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sexual abuse

MA shares about sexual abuse, Age: 26

I was a victim of sexual abuse for 7 years, beginning at the age of 6. My abuser would often threaten my life and tell me he could get away with murder if he had to, to keep me quiet.

What have you struggled with? When did it become too much?

I was a victim of sexual abuse for 7 years, beginning at the age of 6. My abuser would often threaten my life and tell me he could get away with murder if he had to, to keep me quiet. After he left my family behind, I found out he had molested another girl, 6 years old – the same as myself when he first got his hands on me. I knew I had to come forward and tell me story, despite fearing for my life.

What kind of support did you get at first? Did it work?

I saw a therapist through a childrens’ advocate agency. I hated going, and I hated talking about what happened to me, because for my entire life, I lived like that portion of my childhood didn’t exist.

Were there any turning points where things really started to change for the better?

I began to do a type of therapy called EMDR roughly 8 months after starting therapy. It helps the mind to process traumatic memories from the short term memory to the long term, and to help you process them and move past the trauma. At first I thought it was ridiculous and I was still so reluctant to recall anything willingly, but looking back, I think it really helped me to gain strength and move on with my life. I no longer live in fear day to day.

What’s your life like now? What have you been able to accomplish, and what are you working towards?

I’m a very successful nurse in a loving relationship. I’ve never been happier, I’m no longer afraid, and I’ve moved past being a victim to just being me. My past no longer defines me.

What would you say to people who are having a tough time? What’s helped you that you wish you had known earlier

It’s never going to be easy. Getting help is not easy, and talking about what happened is never easy – but you have to do it, no matter how long it takes. That’s the only way to gain control of your life.