April 15, 2014

A Beyond Survivor's Story: One Woman's Harrowing Journey to Healing - Part 2

This week, Jori Nunes, author of Chocolate Flowers and amazing beyond survivor continues her amazing story of survival.

One of the things I suffered from in writing the book was whether or I not to use my own identity. In doing so, it could not only put my business in jeopardy but the few friendships I have. Recently, a client told me that I should not have the title of author on my email because people are likely to look my book up and see what I wrote. I asked her if she read my book and yes, she went on and on about how she couldn’t put it down and learned so much from it that she never thought of before. I asked her how she knew about it and obviously her answer was from my email. It’s not that I am forcing anyone to read the book but if you are meant to read it, I believe there will be a way for you to find out about it. 

Sometimes I wonder why I spent so much time and money on the book and realize I may never recoup that but I didn’t write it to get rich, I wrote it truly to bring awareness because although we all think it will never happen to our child, I guarantee you that all parents of molested children felt the same way unless it was the parents doing it which is rarely reported. As far as my relationships with friends, most of those have changed. I almost wonder if they think of me as someone other than the person they knew prior to me writing the book. I wonder, ‘Do they think I’m like that and can’t be trusted?’ I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me. I am happy and always have been most of my life except during the dark times.

Today, I went to an appointment and the person I was about to meet with was so excited yet sad to tell me that because she read my book, she realized that her own daughter had the same symptoms that my son had when he was being molested that I noticed looking back to write the story: anger, withdrawing, personality changed, lower grades. She sat with her and discovered that her daughter was being molested and immediately reported it to find out that the young man assaulting her was also being molested and this is in the process of being investigated. I feel proud that I was able to stop something that was happening right in her own home from a neighbor friend having a play date. 

As a parent, I have made plenty of mistakes. The worst was allowing a person near my son who was a master manipulator, betraying my trust and taking advantage of my innocent child sexually, threatening him that he would kill his mommy if he ever told. The second was catering to this abused son and neglecting the needs of his younger sibling thinking he didn’t need as much care because he was not sexually abused. 

Twenty years ago there other were not internet support groups and I am now
overwhelmed by the amount of people who share similar stories and appreciate their friendship.

It’s been twenty years, why can’t I just get over it? I believe the answer to that is because children are still going through what my son had gone through. There are still parents who think this doesn’t pertain to them and it doesn’t involve them but when they stop and learn about the things I and other parents and grown victims of sexual abuse have to say, they sometimes learn that it has affected them in one way or another. 

Two years ago, I looked in to foster care to get a sibling for my youngest child who is now six. In doing so, I read hundreds of files from adoptable children who were all sexually molested by their parents. I wanted to take one of these children in but was not permitted to because I had a young child and all of these available children were ones who acted out and that would put my child at risk. It broke my heart, but already going through sexual abuse with one child I knew I couldn’t risk it.

Before writing the book Chocolate Flowers, I thought I knew myself well. My mother was crazy. My father was crazy. That was just how it was. I didn’t realize as a child or adult just how those crazy parents had affected me as my anger and depression worsened. I would often go to physiologists hoping they could fix me but not one of them ever dug in to my childhood to the ‘dark’ times even though I would say my parents were crazy. What is crazy? To me when I used the word crazy looking back I now know that I meant insane. My parents were insane and because they are the ones who raised me, I am different too. I would use insane but I do suffer temporary insanity occasionally when I am overwhelmed. If I have too much to do and people are asking me to get this done now, I do get anxiety. My husband and children do not deserve my insane anxiety moments and luckily they don’t happen all too often but when they do, I tell myself that it’s okay now, you are safe and you just need to get done whatever you can and  everything will work out.

It’s hard having a mother yet not having her in my life. My most recent memory of her before she died was of Christmas when I brought my husband and three kids over to visit her and my stepfather. We were excited and proud to have brought them a stainless steel microwave and when my mother opened it she was so upset because she had not bought us anything although there were beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree for Mothers friends and neighbors. We left with an unwrapped family gift of a used bowl with holes and the ink pen price of $3.99 still written on the bottom as I forced my children away from the many gifts as they were in search of anything with their name.

I never felt like an abused child although I agree severely neglected. I always felt like the sexual abuse was always my parents’ mental illness and never had anything to do with me. It’s very easy for me to disassociate and know that the young girl in that room was not me; it was a person who had no voice.


Jori was born in San Francisco, CA and raised in San Ramon. Her birth father was an alcoholic, pan handler and dumpster diver and mother suffered from dissociative personality disorder and preferred to stay in her bed researching new diseases and diagnosing people with them since she was also a physic. Jori never spoke about the sexual abuse from either parent and had lived her life raising two children then married the love of her life and had another child. Jori tried to begin over and over with both parents but could never change who they were which was difficult and confusing for her.

Jori’s dream is to teach others what she has learned by writing the book, Chocolate Flowers, in hopes that the reader will not want to put it down but will also learn to detect a pedophile or abused child in hopes to help put an end to this silent epidemic and encourage others to talk about their abuse and not hold it in. http://jorinunes.weebly.com/

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