The Best Thing I Ever Did Was Find My Voice

For more of my childhood than I can remember I experienced sexual abuse. The mental turmoil I felt for those years is indescribable. Only when I began to tell the truth and talk about my story did I begin to heal. Ask anyone in my family and they will agree that I am stubborn. I made a choice for myself. I would be too stubborn to let this experience define my life. I would be too stubborn to let my experiences hold me back from a happy life. I would be too stubborn to let this cycle of abuse continue after me. I would be too stubborn to not allow myself the opportunity to heal. I would be too stubborn to let the person that did this to me have any more power over me and take another day away from me.

Though there are still days and moments that are trying and feel downright impossible, for the most part I am far enough along in my healing process that I have more good days than bad, and I am ever thankful for this. It has taken a lot of work and even more support for me to get this point and I could not have done it alone.

It has taken a long time and a lot of support from #TeamEmilie for me to accept that I deserve better than what happened to me. I deserve to be happy and healthy, and no, it was not my fault. A big part of my healing has come in opening up a conversation about sexual abuse and using my story to empower others.

I currently work at a Behavioral Health Agency and I am a peer counselor to youth who are at risk due to their complex mental health struggles. Every day I get the opportunity to empower another person and help them find hope for their lives, which is so amazing I can hardly put it into words that I actually get paid to do this every day. I am currently working toward getting my Master’s in School Counseling so I can continue my journey to help, support and advocate for others for the rest of my life. The best thing I ever did was find my voice, and I hope to help others find their voice as well.

I know that healing is a journey and you just have to take it one step at a time. Some days you run, some days you walk. Every day you keep moving forward.

-Emilie, Survivor