You Might Think You Are Alone in This but You Are Not

Having once been voiceless, I now choose to use my voice on behalf of those who cannot. I was abused countless times between the ages of five and six. For years, I struggled with finding myself and feeling worthy of others’ love. It wasn’t until I forgave the person that perpetrated these acts upon me that I truly became free. Forgiveness is a continual, ongoing process, but one that has allowed me to shed the chains which bound me for so long.

Hope exists for me through the eyes of my six-year-old daughter. In this sense, I’ve been offered a unique gift: I get to experience childhood once more, this time from her perspective. Understanding that education is key, I’d relive the darkest parts of my past all over again if it means she’ll never have to know that same pain.

You might think you are alone in this, but you are not. We are so often a silent majority who are quickly becoming an army of collective voices. I am no longer a prisoner of my past. Instead, I am a prisoner of hope. I am more than my circumstances. I am more than what happened to me. I am more than a conqueror. I am a survivor.

-Derek, Survivor