Most of what I write about on this blog centers around sharing my struggles as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s me, the good and the bad. I also try to share as much encouragement as I can because I need it as much anyone else does. This healing journey is real and it’s painful, it’s confusing and intimidating, but it can also be empowering.
This post goes out to the amazing community of survivors who I’ve connected with and will connect with in the future. Because of you all, I’m learning how to better understand myself and feel validated that I’m on the right path whether it feels like it sometimes or not.
If you would have asked me what a “survivor community” was 15 months ago, I would have told you it was a fan base for a TV show. I had no idea there was and is such an amazing group of people, that is ever growing, who come together on social media to support and help each other, and in the process help themselves.
I knew that I experienced childhood sexual abuse back in my younger days, but I spent 30+ years after the fact suppressing those feelings and ignoring them. I went about my life just existing, based on the persona that I had built up for myself as the Football guy, Music guy, and 80’s guy. That’s all I knew how to be so that’s what I was and I was OK with it, blissfully unaware of what I would experience down the road.
When I started this blog, it was a desire to fulfill a need in between therapy sessions. A way to express myself when I didn’t have my therapist there to share with. As I began immersing myself in writing, I realized what a passion I had for it and how much better I felt when I could validate my thoughts by expressing them through my keyboard. As I began to see that people could relate to me and I could relate to them, I started to feel like I had found a niche that was just right for me.
I came across Athena Moberg, via a RT from someone in my timeline about an upcoming survivor chat called, #NoMoreShame. I did some digging around on NoMoreShameProject.com, and started following Athena, Bobbi Parish, and Rachel Thompson on Twitter. I attended my first chat and that’s when my life really began to change in a way I’d never anticipated.
Through those 3 amazing women, all of whom also experienced childhood trauma, I was able to find validation of who I was. And through them, I began to connect with survivor after survivor, all of whom are unique but share a common bond of wanting to heal. I found I was able to connect with a group of people that have accepted me for me, regardless of my past. There are no judgments, no condescending attitudes, no minimizing of the traumatic events that we’ve all experienced. Everyone is accepted unconditionally because we all know what each other goes through.
On any given day I can look through my timeline or read comments on my blog and see things like this that just make my day!
- Bobbi Parish@BobbiLParish – @SurvivingMyPast Hi Matt! I want to let you know I appreciate you. Your brave, honest sharing is so powerful, an asset to all survivors.
- Kalisha P.@eyesanew – Tackling triggering issues & healthy self-care requires strength, I hope you feel better @SurvivingMyPast
- Ruby Faris@brazilianruby – @SurvivingMyPast I was triggered big time yesterday. I understand. Hugs
- ABIGAIL HAMILTON@amelievondollar – @SurvivingMyPast Hey, i’m with you. Deep breaths & BIG hug. I find my mind takes me to fantasy land at such times.
- Joy Richardson@joypaulinesmith – @SurvivingMyPast You’re my favorite person of the day!
- Still Standing@StillStandingAw – Always an honor to celebrate and empower survivors! Thanks again for sharing!
- Kate Weber@katers513 – @SurvivingMyPast it’s never the easy things as grow from is it? You are so welcome!
- unforgiven@gottogetoutof – @SurvivingMyPast Thank you looking forward to more of your personal insite in your healing process greatfull 🙂
- WesA1966@WesA1966 – @SurvivingMyPast Difficult concept. Especially for guys. We ain’t taught this stuff. Have to have the bravery 2 learn in our own. Like u r!
The list goes on and on, I can’t possibly put everyone’s name down that has been there for me, but I am so eternally thankful for each and every one of you. I hope I can continue be there for you all and countless others on this healing journey. We are #StrongerTogether as a community of survivors all pulling together, pulling for each other, and raising awareness that We are not Weak! We deserve happiness in our lives, and our past does not define us.
Thank you to every single survivor I’ve connected with. You all have my eternal respect, admiration, and support.
We will continue to Rock This Healing Journey Together!