I am Finding the Courage to Speak My Truth

I am a survivor of sexual abuse and rape. My painful past, which I had largely repressed, spilled forth when I was 19 years old. I had bottled up so many feelings and unspoken words, which manifested in unhealthy coping mechanisms. My perpetrators threatened my life and those of my loved ones if I dared speak the truth. I felt shame and isolation. Somewhere inside I carried the truth, but for years I couldn’t find my voice.

Through the grace of God, I found the help I so desperately needed. I had to reach deep inside to find the courage and strength to face my painful past. Slowly, with the help of a wonderful therapist, I began to climb out of the dark hole I had fallen into. The light hurt at first. The anxiety and panic would surface as I remembered the unspeakable acts done to me, but I held on and had faith I would get through this.

I found journaling, swimming, and taking walks to be very helpful. For me, being surrounded by nature, I was able to see beauty again and to find my footing on solid ground. I felt more hopeful with each step I took. My body and my feelings felt soothed by water. I could feel my strength rising.

My faith had been shaken and my fear turned to anger at what had been done to me. I realized I had turned the anger inward. I have slowly learned to direct the anger where it belongs, to my perpetrators.

I am finding the courage to speak my truth. I will not allow what happened to me rob me of precious moments in life.

It truly takes a village of support to navigate the healing process and challenging times. To learn to breathe deeply and freely again. To reclaim your beautiful and strong self.

-Kelly, Survivor