• Collier Landry

Incest & Sexual Assault (How She Survived) | Nancy Barrows

Disclaimer: This episode contains mature topics and includes graphic conversations about incest and sexual abuse. Audience discretion is advised.

Named one of LinkedIn's 50 Most Impactful People of 2021, child sexual assault survivor-turned-thriver Nancy Barrows M.S. CCC-SLP is using her personal story to change the narrative on how we look, discuss and treat child sexual abuse, both here in the United States and around the world

Episode Highlights:

  • Nancy shares with us her personal story of being assaulted by her grandfather starting at the age of four. And, how her family was forced to confront the abuse after years of "being in the dark".

  • Using her fierce resilience, combined with the love and understanding of her family, Nancy was able to confront her demons of an eating disorder and get off the hamster wheel of guilt and shame that so often survivors find impossible to disengage from.

  • Collier shares the similarities between Nancy's trauma and his own dealing with the murder of his mother by his father.

  • Nancy and Collier share a "knowing" moment, the point at which you can recognize trauma in others because you've been through so much.

  • According to the CDC, child sexual abuse is a significant but preventable public health problem. Many children wait to report or never report child sexual abuse. Although estimates vary across studies, the latest data shows:

  • About 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys experience child sexual abuse at some point in childhood.

  • 91% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child or child’s family knows.

  • The total lifetime economic burden of child sexual abuse in the United States in 2015 was estimated to be at least $9.3 billion. Although this is likely an underestimate of the true impact of the problem since child sexual abuse is underreported.

  • The prevalence of child sexual abuse is difficult to determine because it is often not reported; experts agree that the incidence is far greater than what is reported to authorities.

If you or someone you know is suffering from or is the victim of sexual abuse, please use the following resources to seek assistance.

Resources I mentioned in the episode

:

National Sexual Assault Hotline: Available 24 hours 1-800-656-4673

https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline

https://victimsofcrime.org/child-sexual-abuse-statistics/

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childsexualabuse/fastfact.html

Connect with Nancy Barrows here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancy-barrows-m-s-ccc-slp-92124213/


Sexual Assault and Incest with Nancy Barrows Moving Past Murder Episode 25

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[00:00:00] Nancy Debra Barrows: Here. It was literally unleashed on my family. Everyone knew I was not ready for that. I was ready for it to stop that I was not ready to, you know, have people, my parents look at me, cry going through their version of the trauma.[00:00:20]


[00:00:22] Collier Landry: Hello. And welcome back to another episode of moving past murder. I am your host, Collier Landry, and I want to thank all of my listeners and viewers for tuning in each week for our new episodes, which are released every. On your favorite podcast app or on our YouTube channel, [00:00:40] http://www.youtube.com/collierlandry, please like, and subscribe.


[00:00:42] And I want to thank you for your support of these very deep and personal conversations that I'm having with you. The audience sharing my own story about the murder of my mother by my father, but also the stories and experiences of my guests as well. Now this week is Valentine's day, week. Uh, it was just a couple of [00:01:00] days ago.


[00:01:00] I went back and. With airing this episode this week, but I've decided to go ahead with it primarily because a lot of my listeners and viewers have reached out with a specific type of trauma, which is that of sexual assault and specifically sexual assault when they were a [00:01:20] minor and how that is affected.


[00:01:23] So today's conversation is a very difficult and challenging conversation for a lot of people to have. And it's understandable, but I wanted to give this warning that the material covers incest and it's a very, it's a very difficult topic for a [00:01:40] lot of people, too. Confront and to discuss, but it's also something that I feel is a very necessary part of healing is having these conversations.


[00:01:50] So consider this your warning, that this is a episode that. Very heavy. And some viewers and listeners might feel that this is a lot to [00:02:00] handle, especially on a week, all about love and celebration of love. And we're going to flip this on its head and say, what if the people that are supposed to love you the most and protect you from.


[00:02:12] That is your family actually are the ones that are doing you the harm. So today is the guest is going to discuss her [00:02:20] personal journey through just that if you or someone you know, is struggling or is dealing with sexual violence, sexual assault, molestation, I will put links in the show notes to organizations where that you can reach out to, to help you with this process, um, and, and, and deal with it because.[00:02:40]


[00:02:40] Very strongly about this, that this is something that it can be crippling and debilitating as you come into adulthood to come to grips with. There's a lot of guilt and shame that are that accompany and unfortunately accompany these types of things. And it doesn't have to be that way. And I'm hoping that this platform.[00:03:00]


[00:03:00] Enables my viewers and listeners to really feel it, feel that, that, that it's it's okay. You're going to get through it. And this is a support base for you. And so I'm sharing the story of this wonderful young woman who is sharing her story with the world. And it has been a process for her to go through, but she.


[00:03:19] [00:03:20] Has ripped the bandaid off and embrace this and use this as a platform for empowerment for not only herself and her journey of healing, but also to heal and nurture others in similar circumstances, much like I did with the murder of my mother. This is moving past murder. I'm calling. Let's get into it.


[00:03:38] Nancy Debra Barrows: Want to continue today in the [00:03:40] most notorious criminal trial in Richland county history, Dr. John Boyle is accused of killing his wife, Marine and burying her body in the basement of his new home in Erie,


[00:03:48] Collier Landry: Pennsylvania got killed. I never harmed her at all. The 12 year old son. He took the stand and I heard


[00:03:54] Nancy Debra Barrows: a scream.


[00:03:55] I heard fun. It's about this.


[00:03:58] Collier Landry: We the jury in this case find the [00:04:00] defendant. I confront my incarcerated father in prison. I'm going to have that moment where I can ask this, man, why dad? Why did you do this? Everyone knows is premeditated. What I want to know is I've told you the truth. This is used believing that while he's saying [00:04:20] no, no, no.


