Sex Trafficking & “The Sound of Freedom”

My boyfriend and I were invited to Las Vegas for a private screening of Sound of Freedom, an absolutely brilliant film which tells the TRUE story of one of Tim Ballard’s most heroic and adventurous rescue missions. Ballard is the founder of Operation Underground Rescue (O.U.R.) which seeks to rescue and bring healing to victims of sex trafficking. JJ and I volunteer with O.U.R.

Life’s Worth Living Podcast

Nicole was invited as a guest on Jon Gossett’s Life’s Worth Living podcast series to talk about her suicide attempt. She gives details about her visit to the other side of the veil, and the love and hope she found there.

There Were Miracles!

This is a play-by-play of my leap off of Web Hill in St. George, Utah, as recorded by my mother and boyfriend on social media, from the day after my suicide attempt until my first week home from the hospital 3 months later. I fell 60 feet and then rolled another 40 feet down the cliff. That was the beginning of a long stream of miracles. Among those, was my mother’s decision to go against her natural inclinations and social training to honor me by doing what she knew I would want her to do: go public with the truth.

JJ’s Thoughts on Mental Health and Suicide

I am JJ Brown, Nicole’s boyfriend. I wrote this on my Facebook to help others to understand how Nicole and so many others could be so afflicted with the mental health issues they face. It is a complicated issue. My summary does not tell the whole story, but it tells a part of the story the medical community is not equipped to explain.

The Patronus

The Mind is a battleground between Light and dark. The dark side uses abuse and trauma to overtake the mind and turn it into a killing field, destroying all hope, empowerment, self-worth, and light. Agency is neutralized as the victim’s mind is flooded with a torrent of dark choices. For survivors, hope must be rediscovered, empowerment must be relearned, self-worth replanted, and the Light reached for against a current of despair.

Hold On

I’ve cursed God—at the top of my lungs—with every insult available to me. Where was He!? How could He let that happen to me!? My logical conclusion—confirmed by terrible, real-life experience—was that I’m not worth His attention, that He doesn’t actually care about me, or that He does not exist. But I knew He was there, and this knowing rounded out my feelings of bitterness, gloom, and abandonment. Three times when suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ begged God to make it all stop. God let it go on. And then, at the worst moment on the cross, Christ was left completely alone. I’ve discovered that Christ does understand. I’ve learned to put my faith on Him, and He connects me to the Father…a loving, caring, and responsive Father.

The Mire

Surviving Trauma can be an extreme roller coaster–lots of low, some highs and not a lot in between. Survivors can experience spiritual highs which balance out the terrible lows. It’s possible to become accustomed or addicted the extremes which give meaning and definition to a traumatic life. To adjust to a life of peace means to become accustomed to a much slower and simple ride. Survivors may struggle to accept and find meaning in a more stable, peaceful life.

The Fortress in My Mind

When the dark side arranges the unimaginable against the most innocent, the mind wipe and compartmentalization of the event become a harsh but necessary blessing. Though a protection, the dissociation expresses itself as a mental illness—a disease against peace of mind and relationships. When the time for healing comes, Pandora’s box must be opened—for what’s inside is what needs to be healed…yet it might be opened in different ways for different people—with me, only emotions manifest. My frustration with this was evident when, in 2016 I prayed for my actual memories to come back (written about here). This is a poetic metaphor about that experience.