|By Lucas Löf via Unsplash.com edited by me|
If you are on Facebook, you may have seen a video from a guy called "Spider" and his moving and brave video about being a survivor of sexual abuse. If you haven't, you need to watch it:
I am part of a group of survivors of sexual abuse. I will not tell you any more than that. This is our secret and sacred place. We can discuss what happened to us (or in some cases, our loved ones), our true, raw and unfiltered emotions (which range from feeling unworthy, unloved to anger and hatred). Each and every emotion is absolutely understandable.
I have never really touched on the abuse I went through for many years. There is no need to reveal anymore than the fact that I was sexually abuse for many years by more than one person. It's been well over 20 years since it ended but it's still raw and it has effected me for many, many years.
I look back at my past and I realize how much it has effected me. I was lucky if I held on to a job for more than a few months let alone a year. Relationships? Completely unhealthy and never lasted very long. When I did meet somebody who loved me? I couldn't trust him or believe him.
I sabotaged everything in my life. Everything from jobs to friendships to relationships.
I ran from every problem versus facing it.
I almost ran from my own daughter when she was born- I was going to give her up for adoption. I wasn't sure I could take care of her the way she needed to be- could I love her? Would I feel resentful? I gave it a shot and figured that if I couldn't give her what she needed (being the psychologically damaged person that I am!), I could still place her with a family that would love her the way she needed to be.
I found I could love her. I found I loved her more than anything else in this world.
When she nearly died- I lost it. I nearly ran from the hospital and walked out of her life.
I couldn't do it.
When it was time to be released from the hospital with a severely disabled child- I was in a state of pure panic. I cried and cried for hours. I was going to put her in voluntary foster care because I was homeless and jobless after she was injured.
I obviously brought her home and have taken care of her to the best of my ability and love her with all of my heart.
I have PTSD, Chronic Depression, OCD and generalized anxiety.
I was getting counseling after I brought her home to deal with not only what happened to her but the deaths of my first two babies, the abuse I went through, my inability to commit to anybody or anything and the history of abusive relationships. I was lucky- I had a counselor who was a suvivor of abuse. It made it easy to talk to her and work through all the issues I refused to acknowledge. I never told anybody about the abuse until I was older.
I am doing much better. I've been at my job for five years, been in my home for 9 years, but I still have relapses because something will trigger the memory and then I have insomnia and then it all snowballs.
However, being a part of the group- I see a recurring theme- self esteem shot, OCD, bad relationships, etc.. The abuser blamed the abused. Lack of family support. Lack of justice. It's a terrible, terrible feeling. You feel like nobody cares that your life was demolished and your dignity stolen.
However- we go into survival mode. We relapse. We have good days. We have bad days.
We are not alone.
We are worth it.
You can heal.
You can move on.
Most importantly- It's NOT YOUR FAULT.