain to my children why I am the way I am, my reasons for being cautious and fearful.
My career has suffered tremendously from the distractions and the pain I am feeling. There’s not a day that passes that I don’t think about the monster that created this mess. The checklist of what needs to get done has never been harder to accomplish and some days the details seem like a nearly impossible task.
My mind is full of what is my new reality and my heart is aching from not being able to trust anybody around me. For the past year I’ve held back with those that I love most. I have become withdrawn from my every day life. Life seems to be moving at a speed that I cannot keep up with and my peace of mind is forever taken away.
I will always sacrifice myself as a parent. I went from once trusting full-heartedly to now not being able to trust at all. The hardest battle I will continue to face is even in the situations you feel most safe, you can never let your guard down. If you can’t trust a world-renowned doctor, who in this world can you trust?
These feelings don’t just stop from the abuse of Larry Nassar. As if the struggle of what Larry Nassar did isn’t bad enough, it’s horrifying that MSU and USA Gymnastics are not stepping up to the plate to admit their wrongdoing.
I have gone from a raving fan of MSU to now seeing green and white in the very same way as I do Larry Nassar. I want MSU and USAG to know what they have done is on the very same level of accountability as the crime Nassar has committed. I strongly believe that MSU and USAG’s inaction places an accountability on them for Nassar’s access to minors which led to sexual abuse.
MSU knew what was being done to these athletes and decided to turn a blind eye to keep their reputation strong and their pockets full. If they would have only taken action upon the reporting, they would have saved me and all of these other women standing before us today from an afterlife full of pain and agony.
As to what we now know of USAG, paying out to keep quiet is beyond my wildest dreams of wrong.
Shame on you for looking the other way when this was brought to your attention.
I’d like to take a moment to comment on MSU Board of Trustees as well as the president of MSU, Lou Anna Simon. How convenient that you decided not to attend today. You are a coward and your decision to watch from the sidelines is perfect representation of your lack of leadership.
It sickens me that for 16 months you allowed Larry Nassar to continue to see young children under your guidance while he was under investigation for sexual abuse. Now that this is a public matter you put out a blanket statement as your sincere apology. Have you ever thought to pick up the phone to apologize to your victims? Have you ever thought to pick — oh, sorry. It would onlymake sense for you to speak directly to the victims to seek a better understanding of what had happened. Not once have you reached out to gather information or to ask how we are doing.
We see how you’re handling this matter, and I can tell you from a mother’s experience that I expect better effort from my two young children. A public apology after you hid behind this monster for over 20 years will never be enough.
Where were you when we needed you? If you would have only listened to all the women that brought complaints and concerns over all these years this would have saved so many children and women from being abused and from all the scars this has created.
You have apologized for him and for the horrible things he has done. That is not enough. At what point will you look at yourselves in the mirror and realize that taking ownership of this matter is the only way to truly bring about change. Until then, I will continue to fight for real answers.
Lou Anna Simon and the board of trustees, all the signs were there. The complaints should have been enough for you to open your eyes and ears and to ensure that there was intentional follow through involved to protect the women under your care. You failed all of us, and for that I see you in the same category of criminal as I do the criminal standing before us today.
On the other hand, I am beyond grateful for the sentence Nassar received. 60 painful years of prison life surely brings relief to me. Knowing you will never have the opportunity to hurt another human being is reassuring.
As for the people at MSU and USAG, just know we will continue to fight to ensure that you’re held accountable for not protecting young girls under your care from this day forward.
2018 brings newness for myself and my family. Even though I will never be the same, I will continue to fight for trust, love, and, most of all, peace of mind. I will slowly but surely begin to feel, to feel the joy of new experiences with my children, reconnect with friends who over the last year have gotten less than my best. I will make strides to love with an untainted heart that is ready for new beginnings.
The pain will never fully pass from what you and the irresponsible organizations have done to myself and many others. There’s still so much uncertainty in life, but one thing is for sure, I will continue to press forward to seek what was once happiness. I will educate my children about monsters like you and pray to God they will never experience pain like this. There will be a day when I look into my soul and I will still see the scars of this nightmare, but I will no longer feel the deepness of your pain. The scars will remind me that the past is real but the future is bright. Thank you.
THE COURT: Thank you for being here. You said when you opened that the case has taken all of you and there’s no time to heal. Well, you’ve taken the time today to make your voice heard and really to begin deeply healing whether you realize it now or not.
Healing, awareness, strength. That’s what you’re about, and peace of mind, being here today, and that your boogie man, which all children fear, will not come out of prison, will not harm you or anyone else again.
And you talk about wanting your children to understand and to keep them safe, and I suspect that you will be like I am. Because I hear so many vile cases I’m a bit overprotective, and my middle child calls herself Rapunzel because of me, because I only let her out after I carefully examine everything, and she does not like that, but my daughter also expressed a desire to be here and to hear your words and the words of the other victims, and I know that she’s not the only teenager who wants to hear what you have to say, and so coming from you instead of me, from the parent she doesn’t want to listen to, is so critical, and your children, too, will not only have your voice as the mother, even if they choose like my daughter to disregard my words, because all of you have come here together in strength. She will be reassured, both your daughters — they’re girls, right? Yes. They’ll both be reassured that your voice is one of hundreds and that you are right, so I think they will listen. I actually pray and know they will listen because of your sincerity, and because being here today you have saved so many other victims and other voices will rise. The cream always rises to the top, and that’s all of you, and that’s you, ma’am, so you need to heal, you need to sleep peacefully henceforth. You have amazing new beginnings that you haven’t even dreamed of, but your dreams are out there and his are not. His are squashed. Yours will grow, so thank you again for being here.
Thank you for your time.