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Misty Griffin 2017-11-12T13:38:08+00:00

Project Description

About Misty

Hi, I’m Misty. Eight years after leaving the Amish I finally sat down and started typing my memoir Tears of the Silenced. I had spent those past eight years trying to forget my terrible childhood and the horrifying assault that had been the reason for my leaving the Amish church. I had been held in captivity until I was nearly nineteen and then at age 23 I was sexually assaulted and threatened by the bishop of my Amish church.

All of those years after leaving the Amish I hid the pain and the nightmares and only a couple people knew my story. Then in July of 2013 I realized that the only way to keep someone else from going through what I went through was to write about it. That day as a I began to type I never imagined that my story would resonate with so many people. I estimate that my self published memoir has sold over 75,000 copies in three years. I had no backing whatsoever. I receive many emails from my book fans, most of which are child abuse and sexual assault survivors. I try to help each one through emotional support and encouragement. Connect with me via twitter @ExAmish101

My Story

I was not born Amish, I was born into a family full of poverty, domestic violence and drug and Alcohol abuse. When I was 4 my mom met a new guy that became my step-father, this was the beginning of a terrifying nightmare that would last for 19 years.

Gradually we began to dress and live like the Amish, my step-father eventually cut off almost all access to the outside world. My sister and I were held on a mountain ranch that was 6 miles from the nearest town. It was a terrifying life full of severe beatings, sexual abuse and isolation. Being isolated from the rest of the world was probably one of the worst things I went through.

At the age of 18 I finally tried to escape after my step-father tried to break my neck. I was not successful. Fearing that my sister and I would eventually escape, my mom and step-dad took my sister and I to an Amish community where we were adopted and became baptized members.

For three and a half years I lived as a young Amish woman but I found life to be frustrating and I was concerned by the amount of abuse I was told about and was a witness to. I thought in order to got to heaven I had to be Amish, I truly believed that if I left the Amish I would go to hell. At the same time, I wondered how this church that was supposed to be the epitome of what God wanted from his followers could harbor child molesters and rapist.

During my last six months among the Amish I lived with the bishops family. Right from the start the bishop began fondling me and exposing himself to me. I gritted my teeth and bore the abuse, I knew if I told I would be blamed for attracting him. Finally during the last  few months I began to suspect that he was also molesting his daughters. Then one morning he came into my room while I was still in bed and assaulted me. Afterwards I ran to a neighbor lady and she took me to the police. It was a horrifying experience and in the end the bishop escaped into Canada with his whole family. 11 years later I would find out that he molested almost all of his 11 children. While he had been in our community the church had known he was a child molester and had done nothing to stop him.

My Healing Journey

I was devastated when I found out that the bishop had escaped to Canada with his entire family. I was sure he was molesting his children and now I had no way to stop him. Amish do not have passports or any form of ID or finger printing. If they want to disappear, they can.

After coming out into the modern world I dove into going to school, and after less than 2 years I was married. I found strength and healing in my academic abilities, my marriage to a great guy, and the fact that my employers viewed me as a good, dependable worker. But I continued to suppress my past, somehow I felt it had been my fault and that I failed to save the bishops children from a man I knew was a monster.

I believe my real healing began when I decided to write my memoir. With every page I wrote I felt the healing taking place. For the first time in my life I was actually, truly realizing how much I had been through and how I had tried to save others, even if I had failed at least I had tried.

A year after my book was published I was contacted by the bishops oldest daughter and was overjoyed to find out that they had come back from Canada and her father was now in custody. The detective on the case was reading my memoir and had figured out that the man he was investigating was the bishop in the book. The children recognized me immediately from the book and contacted me through Goodreads. The bishop is now in prison and the children have started their own journey of healing. We keep in contact and I am like a big sister to them.

The bishop going to jail and the detective reading my book at the time of his arrest left me awe struck. In a way I had never given up trying to save the children and the fact that my last effort of publishing my story would end up playing an instrumental role in the case is still dumbfounding to me. Being a Christian I believe it was no lest than the hand of God and it proves that speaking up about abuse can make a difference. The children told me that reading my book gave them the courage to press charges against their father.

“Do not despair, in the end you will inspire many people. You will make a difference in the world.”

 

To My Younger Self

Dear 5 year old Misty, I am sure you are sad, looking out through the cracks of the truck canopy. You can see other children skipping in the parking lot with their family and friends, but you cannot skip, if you get out of the truck you will be beaten. This happens to you several times a week, hour after hour   you sit in the canopy, sweating or freezing you mother and step-father don’t seem to care. You do not know what they are doing but they do not want to be bothered by two little girls. My dear, keep your chin up and do not fall into despair, one day you will be a bestselling author and will make the world aware of the devastating affects of child abuse, you will make a difference in the world.

To 16 year old Misty who has a knife to her wrist, I just want to say you made the right decision when you put that  knife down. Killing yourself would have killed the awareness you would later raise about child abuse and sexual assault.

To 23 year old Misty who is sitting in the police station begging the police to arrest the bishop of her church, do not despair, one day your story will help his children press charges against against him and heal from the terrible abuse they endured. I know you feel despair and a sense of failure for not saving the children but the story is not over. In the end you will help and inspire many people. I embrace you young Misty, I feel your pain and your wish to help others. Don’t despair, in the end your dreams come true!

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