[00:04:23] My guest today was named one of LinkedIn's 50 most impactful people of 2020. Nancy Barrow is as a keynote speaker and the chief excitement officer of the chick with the tool belt. She's also the co-host of what's good Wednesday and shout out Saturday on LinkedIn with our cohost Brian showman. [00:04:40] I am pleased to welcome to the program.


[00:04:41] Nancy Barrows.


[00:04:42] Nancy Debra Barrows: Thank you for having me tired. So privileged to be here and share my story. So you


[00:04:46] Collier Landry: were just named LinkedIn, one of LinkedIn's top 50 most impactful people. So that's quite an honor. So tell me just a little bit about.


[00:04:55] Nancy Debra Barrows: It is quite an honor and it was really unexpected. Um, it is voted [00:05:00] on by peers, so other LinkedIn users.


[00:05:02] So it's very meaningful to me, but it also. It symbolizes to me that everyone can in the world of LinkedIn, it's 800 million people and other people on the list have hundreds of thousands of followers. And we've been on the platform for years and I've got about [00:05:20] 2,500 followers and I'd been on the platform for a year.


[00:05:23] It just means that anyone can do it right in a year's time. We all can have a huge. Um, we do not have to have a huge number of followers to be having a large impact and being recognized for that impact. It's still, it's still something that I'm processing. Quite frankly, it's a [00:05:40] little surreal, but, um, like I said, such an honor voted on by peers and that example of anyone is, is huge for me.


[00:05:48] Collier Landry: That's very cool. Now, Nancy, we know. Uh, because of Brian Schulman, who is your co-host and a part of your voice revived tribe on LinkedIn. And you guys do like the shout outs [00:06:00] Saturday. What's good Wednesday programs, which has been running for a very long time. I believe. How long has that been


[00:06:05] Nancy Debra Barrows: going on 200 episodes for each show officially at 1 95, um, this week.


[00:06:13] And yeah, it was Brian Schulman, creative voice, your vibe. It's about three years. Passion that [00:06:20] he left sort of the corporate world found his path and I've been lucky enough to, you know, Brian saw something in me and took me under his name and became a mentor to me. And the joke about the shows is I would show up and refuse to leave.


[00:06:34] Like I showed up on day and refused to leave. And so over time, creating that relationship, you know, became more and more part of [00:06:40] the family you have with Brian. We, we do the shows that are all about what exactly what they say. What's good Wednesday. Talk about what's good. What's been happening and shout out Saturday.


[00:06:48] It's shout out to someone who's made a difference in a positive impact in your, your life that.


[00:06:57] Collier Landry: Which of course, you know, as the, the [00:07:00] last, what year and a half that we've all come through has been good. News is appreciated. And in dark times, I suppose


[00:07:08] Nancy Debra Barrows: it's kept a lot of us going to hear that there is good and. And it's a beautiful, amazing community that positive I've tried. Um, and again, this is, this is Brian's baby, and I've been, I have been brought [00:07:20] into it, which again is such an honor.


[00:07:22] Um, it, it really is a place where you can show up in a pandemic. That's, you know, there's not a whole lot of going on and to remain connected to. Was huge for me. Um, and we were a bit into the pandemic by the time I caught on. And I hadn't even realized how I [00:07:40] splitted it alone. I become because it'd become normal for me and for many of us.


[00:07:44] So yeah.


[00:07:46] Collier Landry: So Nancy, after we had met you, you know, I told you my story and then that resonated with you, and then we kind of got into you. You felt empowered and. And I guess inspired or, or, or safe to tell me your [00:08:00] journey that you've been through, which at that time you told me you just started sharing this journey through, I believe the LinkedIn platform.


[00:08:06] And that was, uh, as a survivor and thriver, uh, um, from sexual abuse that you suffered as a child. You've used that as a, as a platform to empower others much. Like I've done with the murder of my mother, by my [00:08:20] father. And even though this program is called, moving past murder, it's. True crime show. It's more about people moving through extraordinary circumstances, facing challenges that would cripple most individuals and have for so long, and then being able to use those to enrich your life and the lives of those [00:08:40] around you.


[00:08:40] And that's something that I feel you've done and I I've certainly tried to as well. Um, so if you wouldn't mind, could you just share with us your story that you've done?


[00:08:50] Nancy Debra Barrows: Sure I can share with you both the LinkedIn journey and the actual story that was being told. So I I've been pretty open with people.


[00:08:58] I know about my story, you know, I, [00:09:00] I I've had the face-to-face conversations. It's not something I had in my daily life, but they've said it out loud on a form like those 800 million people when you never planned to, um, was a big shift. I mean, you know, in a wonderful. Uh, I had never put my story out there where I didn't know who was going to hear [00:09:20] it.


[00:09:20] I didn't know where it was going to go, but I was doing a live event in Kentucky about childhood trauma in my childhood trauma. And I realized that the moment making Nancy you're part of the problem. If you won't say the words, how can you expect anyone else to talk about? And in that moment, it just was what.[00:09:40]


[00:09:40] Needed to happen and I was inspired to do so. And it started this amazing journey. So to back up with the story, to the story itself, you know, um, I was, and again, I know this is a hard topic to talk about to the point of dive right in. I, I like to give everyone permission to react. However, like whatever comes up for them [00:10:00] is about judgment.


[00:10:01] And if you're having a feeling, I probably have the feeling. I'm sure there's reserved judgment for me. Um, but I was sexually abused by my grandfather and it started around the age of four or five years old. And it continued until I was 16. And at 16, the reason [00:10:20] it actually stopped. And I had no idea that these things existed or were in place, but a mandated reporter, um, I said, you know, did what they were supposed to do there reported it to the proper agencies and, you know, this process was launched, you know?


[00:10:36] So, um, I had [00:10:40] carefully guarded the secret my whole life as if my life depended on it, because that's what it felt like. Um, and here it was literally unleashed on my family. Everyone knew I was not ready for that. I was ready for it to stop, but I was not ready to. You know, have people, my parents look at me and [00:11:00] cry going through their version of the trauma of questioning in themselves.


