Log Line- Life deals everyone hard blows, and it is with those hard blows that we as human beings build our lives stronger and better. Some blows, however, are harder than others to overcome, especially when a person is not supported by unconditional love and caring. This is a story of one woman’s journey to overcome some of life’s hardest blows, first on her own, then with a power and a love that can only come through spiritual knowledge.
Tammy Gagnon was born into a family of drunkenness and secrets. From her earliest memories onward, there seemed to be one constant: secrets. Secrets that were kept even within the family, secrets that were never to be talked about, even if that could lead to much-needed healing.
As a child, Tammy was not completely unaware of the difficult life she had been dealt. Her father would often come home drunk to physically abuse his wife. On those nights, Tammy would cower in her bed, not even daring to breathe for fear he would hear her. Her mother, instead of offering love and compassion with the needed critiques of childhood, would criticize without care, and judge Tammy harshly.
When Tammy was nine, life dealt her a cruel blow when her grandfather repeatedly abused her sexually, using a fear of her father and her sense of protecting her younger siblings to keep her quiet. Upon finding out about the abuse from a traumatized Tammy, her parents promised such a thing would never happen again and promptly treated the abuse as yet one more secret never to be discussed again.
For a while, Tammy could ignore, even forget the anger and feelings of abandonment her family’s secrets had welled inside her, but as her pubescent body began to change and her mind began to grow, she found it more and more difficult to accept the secrets, the harsh critiques of her mother, and her father’s alcoholism.
Having no one to talk to, and refusing to talk to anyone outside the family out of a sense of loyalty, Tammy turned to drugs and alcohol to calm her anger. Along with drug and alcohol abuse, Tammy began to skip school, began to even run away from home repeatedly. This became her way of dealing with the pain of her childhood.
Life went on, dealing more blows to Tammy, landing her in abusive relationships, and even a stint in prison. Even despite the hardships Tammy endured, she was given many blessings. It took her a difficult journey to realize these blessings were hers to cherish, and even longer to accept the blessings without reservations.
No Longer Silent is Tammy’s story, her journey from an abusive family toward a life of light and happiness. “I am not ashamed of my past. I wasn’t the perpetrator. I turned victim into victory.”