“It must be hard for you to share your story, and keep repeating it,” said someone I know, who occasionally works with survivors of sexual abuse.
Yes, it is.
But I will keep sharing it.
Not for attention, as let’s face it, we survivors get various responses from people, running the gamut from shock to utter disgust.
Then what happens is a survivor sometimes interalizes that .. like it was their fault they went through the trauma in the first place.
Yet we must understand that it was not our fault, and the reaction you get from some people is justified, as they are thinking to themselves, “what kind of person would hurt a child.”
“This is my story.”
Over the years, I have had the chance to talk to hundreds of fellow survivors.
Some say “no way, not me, I am not telling my story.”
Others ask me “how?”
Still others say they would, except it would shatter their families if Mom or Dad knew the truth. And as such, they battle daily, trying to heal from their dark secret, alone.
Still others have been surprised when they unveiled their secret, and were received instead with love and gentleness, support and understanding, and a relentless belief that no matter their past, they will still achieve their dreams.
I know of at least two marriages that were repaired because I shared my story.
Recently, I sat in on a sexual assault awareness workshop, and I could not share with the group until it was over, as I was covering it for work. When speaking to the leaders afterwards, we had a long conversation, and next year, they would like for me to share my story, and also would like for me to get involved with what they do on a volunteer basis.
As I was listening to the content, I felt I could write a book. Then my mind went to this .. what if I could create a series of simple Facebook videos just on the
dynamics of sexual abuse, its effect on survivors, the community and their families, the many challenges one faces on their journey, as well as sharing hopeful stories from other survivors.
The last would be a challenge, for sure.
I was telling this person that yes, it is hard to share. But that yes, I get a little stronger every time. My heart is turned both inward to continue my healing, as well as outward to help others.
By “help,” I am not a licensed counselor. But I can tell you that even licensed counselors and first responders have come to me to ask me what to say to a survivor when they are working with them.
I have a day off today. Am drinking my coffee slowly and getting ready to spend a day with one of my daughters who moved away in January. We have a full day planned, and it is going to be glorious.
Email me your thoughts for what you would like to see in upcoming blogs.
Have a very Happy Monday, all 🙂