Please be careful in reading this page.
This is not a safe page, it could be
triggering. It is a personal page for me
as a survivor. Although there are no
graphic details, If you are not stable today
or are near crisis, please enjoy the rest of
the site, and visit this page on another day.
I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor who has been fortunate enough to find wonderful web resources where I have met many others on the road to recovery. I am trying to maintain a safe site for those who are healing, and although painful details are easier for you to read about, than it was for me to live through, I will state my story only in general terms.
My story begins at age 8 when I was sexually abused by a male relative. The abuse continued over the years, until age 16 when I left home. I would never know when he had a plan for me, so I was always untrusting and always on guard, this behavior trait continues till this day. My parents never had a clue, from the survivors I've met, it seems that if the parents weren't the abusers, most parents never knew. I was also mentally abused by a boyfriend at 13 for a yr and a half, and at 14 I survived an attempted rape by someone I knew, then at 15 another attempted rape by a stranger. Someone close to me, was also verbally abusive to me and other family members for many years.
I have lived through domestic violence and physical abuse by boyfriends. It's funny that most people don't recognize abusive people's traits, even when they are every day occurances, like yelling at their wife constantly, or always having to know where your spouse is at every moment, or not allowing them to have outside friends. These are all traits of a controlling personality. Remember sexual abuse is about power and control, not sex.
I'm not sure why, (probably because no one took the time to explain what abuse was, to me as a child) but I never considered my sexual abuse, abuse. I did recognize the attempted rape for what it was, because I was taken against my will, and driven across the state line and was told I would be raped and then thrown down a cliff, and left to freeze to death in a cold mtn. forest. Being a two day walk from civilization, knowing the high level of intelligence, revenge being the motive, and him having had weeks to plan it, I believed every word.
Although, not recognizing all the abuse for what it was, I did recognize the stalking at age 17 (before stalking was a crime) being on guard every moment of every day, which only ended when the boyfriend tried to kill me with a car in the black of night, narrowly missing. I only realized after entering therapy for marriage stuff, many many years later that it WAS sexual abuse and this is when my healing began.
I suppose, if there's one thing I would like people to learn about abuse, it's that Sexual abuse is the hardest to recognize, the hardest to talk about, and the hardest to heal from. The coping mechanisms we develop as a child during abuse are not chosen by us, they were what we clinged to for life, the only way we knew how to survive in terrifying circumstances. Please don't blame someone twenty years later, when they still refuse to keep the curtains open to the street, or choose not to sit in the middle of a crowded restaurant open to strangers on every side. Sexual abuse is Not about sex, it's about having Power over someone younger, or more innocent. And as a victim it's about losing control, losing that power, losing the right to make decisions over things like who can touch me and who can't.
In every classroom filled with children, or in your sunday school class, or in your local choir, you have to remember, that 1 out of 3 women, in the USA has been sexually abused. That number is staggering!! One out of every four girls is sexually abused before age 16, and 1 of 3 by age 18. And those are just the statistics of those reported. Most are never reported, since 95% of all sexual abuse comes from someone the victim knows, and usually a family member. Pedophiles are most often found around children, such as in your church, esp. as a youth directors, or in your schools, if not a teacher, then maybe a janitor or coach. In your homes as babysitters, or family members. The average pedophile is now known to have over 110 victims. Anywhere they can routinely be near children, they can befriend and then manipulate.
The other survivors I've met on the road to recovery, are the most courageous and supportive people I've every known. I interact with internet users from many provinces, states, and countries everyday whle accessing support forums. With the emotional support of the forum survivors, I have managed to put a marriage back together, while holding down two jobs, and dealing with flashbacks, painful memories, PTSD, body memories, major depression, DID, and basic trust issues in only a few months. It has changed my life in many ways. Many others I help support, begin to see, how many of the things that have gone wrong with their lives, over the years, have been a direct result of the nondisclosed abuse. The light goes on, they begin discussing all their issues, and HEALING. Many early members of forums I had joined have gone on to not only heal but as they feel stronger, begin to help other victims of abuse. They start support groups, hold weekly conferences, or donate time to hotlines and shelters. Because of the available moderated safe forums, they come, learn, and heal and then teach. This has been a wonderful resource for me and many other survivors, and I feel grateful to have found safe places along the way, I hope by reaching out, I can educate non-survivors and provide a safe, non-triggering domain for a while to those who need it. - Mysty
These graphics are my own creations, and cannot be reproduced or copied. Thanks.