About Vennie

Hi I’m Vennie, a survivor of sexual abuse and a survivor of the Sam Fife Move of God cult.

I am the best-selling author of Cult Child, the radio hostess of Survivor Voices Show, airing each Sunday, a popular blogger and an artist.  You can explore all my work and learn more at my website.

My Story

The abuses doled out on us children in Sam Fife’s cult were brutal. It was justified using Biblical passages. Part of the doctrine was to strip children of everything they were born into, which was sin, and to then reform them into the likeness of the cult’s version of God.

Some of the methods used to break us children included but were not limited to sleep deprivation, sexual molestation, extreme beatings with boards and other instruments, demon possession casting out rituals consisting of beatings about the head and adults screaming Bible verses at us, hypothermia ice baths, being forced into cold showers, sometimes beaten with belts while naked in the shower, and other, more specific ritualistic type of tortures.

Faith healing was another belief system.  Children were not taken to the doctor.  We were taught that doctors and psychologists were tools of the devil.  As a result, children were born without documentation of birth and sometimes died, being treated with prayer, to be buried and never reported to the state.

If you would like to learn more about my thoughts on the history of the cult you can read an article I wrote about it called: A History of Sam Fife’s Move of God cult.

When I was fourteen, my family was banished from the cult after a traumatic incident happened to my sister.  I found myself immediately forced from a world where I had grown up with no electricity or running water, to a new world, swiftly spinning by with television and a vast culture I had never experienced. Life was now even more confusing. I gravitated toward everything I’d been taught all my life was evil.

My Healing Journey

Acclimating into secular society was difficult for me.  I mimicked.  I masked. I eventually fell into traumatic amnesia, living my life robotically.  I became a mother.  I was projecting my pain behaviors through poetry and writing.

In 2007, after my mother passed away, I felt my DNA shifting. Something was happening inside of me.  I wasn’t sure what. Weighing in at a few numbers over three hundred pounds, I was weary of being in pain both physically and mentally.  I began to practice small pieces of Gratitude.  I began to write CULT CHILD, piecing together my trauma and the intense horror I had experienced as a child. I changed my eating, going clean, eating green and losing weight.  My pain levels dropped.  I began to feel better. The more I began to feel better, the more I WANTED to feel better.

The process of writing was indeed daunting. Many a night I spent thrashing from night terrors.  Many a day I spent weeping, sometimes my head bent over the trashcan, vomiting out my trauma.  Yet, it was coming up. I opened my heart to receive it and allow it to pass through me, a journey that while painful, left me with a completely differing perspective of life and myself.

I went on to publish two other books, DUSTED SHELVES, a collection of poetry, and BECOMING GRATITUDE, an interactive journal with simple tasks that help re-wire the brain for mindful gratitude.

There came a point in my life as a trauma survivor where the pain became too much.  Often, this is a breaking point which, like a pendulum, can swing either way.  When it swings in the direction of healing, amazing things happen as we survivors begin the metamorphosis of learning how to thrive.

Where once I froze or lashed out in reactionary self-defense, avoided connection and lacked trust, I now find myself able to view situations from a more critical thinking perspective.  Trauma splits our minds into fragments.  When we gather those fragments, learning which ones belong to our abusers, and which ones belong to us, we can then begin to organize them.

I believe we must be kind to ourselves.  We must give ourselves time.  We must not allow others to pressure our healing timeline.  We must rest when we need to do so.  We must learn to stand our boundaries out of empowerment instead of fear.  We must be prepared for the loss which can come with exercising those boundaries.  In doing so, we will discover our true support system.  We will accept that it doesn’t look like what we think it should look like.  Mindfulness becomes a natural part of each day, understanding that the key to thriving is focusing in on being thankful for life, being aware of others suffering in a way which creates a natural flow of awareness back toward us.

“Choose to believe and trust in you.

You deserve it.”


To My Younger Self

Dear little me,
Any voice inside of your head which tells you that you are less than the greatest you can be, is not your authentic voice. Any words spoken inside of your mind, which do not lovingly contribute to your existence, are not your thoughts. They are the thoughts and voice of your abuser. Create an invisible canister and command them inside. Tell them to go away. They don’t get to speak to you that way any longer. You are in complete control to speak back now. You get to tell them to be gone, throw them inside of that canister and tighten the lid.

You will know which thoughts belong to you because they will be loving and kind. Our authentic being loves itself and understands our inner greatness. Choose to believe and trust in you. You deserve it. Healing is your strongest success.