What Happened Does Not Define Me

All my life, I thought I needed to explain my abuse to everyone I became close to. I thought they needed to know so they could better understand me. Maybe that was true for a while, but now I realize something: what happened does not define me and who I am today.

I decided to stop being a victim and start being a survivor. A survivor does not need constant sympathy. I choose to live proudly instead of shamefully. There is nothing shameful in the abuse we endured. The shame lies with the abuser, not us.

It was extremely difficult for me to forgive him. For years, I tried and failed until I realized… I am extending the forgiveness to free myself. Forgiveness does not mean you are okay with what happened; it means you choose not to allow it to weigh you down anymore. You are now free to let it go and be the beautiful, proud person you were always meant to be.

-Pammy, Survivor