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The Sharing of a Secret

Brave though I am, releasing my story into the world to be judged and picked apart, I have been more scared about my daughter reading my story, and the impact it could have on her. She is nearly fifteen, but I am certain this is not her first time on this planet. But still, it is a mother’s job to protect their child from the evil that exists in this world. As a mom, especially a mom with a background of severe abuse, it is a top priority for me to ensure my children have a childhood that is the polar opposite to the one I endured growing up. And for nearly fifteen years, I did just that. And my biggest challenge was the balancing act between not being over protective and paranoid for their safety, and at the same time remaining vague and busting my ass to protect them from the darkness of my past. I never wanted them to know what happened to me.

I have always been very selective with whom I share that part of my life with – until last year when I decided I needed to come forward with my story to be a point of light for so many souls still struggling in the dark. I am very proud of the body of work I am releasing into the world. But I am also aware that people can be cruel and I will be judged. This terrified me for selfish reasons (nobody likes to be torn apart by insensitive, ignorant people) but it mostly worried me for my girls…until last night.

I lost all fear of that after writing in the very first copy of my book as I handed it over to my daughter. I don’t even know why, but as soon as I wrote what I did, I knew she would get it. And this foreign feeling of comfort seeped into my bones. (Don’t get me wrong, I still felt like I was gonna have a heart attack after releasing it to her) She then went upstairs to bed to begin reading it. A few minutes later I was alerted that she had tagged me in a facebook post (she’s 15, so as you can imagine, this never happens!)

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Her words have humbled me beyond measure, made me proud, made me ugly cry and marvel at the young woman she is becoming. And as a result of this, has made me more driven than ever and ready to own my story so that others may do the same.

Although relieved, I still remained wide awake in bed as the time ticked on and I tried to imagine what part she was up to and hoped she was ok. Just after 11pm I caved in and sent her a quick text asking if she was alright. She said that she had just come across a shocking bit. I took a deep breath and replied, “End of chapter three?” She said, “Yup. But I am ok.” I believed her, mostly because I had to and for years I knew that she wondered and her questions were finally being answered. I owed her that much. We never spoke about him. She may have asked about him half a dozen times when she was really little, but I just instinctively dismissed it and moved on to better topics… anything really. I can’t even recall how I would have gotten out of it. She has been a switched on kid from the moment she was born. My change in demeanour, perhaps the terror in my eyes I tried unsuccessfully to mask. But whatever the explanation, she knew not to push it further. And so for years, we left it. An unspoken topic. The elephant in the room that neither one of us dared to address.

The hours passed and my anxiety grew. 2 am – surely she was sleeping. As I lay in the dark, surrendering to my heavy lids, my phone lit up. It was three in the morning when her text came through. She had finished reading my entire book.

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And she gets it! She, at nearly 15 years of age, had the ability to look beyond the darkness and into the light to receive the essence of my message. Something some adults haven’t been able to do. There have been some who haven’t been able to read my book because they find it too traumatising. My defensive response, although never verbalised was initially, “I am so sorry that my lived experience, which I have been painstakingly careful writing about, with the protection of the reader (and myself) in mind, has somehow been too difficult for you to digest. (sarcasm is my go to defensive comfort spot) But that isn’t fair for me to do, and so I try to be mindful and empathise with another’s shock or compassionate when all they can have for me is pity and they miss the whole point of my intended message because they get stuck on the detail.

But now, I can honestly say, I am no longer worried about how my book will be received by the public. Many will get it. Some will not. But nobody has the world as her audience. To be honest with you, the way I see it, I have already won. One of the 2 most important people in my life has put my mind at ease. So anything that happens after this… is all ok with me.


  • camilla on August 27, 2014

    Your daughter is an amazing young woman! This entry brought me tears of joy for you that she reacted in this way to your story. She already understands your message: the shame does not belong to the victim! What a wonderful young adult you have raised. You must be so proud of her, and of course always remember to be proud of yourself! Look at all that you have created from the darkness! Love you!

