By Marci Narum
A tear-stained pillow in the safety of her bedroom is part of any little girl’s life, unless that bedroom isn’t safe. Then, shelter might be an alfalfa field where the cries of pain, confusion, and sadness swell and only birds and prairie dogs hear them. So it is for Jenny Nelson, the main character in “Alfalfa Girl: The Path From Child Molestation to Soul.” Edna Sailor of Minot is the author.
“There’s a line in the book that says, ‘She hid there in plain sight and she would for the rest of her life’” Edna shares. “That becomes a huge statement about not just me but most victims and survivors.”
The novel is written as a fictional story. Jenny Nelson (Alfalfa Girl) and her adult mentor Emily Sorenson are composite characters whose stories are based heavily on Edna’s own life.
“There was an alfalfa field very close to where I grew up, so when I wanted to escape the molestation or the beatings or any of the problems, I’d run over to the alfalfa field and I would nestle myself into the field there, make a little nest there, and scream or cry,” Edna recalls.
Edna is a five-time survivor of child molestation. She says she has managed to live a fairly normal life. She never intended to write about it until she was triggered by the locker room talk that was happening across the nation during the 2016 election.
“Writing it was really hard. It was also a road of self-discovery and a healing process, but it was painful,” Edna shares.
Her pain is serving a purpose now, as Edna is on a mission to educate the public about the painful subject of child molestation. She’s offering workshops in communities across the state.
“I’m considered a thriving survivor. I’m an authorized representative for the National Association of Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse. I started doing workshops and use my novel as my textbook. I bring in all the current research and what it says about molestation victims.
“The final stage of healing is taking our pain and helping others. I just want people to be aware of what childhood molestation does to a child,” Edna explains.
Edna will be the guest speaker at Take Back the Night happening October 9 at Minot State University.
Find “Alfalfa Girl” on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, and other book sellers in North Dakota. For workshop information, contact Edna at: firstname.lastname@example.org.