I Made the Greatest Decision of My Life to Ask for Help

Around the ages of 6 to 8 I lived in a domestic and sexually abusive environment. For 10 years I was in silence, partly from my own brain blocking out memories for my survival, and partly me being terrified to speak my mind. I was truly blessed that my university offers free counseling services and one day I decided that my existence could be better than it currently was and that I no longer had to be silent.

I spent so many years normalizing my own depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms for the sake of keeping this mask of being a successful individual without baggage. At the age of 18 I made the greatest decision of my life to ask for help. I started individual and group therapy, both very beneficial to me in different ways. Individual therapy gave me a space to share things I never shared before and to understand the intricacies of the trauma response. Group therapy gave me forever friends and a support system that understands me completely.

Along with these professional settings of healing I found my own comfort in yoga, journaling, and expressing my emotions in my art. Throughout my healing it has gotten worse before it has gotten better and there have been times of deep frustration. However, I’ll never regret my choice to start this process and owe the beautiful life I have to all these activities I choose to foster my personal growth.

Though my court case could always be opened, I have found my justice in proudly owning my title as a survivor along with being a full-time student, volunteer, and future physician and by supporting my community of survivors in whatever way I can. My hope to any survivor reading this is that you find whatever form of justice brings your soul to peace, that you don’t feel alone, that you recognize that healing is a process that doesn’t have a set time frame, you have the deepest compassion towards yourself, and that you know there are people in this world waiting to support you and believe you.

-Alyssa, Survivor