    • cjbailee on August 27, 2014

      This has been the biggest weight off if my shoulders. She is more than ok. Gosh she is so amazing and her reaction to my book (my life) has honestly given me even more courage and conviction. I truly no longer worry about people’s reactions. If she can handle it, every one else can handle it! I love you too dear friend xx

  • Colleen Martin on September 18, 2014

    What a strong young lady she has become. You have done an amazing job raising her through it all. Very proud of you. Looking forward to the arrival of your book, albeit with some trepidation, I know some of the passages will be hard to read, but none the less it is your story and it has to be read. So very proud of you.

  • Karen on September 20, 2014

    Wow – you had it so much worse than me. Mine earliest recollection was when I was 7 and the adopted parent started abusing me. I never told. Always all my life have felt like I was a “nobodys child” and I still feel that way at 54.
    Be proud of yourself. God bless and keep you
    K- New Zealand

  • Dr Bob Rich on September 21, 2014

    Carrie, I am interested in reviewing your book. If you want this, send me a PDF (I don’t use dead tree books).

    In exchange, you might want to review one of mine, but this is not a condition of my offer.


  • Rick on September 21, 2014

    As a male I am not too proud to say that your story brought tears to my eyes!
    Especially the anxiety you must have had when giving the book to your daughter to read, and her reaction.
    You are such an inspirational person, after all you have endured to use that as a positive now by educating and encouraging others to speak out.
    Such a brave, amazing person!!!
    Kia Kaha! (Be strong)

    ‘Light up the darkness’

    • Carrie Bailee on September 25, 2014

      Wow! Thank you so much and I only wish it was you I was sitting down with for that interview. You have told it exactly how I hoped it would have gone. You get it! You understand the message and importance of the focus being on the rising and the inspiring… not the breaking and irrelevant details. Again, thank you so much. I was honoured to read your piece. Brilliantly captured!

      Carrie Bailee

  • cadmium on December 31, 2014

    carrie I was given your book to read by a friend I have stopped everything else in my life to read it in two days, I just watched your video sold, you are so intelligent and articulate with a strength to you that is unfathomable to understand. I am not usually impressed by people easily, but you would have to be the most amazing person I have ever encountered in all my 57 years of being alive. THANKYOU for helping the innocent angels who are at the mercy of depraved men and how these crude simple humans find each other I don’t know, I also weep for animals and the cruelty they suffer at the hands of humans. I get very upset about what happened to Daniel morcome as he was the same age as my boy at the time, I am haunted by photos depicting his beautiful innocent face, its about time people faced what is going on in our society, humans are so depraved and vile sometimes cadmium

    • Carrie Bailee on January 13, 2015

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so pleased my book impacted you in the way it has. I too am haunted by the beautiful face of Daniel Morcombe. I feel so deeply for his parents. I would love to connect with them and possibly do something in the near future. Not sure how that will look yet but shedding light on such darkness that absolutely occurs in our society is a start. All the best to you and thanks again for contacting me. Carrie

  • Abby on July 7, 2015

    Carrie, I went through abuse as a child at the age of 4 by a close and
    “trusted” family friend. I am also from Melbourne, and read your book in the space of 3 nights after work. My mum read your book in one hit as she couldn’t put it down, she got extremely emotional by it and the sadness about the evil in this world. I personally feel as if its given me a reason to keep going. No matter how hard times got for you, you kept going. I am 24 years old, and cannot wait to one day have my own children to love and protect! Thank you, so so much for sharing your story xxx

    • Carrie Bailee on July 14, 2015

      Hi Abby,
      Thank you so much for your message. You have every reason to keep going. We are not defined or limited to what happened to us. Like I say, it was never your shame. Place it back on those who deserve to wear it. Shame on them Abby. Not you. Evil exists in this world, But the good and the beauty outweigh it. Focus on the beauty Abby. Pour your energy into the good x

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