[00:11:04] So, you know, at 16 years old they said something to another friend and I would give her a lot of credit for saying something to him. The. Here I am. I was at a summer program at the time. And some of the people at the program said, we have to tell [00:11:20] your parents, this is, this is what has to happen. So we have to do that.


[00:11:25] What we can do is give you the choice if our calling them in time and where you are calm. And, you know, I've made so many choices in this journey that we're from, I don't know where from, you know, and I'm sure you've had similar [00:11:40] moments where you don't know where. Voice or choice comes from, but it's deep within you.


[00:11:44] And it's been there the whole time. And so given the choice, I said, no, I want to tell them I wanted it to come from me. I didn't want it to come from a stranger. And so, yeah, I call mom and dad from the summer program. It's like, no, I, hi, how are you? Great. I have to tell you [00:12:00] something. And I told them that my grandfather had been in pro credit with me.


[00:12:05] They were an are, continue to be the most perfect parents for me. Receiving of the news and how they handle everything will be forward. And we can talk in detail more about that. Um, really shaped my [00:12:20] recovery recovery. My, my, my journey back to wholeness is probably a better way of describing it, um, because they they're one of their questions to me at the time was, do you want us to pick you up?


[00:12:33] And I said, no, I'm happy here. Like I was happy and safe and my summer program, nothing is happening. So. [00:12:40] Within the first few hours of my abuse being disclosed, I was given two really important choices that gave me control in a time that I had none. It, it, it also told me that people around me trusted my gut, my [00:13:00] intuition, my decisions, and I could trust myself.


[00:13:03] Because there was a lot of time, like, I don't know, my gut told me one thing, but something else that's happening. It's so confusing at that point. What Sprite, but what do I want? What do I need? But, but with my, you know, what is, what, what is, what are my cells telling me is to do [00:13:20] here? And so where this rich from me unleashed to, without knowing it two huge gifts for different communities, people by asking me questions, giving me.


[00:13:30] Letting me have that bit of control of how things would go, where I could. Um, and again, it was huge reinforcement that I could trust myself. [00:13:40] Other people trusted me. Um, so that happens.


[00:13:44] Collier Landry: Hey guys. I hope you're enjoying this week's episode of moving past murder. I want to remind everyone that I go live on Instagram every Tuesday at 11:00 AM.


[00:13:53] Pacific 2:00 PM. Eastern time on my Instagram channel, which is @collierlandry on [00:14:00] Instagram. I answer your live questions and answers and discuss this week's latest episode. So please join me at 11:00 AM. Pacific 2:00 PM. Eastern, every single Tuesday for live Q and a with me, your host call your. I'll see you there.


[00:14:15] So I want to just touch upon something that you said, and [00:14:20] it's very interesting to hear you because you echo a lot of my sentiments. So I did a Ted talk a couple of years ago, um, about my, my pursuit to move through my trauma and sort of my idea of that [00:14:40] an actual. When you're going through trauma. So for me, I know that my mother is dad.


[00:14:45] When I wake up the morning of December 31st and I immediately spring into action. Like, I'm gonna not let my, I'm not going to let my father get away from, get away with this. Right. So that started this whole journey. That [00:15:00] twenty-five days later they built her body up from my father's house and another state and this, that, and the other.


[00:15:04] Right. But one of the things that I I've been very. And I feel that I was blessed and I feel that you are blessed in that same way, despite the horrific circumstances surrounding this is that you were given a choice right. Then [00:15:20] to tell your parents and to take action. And I feel a lot of times because.


[00:15:26] Especially as a child, right. And you're, you don't really understand the concept of good and evil and, and, and how cruel this world can be at times. Um, but being given the [00:15:40] opportunity to sort of, for lack of a better word, play grownup or. At least lean into it and go, okay, well now I'm going to do something about it is very empowering.


[00:15:51] And I feel a lot of times that the opposite happens for four children, uh, that are in situations like this, where they become cuddled [00:16:00] by the parents. And not saying that your parents didn't love and care about you, but they tend to, to coddle the, the child and, and, and don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that this is something.


[00:16:14] That shouldn't be done, that you shouldn't take care of your children or you shouldn't, you shouldn't [00:16:20] love them and hold them, but it feels a lot of times when you, when the parent takes then takes over, it makes the child feel more helpless. And I feel that even with the fact that my family did abandoned me, father's side said, look, you're testifying as your father.


[00:16:38] I mean, I'm the reason why he even [00:16:40] got clots and then. The my mother's side of the family, because of what he did to my, my cousins had wanted nothing to do with me. I was sort of forced into that situation to just deal with it. But I feel at the end of the day, as hard as it was, I'm better off for it. And I feel that you're echoing that same thing.


[00:16:57] It was a very long way, and it wouldn't be a winded way of [00:17:00] saying. I feel you and I, I understand, and I can empathize with that. And, and really, and I think that's why when you and I initially had a conversation where you, you felt that for me, and we just connected on that level, it's even though our trauma is different in circumstance, it's still something.


[00:17:18] And we're [00:17:20] always looking to ways to take power over that, but also empower others. And I feel when people reach out to me after seeing the film, they, they become. My vulnerability in the film, your vulnerability with telling your story publicly in the last year and change really inspires people to, [00:17:40] to take a look at their own life and go, okay, if they can do it, I can do it too.


[00:17:45] Nancy Debra Barrows: Absolutely. I agree. And there's so much that you're saying is like, you know, with me too, what happened first happened to us without a choice. Yes, we had no control. That whole piece of saying, no, I have a choice here was [00:18:00] very new for me. And it sounds like from what I knew about you, um, because of the way your household was with your dad, who he was, you didn't have a lot of choices, either.


