July 6, 2023

You Are Safe Now

Okay, my friends. I have many things to tell you. Big Things.

In the last more-than-a-decade that we’ve been sharing this space together, we have lived a lot of life together, you and me. There are things I have told you, and there are things I have not said.
It’s time.
As you know, my first books emerged from a terrible loss: my husband’s sudden death, just before Christmas when my boys were three and five years old. As I wrote into grief and recovery and single parenting, you joined me in the pages. Together we created a safe space for others walking through that kind of pain - and the searing loss of pain from similar losses.
But alongside that public trauma, there was a private trauma that I held quietly, a concurrent part of my story that I didn’t talk about for a long, long time. In the time following my Robb's death, I experienced grooming, manipulation, sexual abuse, and spiritual abuse by a person of trust in my life.
I didn’t know I was being manipulated. I didn’t know the signs.
I didn’t know the cycle of abuse.
I didn’t know that it’s normal to feel guilt for something that’s not your fault,
to have complex emotions about your abuser as you heal.
I learned that I could set boundaries, I could choose not to reconcile, and I could still pursue the internal freedom of forgiveness.
Very quietly, I’ve spent a decade writing about it.
I won’t be quiet anymore.
In 2024, NavPress will release this resource:
You Are Safe Now
A Survivor’s Guide to Listening to Your Gut, Healing from Abuse, and Living in Freedom
by Tricia Lott Williford and Jana Richardson, MA, LPC, EMDR.
That’s right, my co-author is my much-beloved and oft-mentioned expert therapist: Jana (whose name rhymes with Dana). I have written through the trauma, and Jana has written through the treatment.

There are *a lot* of clergy abuse stories coming to the light right now, documentaries and headlines and expository interviews that reveal a darkness that has been happening. How is this book different?
You Are Safe Now lights the path to healing what has been broken.
With Jana's voice and mine, the story gives answers from a trauma-informed therapist and a candid survivor. The book has been peer reviewed by other experts in the field, who have weighed in and contributed to make this an indispensable resource.
Is this book for you? Well,
~ If you’ve ever wondered how abuse happens - to smart people in real-life settings, even in the church - You Are Safe Now offers answers.
~ If you’ve ever wondered how therapy unfolds - from both the therapist's and patient's perspective - You Are Safe Now offers answers.
~ If you’ve ever wondered how there can be freedom for survivors - of grooming, manipulation, complex PTSD, alongside spiritual and sexual abuse - You Are Safe Now offers answers.
You Are Safe Now is a hope-filled resource for survivors of abuse by a person of trust; for people who treat those survivors, and for the people who love the survivors.
When you consider the scope of that demographic, in this day of a pandemic of exposed abuse and hunger for recovery, I daresay yes, You Are Safe Now is written for you.
There are books about trauma, and there are books about treatment. You Are Safe Now is a cutting edge resource combining both trauma and treatment, healing and hope.
And, I finally get to introduce you to Jana.
Everybody needs an expert therapist who will practice the slow and steady work of being present until the healing is complete. If you need an expert like this, I’ll let you borrow mine - in the pages of the book we wrote together.
You Are Safe Now.

Today's Special Release:
You can listen now to our podcast, Let's Talk Soon,
where I'll talk about the new book,
discuss the devastation behind it,
and read an excerpt from You Are Safe Now.

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Listen Here

6 comments on “You Are Safe Now”

  1. Rocky ride indeed. My story includes not a pastoral predator but a parental one before I was old enough to call "our little secret" the abuse my gut knew it really was--and it IS all about unequal power, deception and preying on vulnerability and trust. I have a close friend who needs this book RIGHT NOW. She has just been forced by economics to move back to a place and situation she had managed to break gloriously free of--from welfare and suicidal ideation, agoraphobia, chain-smoking fear she made friends with Christians, got off smoking, got a good job, HUD housing, joined a women's Bible study, had career goals and self-esteem--and the perpetrator (a man trusted by a Christian counselor) "coincidentally" immediately moved back there too. She recognizes that he sucked her into a relationship that led to prostitution, pregnancy and an unwanted abortion that still traumatizes and haunts her. She agrees with all my warnings. Her decision: "I'll just talk to him but I'll have self-control. If he tries anything I'm outa there." But as Jana points out he knows her better than she knows herself and he will bide his time. After all, he is a disciple of the one who has been at this a lot longer than she has, ever since the Garden of Eden. the one God called the "most cunning" of all creatures. Pray for M. I'm afraid for her.

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me, Jessica. Absolutely joining you.

  2. Dear "friend" Tricia - It seems like I can call you my friend because I feel I have come to know you so well through your books and blog and delightful sharing of all life things. I didn't realize it was possible for me to keep falling in love with you more and more as you release each new book! Thank you for writing into and through your pain, grief and suffering; and allowing those of us who have either experienced similar losses or walk with someone who has done so to learn from you. You are a blessing to the body of Christ!

    1. Terisa, what kind and beautiful words. We are friends, indeed!

  3. Loved this episode of the podcast. I can't wait to get this book. Thanks for having the courage to share your story, you are going to help so many people.

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