For a while, I felt I had this calling to share my story. That sounds so big, right? At first, I thought it was a way to start my own business, which is a dream of mine. However, the more I thought about this, the more I realized that it was for a much bigger reason than that. I needed to share my story to save my own life.
As I look over my life, for the most part, I have some great accomplishments. I have done pretty well for myself considering my beginnings.
My Story (short version)
The short version of the story is that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. My first experience happened when I was about three and ended around eight or nine. One thing I should say is that one of the after effects of trauma, of any kind, is that it affects your memory. For me, there are a lot of memories that are not clear. There are huge chunks of childhood that I cannot remember.
Two separate family members molested me. The second family member was the abuse that lasted the longest and has had the most impact. I told my family in the beginning about both instances. Their reactions to my confessions were very confusing for me. I felt like I was in trouble instead of doing something that was brave. I remember a lot of yelling and looks of horror on my parents’ faces. I remember telling my brother and his silence and physically withdrawing from me. This further made me feel like I did something wrong.
Today, my family has no recollection of these events. They say that they do not remember me telling them anything. Also, they do not understand why this is something that still effects me today. While I do not see them as these evil, bad people, I do see them as people who have hurt me deeply.
Most of my life, I have lived in isolation and quietness. There was always this huge secret I felt like I had to keep in order to protect the people in my life. At a very young age, I was aware of other’s feelings and trying to protect them from the bad ones. Although I was seething with negative feelings (self-hate, negativity, loneliness), I knew I could handle it and my family would not be able to handle it.
As I continue to do my work to free myself from my past, I can see how the isolation and quietness leads to my difficulty of trusting other people. In any of my relationships, I do not have the expectation that people will be around for the long-term or that they will not be there in my time of need. And that was what seemed to be happening. It was like I was becoming victimized all the time and had no control over it.
My childhood abuse affected me sexually. Throughout my teenage years and early twenties, sex became this thing I did constantly. I felt like it was the only thing I was good at and it was my duty to provide men with sex. Otherwise, what else was the purpose of a man and a woman being in a relationship with each other?
There are other things that are affected by me being molested. I am sure I am not even aware of them all yet. It is motivation for me to continue doing the work to be more aware and getting out of this victimization cycle. That is why this blog is important to me.
Road to Healing
For the past three years, I have been on the path to trying to heal from the past. I lost a marriage, friendships, and myself and I just wanted to get me back. This required me to take an honest look at myself. What was my responsibility in all of this? I never thought it had anything to do with being molested as a child; I just thought there was something wrong with me.
I felt no one understood me. No one understood how I thought, how I saw the
world, and what my needs were. But I did not understand them, so how could I expect anyone else to do that?
I write this blog to share my story. In sharing my story, it helps me to examine my life, to continue to do the necessary work to free myself of the pain and being a victim.
I share my story to help others, so you know that you are not alone.
And lastly, I share my story to explore the bigger picture of child molestation and sexual violence. It is not just individual women problems; it is a societal issue that we all have a responsibility to attend to.
Every week, I will post on different topics related to childhood abuse and sexual violence. I will talk about how you to can heal from the past and have a life where you feel loved and complete. It is a journey and we can help each other overcome.