[00:18:11] Lots of things were happening to you as well. And so that piece of being given some control was tremendous. And I say all the [00:18:20] time, People, aren't always sure how it could possibly be, but I'm grateful for all of them a long time to be grateful for all of it, but I'm grateful for all of it, because several things, one thing is the conversation we're having is like, I can [00:18:40] understand, I can empathize, right.


[00:18:41] I've got that piece. And it's not just with other, with people. Who've had, you know, circumstances that near mine. Any trauma, that's sort of a silly thing to say, but the beauty of trauma is it's, it's pretty well prescriptive on what, what happens or what could happen, which [00:19:00] means it doesn't have to be the same trauma for us to understand the steps, understanding the feelings, to understand the reactions.


[00:19:06] We can all do that for one another. The circumstances might've been. Um, but our ability to understand, right, and, and have gone through at least some of the similar steps toward our journey and becoming qual and healed were [00:19:20] similar. We had to jump a lot of the same hurdles. So I appreciate being able to do that.


[00:19:26] I. I believe that my always believed that my story was sicker than me. It wasn't about, and so I didn't know how, or when, or where it was going to happen, but I knew it was gonna reach people. [00:19:40] And I knew it was going to help. And the beauty is I started telling my story, knowing it was going to help others.


[00:19:46] It was going to impact others. It was giving permission to make them feel less alone, seeing just whatever it was. They weren't the only one. And I never expected. Well, it sort of was, uh, I, it would be really [00:20:00] nice if someone reached out to me and I could know for certain, right. Um, but it really was doing it, knowing it was going to help someone.


[00:20:07] And then when people started to contact me is when I first really started to understand the power of sharing my story. Because as you said earlier, like in the opening, [00:20:20] there are so many. People who go through trauma, who don't have the positive supports and circumstances that you and I do. So when you think about sexual abuse, I did experience an eating disorder.


[00:20:33] I have experienced major depressive episodes. The thing I struggle with today is still my mood. Um, [00:20:40] but I was somehow. My four or five-year-old count me to survive till six to seven, till eight to all the way through, until I had this opportunity to actually deal with it. And from there again, all of the pieces that fell into place that allowed me to get through it in a [00:21:00] whole human being is another extraordinary step.


[00:21:03] I didn't turn to drugs. I didn't become promiscuous. I didn't. There are so many pitfalls in this. Um, of waves people numb their pain or choose to beat themselves up because that's how they're feeling. Like they feel that's what they deserve. Uh, it didn't do that. And then [00:21:20] when I found my voice and tell my story, that's extraordinary to me.


[00:21:24] And that's what I was hearing from him. It's my life. I've, I've lived this life. So none of it is extraordinary. Right? It's when other people hear it, I get they're like, whoa, that's a lot. But what was extraordinary about it is that I can come through it the way I [00:21:40] did and talk about and how been that to me is huge.


[00:21:43] Right? That's that's the piece that was always bigger than me. Um, Yeah. Again, so many cases and things that I've been through that have made me who I am today. And it took me a really long time to say, I like who I am. I know. Yeah. I mean, [00:22:00] I was, you talked to me in my late teens and twenties. I was broken beyond repair.


[00:22:04] That's what I would have told you, broken beyond repair, which is another reason why I think it's really important that we share the ugly snotty unsexy noodle. Because show up and you hear a see me today and it's like, how am I relatable to someone that's, you know, in the thick of it, [00:22:20] I didn't, I didn't get out of bed.


[00:22:21] I didn't shower. I hated the world. I went through a lot of ugly snotty unsexy in the middle, and I think that's the part really. We're all out. You're living life and it's always incredible to you all out here, living mice. So we know how hard it can be, how much it can suck, but no one wants to talk about it or [00:22:40] post about it.


[00:22:42] And so that was, that was the space I showed up in and I created the hashtag radiating email campaign for that reason. Let's just show up as we are, take off your mask, receive that unconditional love, receive that unconditional acceptance and learn to live in that space. [00:23:00] For many of us, it's very uncomfortable to actually be seen and heard.


[00:23:06] Collier Landry: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. It's interesting with radiating real. And w one of the things when I made the film is there was a, there's a [00:23:20] point in the, in the film when I go to the police station with the lead investigator, Dave and I look at the case file, which has photos of my mother's body. And when I was in.


[00:23:33] Before we filmed that scene. Uh, Dave the detective and his wife were like, you're not going to see this. [00:23:40] And I said, and I never didn't want to be there. Wasn't like, oh, I really want to do this. But, but part of me did and, and, and what was even, maybe be even more accountable to, this is the fact that I said, this is what I'm doing here.


[00:23:54] We're making a film. And this is about vulnerability and being [00:24:00] authentic. And this is that, like you said, the snotty real part that, you know, the snotty unsexy part is, is, is allowing yourself to break down those walls. And, and just be like, this is me, I'm just exposed. This is who I am. And when I think about [00:24:20] just stories that I gravitate to toward not even think about my own story, but stories that I gravitate toward with yours or whoever it might be, that is what rings the truest to me.


[00:24:31] And I don't mean. That I would necessarily have to be someone who has gone through the circumstances that I've gone through to feel that way. I think [00:24:40] that just human connection, when you see that, you know, there are people, of course, that will take advantage of that as a weakness. But I think for the most part, the, he, the deeper part of the human connection is that we really just go that radiates with us and we go, that could be me, or that's.


[00:24:58] You know, and, and for me, when I sat [00:25:00] to make the film, I said, you know, I want, I want to change my life and impact one person. And that's it because I thought there's a kid just like me is going through all this. And just doesn't think that there's a hope in the world. They'll see the film and they'll go, okay.


[00:25:16] That guy gets. Right. And I feel that [00:25:20] that's with your story as well. And sharing it publicly is, is the goal is just to speak to that one voice. Then of course, what happens is, is you find out that, that that one person is actually 10, which becomes a hundred, which becomes 1,010 thousand a bit Bubba. And, and that's the true power of.


