After my last post, I was contacted by a fellow survivor who told me they decided about four months ago to start therapy in an effort to heal.
Here’s the deal.
One person who decides to seek healing can impact others in a big way.
I would not have believed that, several years ago, for I pretty much felt like there was no way telling my story would help anyone else.
I feared the moment I hit the send button on my computer, that my life would change and everyone I knew would walk away from me because of the secret I shared.
I feared that people would change their opinion of me, since after all, I felt, like many survivors do, like it was all my fault.
I told myself I could have stopped it at age 7, I could have been strong enough to fight him off at age 9, that I should have, should have …
Truth is, I did fight, but hey when you are age 9, a tiny little girl, it is hard to fight off a man who was a heavy labor worker.
And I know now that if that had happened in Polk County, Florida, these days .. well you know. People are aware now, and those who have been abused often see some justice.
So the sharing has helped me in ways I never imagined. I get phone calls and emails, letters and thank yous for what other survivors say is “being brave.”
I do not feel brave.
But it has helped me to share with others, and in turn, I have found so much help along the way.
If you have not shared your story with someone, I would encourage you to do so. Yes, it is hard to trust others. And you fear the outcome. If you are currently in the situation, I know you will get immediate help if you report it to law enforcement. Times have changed.
And if you are an adult, and this happened as a child, and you have a hard time trusting others, one thing I have found is helpful .. a test of trust .. is you ask the person you would like to share your story with how they would handle it if they had a friend who was abused reveal that secret to them.
If they seem kind and merciful, then share. If they seem like, well, people just make this stuff up, then move on until you find someone who will listen.
I first revealed my pain to church youth workers. Then to my parents.
Since releasing my story, I have found that instead of condemnation, I am blessed by others who encourage me on my healing journey.
Although it is my belief that healing is lifelong, every day I celebrate little victories.
You are the Brighter Side.