Here are some of the most encouraging words that I heard from people after revealing my painful experiences of sexual abuse. I did not know what reactions to expect from friends and family on breaking my silence. I was skeptical and anxious because negative reactions would certainly have caused me to re-think my decision to talk about the abuse. However, I am grateful to have received such understanding and empathy. These words were like music to my ears and the mere acknowldegement of the pain I suffered, warmed my heart. I can only say : Fine Friends are few, Thank You for being You! It has meant a lot to me to be able to share with each of you, my pain, suffering, grief, shame, guilt and other feelings that I have experienced as a result of the abuse. I would like to add that, by listening to me, each of you has contributed to my healing and to making me feel like a whole person again. There is no better tribute to love and friendship than acceptance and you have made my world by accepting me for what I am. Thank you for believing me and for appreciating my courage. It is because of you that I continue on this painful healing journey; you have rekindled hope in me and that allows me to aspire for a better tomorrow.
The most beautiful expression of support was evinced by my cousin. When I was very distraught and inconsolable due to the guilt and shame that assailed me for having enjoyed parts of the abuse, he told me about how he had been totally infatuated with one of my aunts in his teenage years. He convinced me that having a crush on my uncle at that age, was a natural part of growing up and that I had no reason to feel guilty. He went to great lengths to explain in the most simple and personal manner that it is the responsibility of the older person in the relationship to provide space to any youngster who looks up to him (her) or is infatuated with him (her). Coming from my cousin, this was very encouraging and went a long way in helping me overcome the deep sense of shame I have felt about the abuse.
My spouse: I love you and will always love you. I am there for you and do whatever it takes to get better. I am not going anywhere.
My cousin when first told about my abuse and how I overcame the trauma by myself exclaimed: You are so brave and strong to have been through all this by yourself! You have been through such trauma. Let me give you a hug.
Sister-in-law: I know that it hurtsit is painful but you are very brave and will surely get through it. I am as intense a person as you are and so can understand how strongly you must feel about this issue.
My friend: I am so sorry that you had to go through such experiences. You are incredibly brave and I admire you for having the courage to face this head on. You are so accomplished now, I cannot imagine what you would have accomplished if this had never happened.
My colleague: I admire your courage and strength to be able to confront your abuser in such a direct manner.
Friend: I am disturbed that you have had to go through such a painful experience at such a young age. You are a wonderful person and very brave".
Friend: I will pray that you get through this trying time in your life.
Friend: It is sad that you have had such a terrible experience but you live only once. Work on putting this in the past, since that is where it belongs and live your life well.
Cousin: I understand exactly how you feelI have been there and know what you are talking about. Talk and cry all you want, I am here to listen.