[00:25:39] Not only [00:25:40] the human connection and, and the human spirit, but also showing resilience in the face of, you know, seemingly insurmountable odds.


[00:25:49] Nancy Debra Barrows: Yeah. And that's as the human part. Um, that's what resonates with us. If you're telling this impactful emotional story and in the circumstance for the first [00:26:00] time, like on I've seen your film and it was moving, it would have been really weird for you to cut out the part where you cry.


[00:26:08] It's like our human, like what, what happened to that piece? And I think our showing up is vulnerable and especially men showing up vulnerable because they're told it's a weakness and we need to flip the script and be like, no, our [00:26:20] vulnerability is our greatest strength.


[00:26:22] Collier Landry: Yeah, absolutely strength and vulnerability, for sure.


[00:26:25] Now I want to touch upon this because you know, when you and I were discussing doing this episode of moving past murder, one of the things you wanted to really be clear about is, is you feel in your work that you've discovered that a lot of [00:26:40] people, when they hear the term sexual violence, sexual assault, they just attribute that to.


[00:26:46] And as we know, and in less, and I, and you know, we, we gain, we engage that said in this conversation before the conversation we're having now, but one of the things I wanted to say is, you know, unless it's [00:27:00] involves like some organization of the Catholic church, that's got that sexy and oh, you know, taboo feel to it and, you know, priests or pedophiles narrative, we don't really think about.


[00:27:11] And I know that that's something you're really, you're really passionate about is examining that. So have you found out, have you found that [00:27:20] the people that may reach out to you are a, both sexes and are, are dealing with the same sort of trauma?


[00:27:27] Nancy Debra Barrows: Yes. And I think for me, um, we do, we need men out of the narrative, right?


[00:27:32] That's the statistics show us that men are experiencing sexual trauma. Yeah, right along with them. [00:27:40] Um, and if, when I started telling my story and I wanted to change, I wanted to be in a woman who changed the narrative on sexual abuse, because I will be 49 in a couple of weeks. I was 16 when my abuse first.


[00:27:54] The needle hasn't moved at all. Like we are no more comfortable talking about the [00:28:00] statistics have not shifted. There's no change. So yes, we need to talk about it, but we have to have real honest conversations about that are uncomfortable. And so like, one of the things I say when I speak is listen, my body did exactly what it should do, and it's an uncomfortable conversation to hear that [00:28:20] sexual touch Miami.


[00:28:22] Had pleasure associated with, but there's someone out there that's feeling that that's been in that situation and feels all the things I did dirty, guilty, broken rock, you know, because it didn't want this, but when the body [00:28:40] did exactly what it was built to do, so these, these conversations are not easy, but they need to be had, because it's where there's been.


[00:28:48] No change. There's been. Right. So honest conversation since with the fact that men are sexually assaulted, they go through sexual trauma. No one's immune to this. You know, [00:29:00] part of a real honest conversation has to be us taking responsibility for how we are handling it or not handling it. Are we having those important conversations with our children?


[00:29:13] Everybody thinks it's a sex talk and I'm here to tell you it is not, it is the farthest thing from a sex talk. It is a boundary. [00:29:20] It is a con having control over your person and your space talk. You know, when my nieces and nephews and little in the bathtub, when I would bait them, you know, when I got old enough to sort of like participate in the bath process, I always ask, is it okay if I wash your vagina?


[00:29:37] Right? Because it's not my [00:29:40] body, it's yours and I can help you. I want to make sure that your needs with the whole point of your bath is to get your body, that I can teach you how to think about. And I asked three, hi, because one week it might've been a yes. And then next week it might've been a nap and that was perfect.


[00:29:58] We'll be fine. And [00:30:00] that's what we need you to do to talk to our kids about the boundaries. And we need to be okay with their choices. Now, the other side of that is we have to hold up our bargain as adults. Um, and whether it's a child that comes to a sprint adult, who's 50 years old and has never told anything.


[00:30:17] That 15 year old is still the child that went through the [00:30:20] trauma. When we, as adults have to make a promise and keep her promise that we are going to be able to loving the non-judgmentally except. Both what someone is saying and the person I was so worried when people found out about my abuse, that they would completely change how they thought about me, [00:30:40] how they felt about me.


[00:30:41] You know, I had all these thoughts about myself. My abuse went on until I was 16 years old. First. I knew it was wrong. Hey, guess what? I never thought of saying no, I never thought of telling anyone. It just was not an option. And so at some point, my brain is like, wow, well, I guess you're participating.


[00:30:57] You're just as at fault. [00:31:00] Right. There's, there's so much going on, but we need to be the people who say, thank you for sharing that with me. I know that couldn't have been easy. Like I love you and powerfully and, and whatever our reaction is, that would be the, you know, full on emotional outbursts because we feel it [00:31:20] right.


[00:31:21] Um, we have to reserve that for our own. Um, and I think we're all capable of it and that. Honest truth is if we were talking to our kids and we held up our end of the bargain, um, there'll be very few places for perpetrators to hide. You know, I used to say to my brother and my [00:31:40] brother, his sister was sexually abused by his grandfather.


[00:31:42] He didn't talk to caregivers about anything. Um, and I said to him, one day, I said, no, no, any caregiver teacher, you leave in a preschool. Well on the side, how to conversation and let them know, Hey, Nick talked to our kids about boundaries and their bodies. And if they were to come [00:32:00] to you during the day while they're with you, um, we expect for you to handle it this way.


[00:32:05] Right? This is what I told them. People will do. If we ever need to tell someone and like, we need you to do that. So it does two things, right? It's now informing other adults about hopefully thinking, wow, I wouldn't have thought to do that [00:32:20] necessarily, but again, If someone is a predator, they're looking for certain things.


[00:32:27] If they know that their secret won't be kept, they're not going to take even that first step really it's too much. So once we start having these conversations and get comfortable with [00:32:40] being uncomfortable, things start to change, and that's true of most things, right.


