This story of survival from childhood sexual abuse comes courtesy of guest blogger, Ms Edna. I was fortunate to connect with Ms. Edna on Twitter and I’m honored to share her story with you. I hope you will find her thoughts as a survivor, and her journey of self discovery, inspiring.
Thank you again Edna for all that you are doing to help survivors everywhere!
I was only 5 years old when it began – just a child. I was an expressive busy yet serious little girl who loved to laugh, and sing around the house. To him, I was just somebody of his sickest circumstance. He always had his eyes on me and “the incidents,” as I refer to them now, became routine. So routine, that I thought it was normal. He touched me every opportunity he had.
He didn’t care the time of day or who was home, all he needed was a five-minute window and he took advantage. I always felt dirty afterwards, that I would shower with a Brillo pad till my skin was red and painful. I knew what he was doing was wrong but he always looked me in my eyes and told me never to tell. I kept his secret even when I wanted to tell, the gifts that I received kept me duped into quiet.
Then one day, a few months before my 9th birthday, I finally told. He didn’t deny it, yet begged for forgiveness. My family believed me all the while separating us but we never spoke about it again. We continued on with Sunday dinners and big family functions as if nothing ever happened. It was like they locked it up in the box of “things that never happened.” And I, like everyone else, threw away the key and believed that lie.
In my mid-twenties, I struggled in relationships from those painful memories. I never bring it up because I know he’s loved — a father, a husband, an uncle, a grandfather. The idea of tainting his reputation is just too much for me to bear.
So, I’ve been carrying that burden for a long time…until now. I don’t proclaim to be a doctor or a psychologist, yet a continuous survivor of the illness of another that has ravaged my life and adversely affected me. Yes, I took critical steps with counselors, God and finally within myself to heal.
At a crossroads in my life now, I still have unanswered questions and I frantically want to understand how my childhood sexual abuse has affected my adulthood.
What happened in that house for all those years was a violation of my innocent mind, body, and spirit. How do I move on? How do I erase the painful memories that constantly come back to haunt me? Things that I thought I never knew, suppressed so far back in my memory, and are easily triggered by smells, TV theme songs from the ’90s and even patterns on fabric.
In the times with my psychologist, I was able to bring out the stuffed down pain that was disguised as a silence. For years, I put off writing about how I felt because of the “shame” of shaming my mother, my aunt, my sisters, my children and family. Yet I wake up this morning and realize at age 49 years old that it’s a subtle secret of silence.
For a person who has been sexually abused, I always heard ‘what happens in our house, stays in our house’ and we don’t talk about these things. I don’t want my children to inherit the lies that I have internalized and not share what may have happened to them. I believe that most families don’t talk about sex, let alone sexual abuse.
Why I have chosen to speak now? How can I help others?
I know what it is like to spend years trying to heal and the frustration that comes when it seems nothing you are doing is helping. If you have tried everything and just haven’t been able to heal, then I will help you break free from the pain of abuse, move on with your life, and be the person you were meant to be.
I’ve written this guide to help those who I was once like, through my own experiences:
- by retraining your brain to finally end the emotional roller coaster of feeling good one day and miserable the next
- by letting go of shame, guilt, and any belief that the abuse was your fault
- by breaking down the walls that keep you from connecting with others
- by releasing bottled up emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness, and the fear of abandonment
- by gaining self-confidence so you no longer sacrifice yourself or your desires
- by learning how to set boundaries, enjoy intimate relationships, and trust again
- by finally connecting with your genuine, authentic self.
Be sure and check all of the books that Edna has written by heading over to her Amazon page.
Feature image by Pixabay – All other images used with permission from Edna J. White.