My Survivor Story
Updated: Mar 14
My abuse started at the age of 9 and continued until I was 15. It was a long 6 years of living in constant fear of what was going to happen next. This was a secret shared between me and my abuser, even though he never explicitly told me to keep it a secret, it felt dirty to tell anyone else about it. Plus, I was terrified of what would happen if I did say anything. He told me no one would ever love me as much as he did and that made me nervous about potentially losing him if I were to say anything.
Child sexual abuse is a type of pain that embeds itself into your soul. I didn’t realize how deep the pain and trauma went. I had locked it away for years. However, I started to really delve in and work to heal in my mid-20s and after experiencing another traumatic event. In June 2017, I was raped when I went to Las Vegas on a trip with my sister. That opened old wounds and made me realize I needed to do something different and really focus on healing, or at least trying to heal from all the trauma of my past.
I signed up to be a member of the RAINN Speakers Bureau and looked into more resources for survivors. One of the most empowering and helpful resources for me was attending the Saprea Retreat in June 2019, in my mid-30's. I needed this retreat to really take a closer look at myself and understand how this particular type of abuse can damage a child and change the brain chemistry. It gave me a deeper appreciation for all that I have overcome. And, although I don’t always feel as though I have done much in my life, I was able to understand that what I have accomplished feels even more substantial because of the things I have had to overcome. Since completing the retreat, I feel as though I have
even more to share and feel more confident in the woman I have become.
I have been sharing my story publicly since 2018 and feel that sharing is a way to empower me to have a voice and a way for me to help others feel like they aren’t alone. My new mission is to be a bigger voice for those that are unable to speak and continue to help others heal and grow. Abuse and traumatic pasts do not need to dictate who we are for the rest of our lives.