[00:32:45] Collier Landry: It's interesting that you bring up the narrative with children and talking about.


[00:32:48] Uh, you know, I, I watched a Ted talk probably a couple of years ago. This woman did on pornography and, uh, her experience with it as far as [00:33:00] studying. And I believe she was a psychologist who was from like Norway or Sweden or one of those advanced Scandinavian countries, as progressive as our society has.


[00:33:09] I feel in a great many ways we've made major progress despite what the political narrative is on, you know, uh, racial justice and, and equality of the sexes and [00:33:20] things of that nature. Of course we have farther to go, but one of the things that has not advanced, at least in my opinion, I think maybe Europe, the same mindset is, uh, the narrative on unsexy on discussion around sexual human sexuality, uh, discussion around sex education.


[00:33:37] In schools and even just in [00:33:40] amongst families, whether that has to do with a religious element or just a taboo element, or whether it's just a topic that's just very uncomfortable for people still. But one of the key things that I took away from that particular talk, just because you don't talk to your kids about sex doesn't mean that they're not going to learn.


[00:33:57] And one of the things that she was saying [00:34:00] is pornography is now being used. As sex education for these kids and how that is creating a whole different narrative. And, and I had a, I had a friend whose daughter was, uh, recently sexually assaulted and raped, um, in the last week. And it's very tragic and heartbreaking and she was drugged and it's [00:34:20] just terrible.


[00:34:20] She's very young. She's 20, 20 something, 24, I believe. And it doesn't matter what age really, but obviously. You know, it's the violation and we can go into that in a second, but the brutality of what this guy did. And, and so this particular. You're [00:34:40] saying, if you look at pornography, you have sexual violence and you have people choking, there's choking involved, and then there's aggressive behavior.


[00:34:48] But then on top of that, there's this, this, this undertone of incest and step-mom step son, you know, stepfather, stepdaughter, father, daughter, you know, [00:35:00] whatever it is. And it's. That's what's out there. And if we don't, I mean, I personally feel if we don't and not that I have children, but if we don't start to control this narrative, then we're just letting these things do our dirty work for us, because we don't want to get our hands dirty, or we don't want to have those [00:35:20] uncomfortable conversations.


[00:35:21] And you, you know, given your circumstance, where, where do you think it is that we can really begin to take back that near. For ourselves and really control where the compensation is. Where do you think that even starts?


[00:35:37] Nancy Debra Barrows: I mean, it has to start, if we can't talk [00:35:40] about healthy sex, we're never going to be able to talk about the things that happen in the world of deviants, right.


[00:35:46] That are outside of that, rape incest, all that kind of stuff. You didn't know, exposing young people to. Yeah, there's, there's, there's such a spectrum of sexual trauma out there. Um, we don't often talk about some of the less [00:36:00] egregious offenses, um, because rape and molestation, right. That's knocks you off your feet, but it's also not fair because people have experienced different sexual trauma.


[00:36:10] Start to doubt if it's really sexual trauma, it's like people will give themselves to their part. Well, mine wasn't as bad as yours. Well, trauma is trauma, right? [00:36:20] It's when your system is overloaded, it can't handle it. It has a common response to whatever it is, right. If your system was overloaded, you know, it's it's trauma.


[00:36:29] And so it's not the little lap, but if we can't talk about healthy sex, right? How are we going to talk about anything else around sex? So for me, it starts really early again, when I was bathing my nieces and [00:36:40] nephews, two, three years old, say vagina safe. Like label. We can't even as a society label things in the body, like as properly, we have all these needs from that make it seem shameful.


[00:36:53] Right. That removing that shame around sex in our bodies. Um, there's, you know, again, [00:37:00] brought up a lot of opinions about porn, but, you know, I think in a lot of ways it's damaging in, in general, but I think about like, well, there's nothing really realistic about. I mean in, even if you've had sex that way.


[00:37:17] I'm sorry. There was some awkward moment. There was some [00:37:20] weird noise that happened there. Sex never goes off without a hitch, even when it's perfect. You know, there's always something I always say, like, if you're made out of sexist, yes, you have to be able to buy the condoms, ready to buy the condoms, but you also have to be ready for things to happen that are really awkward, weird, and potentially horrifying.


[00:37:38] Right. If, depending on the [00:37:40] situation and again, that, that piece of like, well, that's not showing by what sex is. And it also is setting up these really huge expectations. Not only of like, you know, how we should perform, you know, both sides and how long, how [00:38:00] fast, how hard, you know, how loud we should be.


[00:38:03] Like it's, it's all there. It's prescribing one way of doing it, right? Forget about, we haven't even started talking about body image that comes like through porn. You know, everything from, you know, like I'm too fat. My boots, aren't perfect [00:38:20] by my vagina's not shaved completely. No one's going to love me, you know, two men and, and worrying about their size and their performance and what we're seeing and what kids are, are being exposed to adults too.


[00:38:32] Right. Is. Sex. It's, it's a movie it's creative fiction. And [00:38:40] again, even if you've been in those scenarios, right, it's, it's the lighting. Isn't perfect. The body isn't perfect. You know what that something is. It doesn't go. It's just not how sex works. So I think we, again, have to be comfortable talking about our bodies.


[00:38:58] We have to be comfortable being [00:39:00] honest about that. Um, and I won't say, you know, if you're religious and you believe it should be with a married man and woman, but at least teach your child flat and what sex is, what sex means there. Right. I remember, um, my brother's four years older than I, and I remember being at the dinner table with my family.


[00:39:17] I always eat dinner together. It was one of the things [00:39:20] that we made sure we made time for. And I remember they were talking about foreplay and I had no idea what they were talking about. And I was getting really frustrated. Like, what are you talking about? What you, and like, I got really upset and left the table and, you know, nobody was comfortable telling me what it was.


