Tracy's Story

Tracy Green is a survivor of childhood and adolescent sexual abuse (rape). 

Today Tracy serves as the state representative of Texas for the Peer Leadership Council of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a member of RAINN’s Speakers Bureau. She has a Bachelor's degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in human services. She is happily married to her husband of 38+ years and they have two adult children and four grandchildren. 

 

Many survivors of sexual violence and other traumas experience depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), self-harm, and flash-backs – and Tracy was no exception. She first sought help for her trauma with a therapist in the ‘90s and shares what it was like to disclose the abuse. 

 

“It was a relief to tell someone what happened when I was younger and that person giving me permission to speak about it,” said Tracy, noting that her family told her she couldn’t say anything outside of the house.

 

Since then, Tracy has discovered the power of words and advocacy. In 2014 at a mental health conference for African Americans in Austin, Texas, she shared her story publicly for the first time. As she stood in the packed room, Tracy felt hopeful. She felt like people wanted to learn about the healing process just as much as the trauma. 

 

Soon after, she discovered NAMI, the nation’s leading grassroots organization that helps individuals and families living with a mental health challenge. This organization helped Tracy to understand her mental health struggles. Through education and support, her mental health improved. Currently, Tracy advocates for better mental health services for those who need it and this work has even taken her to the nation’s capital.

 

Tracy has also worked as a volunteer for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), using her experience to speak up for children with similar traumatic experiences. In this role, Tracy gathered information by visiting the child’s school and home in order to give informed recommendations to the judge presiding over the child’s case as to whether it would be safe to return the child to the home or permanently remove the child for safety reasons.

 

“I know what it’s like to not have a voice,” said Tracy. “Being able to give a voice to people — children, adults — until they can find their own voices is very important to me. That’s my biggest role as an advocate.”

 

Tracy recognizes that coming forward with one’s story is more difficult than it seems, telling survivors to “know that there will be difficulties,” like pushback from family or the system. “You will have to be prepared for consequences,” said Tracy, “but it will always be better to advocate for yourself and speak up.”

 

She hopes that survivors have the appropriate support in their healing process, citing the NAMI organization as an example. 

 

In her own healing process, Tracy has multiple support systems to keep her grounded. It’s important to care for yourself and take out time for self-care. 

 

For one, she’s back in therapy. “There have been years that went by when I didn’t need it,” said Tracy, “but I am now in a season where it’s time I sought it out again.”

 

Tracy is grateful for her husband Jerome. “When you come from trauma within the family, it’s easy for someone close to you to take advantage of you. He has not.” “Having him as my life partner”, said Tracy, “is God’s precious gift to me”.

 

In moving forward, Tracy keeps a quote from Psalm 23:4 in mind. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

 

“I learned to focus on the fact that it’s a shadow,” said Tracy. “It’s not real death.” To Tracy, this quote is a reminder that she will always come through to the light on the other side.

 

 

 

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