Featured Stories

Kimberly’s Story: A Glimmer of Survival, Hope, & Healing

Written by: Kimberly Shannon Murphy, Hollywood Stunt Double and Author

“It started when I was a baby, two or three, I think.” I jab my thumb into the sorest spot on my bad hip to stay present.

“Does that surprise you?”

She doesn’t answer. She doesn’t move, or blink. I might as well be talking to the wax Queen Elizabeth on her throne at Madame Tussauds. Mom, on the other hand, is sliding lower and lower into her chair, gripping a throw pillow like a shield to her heart. Aunt Pat puts a hand on Mom’s thigh, nodding that I should continue.

“Do you remember when you found me soaking wet on the stairs, in the middle of the night? He made me shower with him.” My voice sharpens with every word. Good. I hope I cut her.

“He loved special occasions, when I was in a dress,” I go on. Make her bleed. “Did you know he raped me on my first communion, Grandma Gen?”

He’d just given me the boom box with the silver bow. I lef it on the grass, playing “We Are the World,” to run to the bathroom, upstairs. When I came out, tiptoeing toward my bedroom to change into my favorite blue skirt (it was now too short, but the wrap belt still protected me), he appeared from the shadows, blocking my path. “What are you running from?” he asked, and I heard a voice inside, loud and clear:

From you.

It happened in front of my dolls; I was still wearing my communion dress and my new gold cross necklace with a diamond at the center, a gift from Mom and Dad. He said, “I’m doing this to you because you’re the prettiest one,” and a new kind of pain ripped me open. I rose up and watched myself on my bed, screaming into his hand. In Grandma Gen’s living room, Mom sobs into her throw pillow, but her mother is frozen behind her mask. All I care about is smashing it. I have to try, at least.

“Did you know he gave me herpes, Grandma Gen? I was eight! He said, ‘I’m giving this to you,’ like it was a present.”

This, too, I have unfortunately remembered.

My grandmother scoffs, throwing up her hands. “Well,  I don’t have herpes.”

I stand up too fast, toppling against the sofa arm. Righting myself, I face her. “Are you saying I’m lying?” Grandma Gen won’t look at me. She stiffens straighter, tilts her head, and says, dryly, “I’ve never called you a liar, have I? I’ve always believed you.”

“Don’t you think that’s a little strange?” I snap. I’m pacing now, each step a burst of clarifying pain. “If someone were to tell me my dad did what he did, I’d say they had to be lying!”

This was an excerpt of Kimberly Shannon Murphy’s book “Glimmer“, please purchase online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.