[00:39:37] And eventually, you know, maybe and someone came to me with [00:39:40] like, Hey, this is kind of all the stuff that happens before sex itself, a sexual touching. It's not more information than I needed, but to understand, you know, all the parts and pieces. You know, for me, I had so much more, um, sexual experience and knowledge than the average kid, my age always.[00:40:00]


[00:40:00] Um, and it was always fun to try and hide that too. Like, you know, like your friends are talking and I'm like,


[00:40:09] you didn't do that because that's not.


[00:40:14] There's so many parts and pieces it, and I keep saying that, but my brain could go to another, another, another. [00:40:20] And the reality is when you start getting comfortable talking about our bodies, what our bodies are capable of, pleasure, sex is meant to be pleasurable, right? Yes, it has the other, uh, there's other pieces that is for procreation, but it doesn't mean when you're having sex to try and get pregnant.


[00:40:37] Doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. [00:40:40] Again, we just have to like everything else we weren't talking about, like get a little uncomfortable because in the end that conversation is going to be so valuable. Um, and allow, you know, even if the conversation is about, well, you know, I know sometimes you see pornography, like, you know, [00:41:00] a guy will hit a woman or poor hair, you know, that's not something everyone enjoys and you, you don't have to say yes to that.


[00:41:09] Right. So like even those conversations was, I can imagine, like, I don't have kids, either. My nieces and nephews were always like my babies. Yeah. I was thinking they'd have to [00:41:20] talk. You know, I remember when my oldest niece was getting her period, I brought her a little thing and I was like, here's an extra pair of underwear because inevitably you're going to.


[00:41:27] So here they are. You don't want to leave the dirty ones in the trash. So here's, what is it? Black guy wasn't here for come back. Here's a tampon. Do you want to know how to use it? Let me show you what happens when I put it in a sink full of water. This is what's going to happen. [00:41:40] This is why you can just rest, relax and know that if you're doing what you need to do, you're like, you know what I


[00:41:44] Collier Landry: mean?


[00:41:44] Like you're pretty, you're pretty advanced. You're in an advanced, uh, auntie


[00:41:49] Nancy Debra Barrows: advanced on TV. Never wanted them to feel shame around their body. And I knew the world would be sending them all sorts of messages.


[00:41:59] Collier Landry: It's a, it's a [00:42:00] myriad of things that creates these issues, I believe. And so you can't just pin it on one belief system or one way of life.


[00:42:09] It, it just, it crosses the whole spectrum. Getting back to your, your process of reconciling with what happened [00:42:20] to you as a child and. Carrying that into an adult into adulthood. And I think that there are probably people who are listening, who are, of course empathizing with your situation may have gone through a similar situation, but also, uh, I'm sure a lot of our, our, my listeners and [00:42:40] viewers really want to know is when this happened and it came and you, and you took the step to tell your parents and your family, how, how did they cope?


[00:42:51] How was that received by them? What was their, what was their reaction?


[00:42:57] Nancy Debra Barrows: I wasn't there to see my mom, mom and dad's reaction [00:43:00] because I was, uh, you know, but I know on the phone, they were very calm and I know that's not how they recruited them inside. And they, again, you know, sort of in shock, You know, ask some clarifying questions that didn't ask too much and I'm going to get me control to stay.


[00:43:15] Um, I did, however, see my brother's reaction, your brother and I have been very close and [00:43:20] very close, and I remember telling him and him having no idea. And that's freaking me out. Like that was scarier to me than any, like having any reaction. And I remember going into my closet crying because I it's like, I have no idea what he's thinking or feeling about me, the situation I got, nothing.


[00:43:38] I had no idea. [00:43:40] And about three minutes later, the door opens and he sits on the floor with me and we sat there for awhile. You know, like it, it, it, wasn't easy to see people's hurt. In the beginning, I very felt very much felt that I was, I was causing all this script when the reality was that hurt was always being caused.


[00:43:59] It [00:44:00] just wasn't out there. Um, you know, it, it wasn't my doing, um, it wasn't my deal. And everyone around me would have rather been hurting together knowing that I was safe, um, is the reality. And it took me. To actually stop and think about, but each one of those [00:44:20] people in my life went through their own inner journey with trauma while traumatize.


[00:44:25] I mean, you know, my mom, it's her dad. My parents thought they were good parents that when we can give decisions and you know, people always think why aren't there science shouldn't they have been able to see your town. Well, I'll tell you something, right, exactly. But [00:44:40] I was like, wait, so wait until you're there.


[00:44:43] And I want to remind you as a teenager, did you ever fake your parents out? Right? Were you ever able to go to the party that they said no to you? Whatever you did come home and they still didn't know. We're all capable of acting when you feel your life depends on it. [00:45:00] I was an Oscar worthy actress in terms of keeping my secret.


[00:45:05] Yeah, I was captain of my volleyball team. I was in of my class. I did volunteer work for the American cancer society. I was in the right social spaces. There was no reason to look at me twice. There was a very scary moment. My mom said actually, Telling my story. I [00:45:20] then went back and said, oh, Hey mom, dad with this.


[00:45:24] And again, I've said a million times, my mom and dad had the perfect modern black for me because the two reactions I got, like, my mom was like, it's your story? I'm so proud of you. Right. That was, that was her thing. And she relayed to me and story of, I had ordered therapy, [00:45:40] um, when the very beginning and I went.


[00:45:44] I couldn't, there was nothing to be done that I would say, oh, did you move a plant? Like that was about as far as like I could get in the session and I would turn around on the couch. Literally. I thought of eight and I was able to pull myself into this little ball, [00:46:00] face the corner and just sit like an egg in the corner for the entire 15 minutes.


[00:46:05] And my parents came to a session at the end and. Well, the doctor said she's not ready when she does. She'll knock on someone's door. And as soon as he said it, this time I turned around, I was like this. And my mom said it terrified, terrified her [00:46:20] because she had never seen that. She never seen what I was going through.


