The Power of YOU is a collection of written stories by survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
EmpowerSurvivors believes that by sharing our stories of childhood sexual abuse and recovery we begin to lose the grip shame can have on us.
It is also a way to reach other survivors who may be living in silence and have never heard someone else's story of abuse, healing, and wellness.
Share your story by submitting up to a one-page entry ( 500 words) that includes an overview of your experience of childhood sexual abuse, the recovery process, and healing. Entries can remain anonymous.
Entries can be emailed to Elizabeth Sullivan at EmpowerSurvivors@gmail.com
EmpowerSurvivors ( www.EmpowerSurvivors.net ) will not alter your story in any way and will publish it exactly as you submitted it.
For me, it was my stepfather. He had lived with us since I was two years old. I grew up with physical, emotional/mental, and sexual abuse from the age of 7 or 8. Some memories are still surfacing. My stepfather was a raging alcoholic. A Jekyll and Hyde type of guy. I walked on eggshells my whole life. He started molesting me after my brother went into the Navy. He knew I had no one to protect me anymore. I never told anyone about the molestation because they wouldn’t do anything about it. I knew this because even though they knew about the physical abuse, they didn’t do anything about that either. No one called the police or reported it in any way. Ever.
He continued until I was 18 and went to college. I went as far away as I could, which was only a couple of hours away, but it was far enough. I then turned to alcohol, drugs, and sex but didn’t know why. I would get so angry when I got drunk that I would want to fight. I was raped while in college and it was one of those nights, so I blamed myself. I lost friends but those who stuck by me are still in my life today. I realized that I was suppressing a lifetime of hurt and abuse and that was the only coping mechanism I knew. I eventually met a good man and settled down, stopped drinking and drugs, got married, and had two boys. The best thing that happened to me was meeting my husband. I am so grateful for him and my two boys. They are the reason I live.
I fought the healing process every day until I got so bad with depression that I found myself on my knees praying for God to do something, anything to stop the pain. I prayed for him to take me. That was the moment I decided I needed to start therapy. I started going and found a great therapist, but she wasn’t equipped to deal with trauma, so she referred me to a colleague of hers. This was the best move I ever made. I have come so far in my healing, one, because I found a great trauma therapist, and two, because I allowed myself to start feeling and letting people in. That vulnerability is something I still work on today.
I have had some bad downs, but I have always found my way back up with the support of a select few, my therapist and this group. This group has been a lifeline and helped me grow not just in the support of others but with the education that is shared here as well. I am so grateful for all the positives in my life and for the path that has brought me here. I used to worry that I didn’t have a purpose here on earth, but I think mine is the journey. All the hard work is worth it. And it is hard, but if you keep with it and really practice your tools, you can move through the healing process and one day see just how far you have come.