Wow, this year has gone by so quickly. Before I reminisce on my year, I want to take a moment to talk about the senseless killings that took place at Sandy Hook. I am saddened for these families and hope that with time, courage, help, and their faith that this holiday sees them finding a small amount of peace. There is never a reason for killing and for someone to kill small innocent children is a harsh reality to bear. I pray for the New Year to help this country solve this dilemma and stop these killings.
This year, for me, has been eventful. It started off with a huge job change, and having to move because of the difficulty in finding a job because of my arrest history. I am now working part-time and am starting to settle in as the new year approaches.
I am excited that as most anniversary dates came this year–anniversary dates that usually haunt me (my mom’s birthday, my trial date, the date of my mom’s disappearance)–I have weathered them with a new strength. I have been able to look to the future and feel the pain lessening from these events.
However, the one event that continues to haunt me is December 23–the date I found out my mom was murdered by my brother and buried in my own yard. I struggle with this day and the memories that come with it. I know though that even though my mom isn’t here, I can hold her in my heart. The memories that I hold in my heart are ones that will live forever.
This year has also brought the finishing of Fear of Our Father with my co-author Lisa Bonnice. This book was difficult at times for both of us: for me, to share the events of my life and, for Lisa, to have to hear them and feel them in order to turn them into a book. I am honored she traveled this road with me.
The BBC documentary that I was in, America’s Child Death Shame, was nominated for an Emmy. That to me was a huge push towards the awareness of the epidemic in America.I hope that the awareness that seems to be evolving continues to make the needed changes in this epidemic.
As Christmas approaches and the New Year is just around the corner, let us all remember that abuse of any kind is not appropriate. I am hoping that everyone has a wonderful holiday season, that keeps everyone safe and happy.
May you all spend this season with your loved ones. I pray that my family is finding their own peace and that someday we will all reunite.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All.
Stacey M. Kananen
Advocate, Author, Abuse survivor
Co-founder of Amnesty From Abuse
Stacey Kananen’s father violently and sexually abused his entire family. He vanished in 1988 and 15 years later his wife went missing. Stacey’s brother had killed both parents. Stacey cooperated as a witness until he told police that she helped him with the crimes. She was arrested and her trial, which aired on CNN’s In Session, ended with a not guilty verdict after her attorney proved that she had been railroaded.
Now that her personal life is no longer private, Stacey is using her story to make waves. She and co-author Lisa Bonnice have signed a publishing deal with Berkley Books. They created the Amnesty From Abuse program to address the dynamic that stops families from asking for help: fear, shame and hopelessness. She states, “If a program like this existed during my childhood, both parents would be alive, my brother would not be in jail and my family would have been spared years of anguish and terror.”
Fear of Our Father – Berkley Books, 2013
Emmy nominated BBC Documentary: America’s Child Death Shame