[00:46:24] You know, all of that. I was covering up and she was worried. I wouldn't make it. Um, and seeing that moment. And you know, when I told her I was telling my story, there was a lot of, and so. Because [00:46:40] again, she, she saw it at its worth at its worst. And to see me come through it now, my dad is, yeah, it's just a little bit different in his vernacular.


[00:46:49] And, um, and he's like, you know, what, if somebody wants to come to me, but I can't believe your dad is talking about it. I was like, that's fine. I'll tell them that's my kick-ass.


[00:46:57] Yeah, that was it. And to get [00:47:00] permission, this is another thing, why can't we handle this together? Did a really great job with putting this together. My mom and I can have conversations about it. We can have conversations about what I'm doing when she watched the talks. I do, you know, shows that I'm on my dad.


[00:47:13] Can't be still can't. It's. Something that was too painful for him, even [00:47:20] though we had this brief conversation that even though you've seen me out of the day and now that I'm okay, it just still hurts his heart, that I had to go through so much. Um, you know, and so I don't want anyone to judge how they work.


[00:47:33] It's most of my family, my brother, and sister-in-law can't watch the shows either. You know, it's just, it's too [00:47:40] much. Um, and I think, you know, I always warn them. There's, there's really not a whole lot of detail about what happened, but there are gonna be things that you haven't heard before. So just for them to be prepared for that.


[00:47:52] But yeah, my, my journey. It is long. It is steps forward, steps [00:48:00] back. It was believing I was broken beyond repair. It was going to bed at night. I'm grateful. I never had true suicidal ideation, but I would talk to the universe and say, Hey tomorrow, someone's going to get a terminal cancer diagnosis. Someone that's a family that really violet give it to me and stuff.


[00:48:17] Yeah. If I had gotten hit by a bus [00:48:20] or an apartment. It didn't matter to me at certain points. And there were times I remember conversation with my therapist, which is a whole nother conversation. How you find your therapist? How do we know it's your therapist? Like? She sh our mental health system way unaccessible, um, sadly another conversation, like I said, but, [00:48:40] um, she was telling me, like, I felt like I was stalking.


[00:48:44] I was getting nowhere. It was always going to be like this. And she had. Well, what if I told you there's a piece of chocolate fee on that island and you have to sit in there, right? You're going to, you're going to swim there to get it. Cause it's there. I'm telling you it's there. Um, and I [00:49:00] said to her, I'm like, I can't like talk with pic that much.


[00:49:04] Literally. Like I was like, I don't care about it doesn't mean anything to me. It was so far removed from what I was feeling ever thought I was capable. Yeah, I was in anorexic for years and there is a control there for sure. [00:49:20] But what I understand about myself now is I was punishing my body. Like it had the trade me in the abuse.


[00:49:25] Why would I nourish it, eat it, like, why would I do that? And quite honestly, back to that, I wasn't suicidal, but I wanted it to disappear and I was going to do it by any means possible. Right. If I, if I could shrink myself down to nothing and [00:49:40] fall through it back just fine by me.


[00:49:46] Collier Landry: Yeah, it's really, really powerful what you're saying, and I can relate to it on so many levels. Um,


[00:49:55] yeah, a lot of people, you know, and there's nothing [00:50:00] wrong with, with retreating and assessing and, and, and grieving. And in a lot of ways you have to sort of grieve. That loss of your yourself in those moments. And that's just all part of the healing [00:50:20] process. And it's, it's, it's wonderful to have an open conversation with you about this because it's, I really feel that a lot of our, uh, a lot of my viewers are gonna are gonna really, really enjoy this, this episode.


[00:50:32] Thank


[00:50:33] Nancy Debra Barrows: you. And that's the, that's the thing. This is that at least not an sexy part. Let's talk about the two steps are the ones that back they [00:50:40] mentioned before. You know, I, I wasn't this person, my whole life, you go and take snapshots of me. It is very different. I mean, I confronted my grandfather when I was 20 years old and it speeds my first major depression depressive episode.


[00:50:57] And I ended up dropping out of college. I was [00:51:00] probably in my forties before I could even say I dropped out of college. He left, he took a semester. Well, I dropped out. I was a hot mess and I dropped out of college. You know, the confrontation. So much with that. And, and we can talk about that, but I think for most people, this piece where we can talk about [00:51:20] steps forward and steps back, or just not believing, there's an outcome out there.


[00:51:24] Um, but you want to live is very real and it's okay to pause. Like we said, it's okay to pause. It's not okay to stop. When are our ability to build community around us? Yeah. Have our [00:51:40] resources and remind ourselves, like when you feel in that moment, you can't make it go another moment. Like you already have, by the time you've had the thought you made it to another moment, another moment.


[00:51:51] And for me, I always say I need it to 100% when I met, because it still happens to this day. There are days when I'm like, I just [00:52:00] can't keep it want to, and I can't, I don't care. Right. I don't even care that I don't pay. I made it through the one


[00:52:12] Collier Landry: and some of my, um, and this is why you are one of LinkedIn's top 50, most impactful people of [00:52:20] 2021. Uh, Nancy Browers. Thank you so much for joining the program. My guest has been Nancy Barrows and w just a wonderful conversation. I hope you guys gleaned as much from this as I did for now. I'm Collier Landry and this is moving past.


[00:52:36] Thanks. Y'all[00:52:40]


[00:52:42] this podcast is made possible by support from listeners, just like you. Please subscribe via apple podcast, Spotify, audible. Find us on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/collierlandry. All of these help support the conversations. And if you want to go a step [00:53:00] further, we do have a Patrion page. We also have a PayPal link to donate to the program, which helps keep the lights on and keeps us delivering the material that I feel speaks best to you.


[00:53:09] My audience, the film, a murder and Mansfield is available on investigation discovery discovery. Plus an Amazon prime. [00:53:20] This podcast is a production of don't touch my radio in association with RSA entertainment.[00:53:40]



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