Survivor Not Victim: My Story of Surviving Sexual Abuse and Learning to Thive

2020 is about more than just clarity, it's about finding your voice. Working with a coach has helped me discover who I am and what truly matters to me. I highly recommend getting a coach if you haven't already. It's been a game-changer for me! My blog started as a way to support my Essential Oils business, but it has evolved immensely since then.

I have been doing a lot of mindset work and learning about the why behind the things that are important to me. 

I've stayed silent about some things that shaped me. I won't share every detail of my past with everyone because I'm still learning how to deal with it. Maybe one day, I'll be ready to share.
Before I start, let's talk about wellness and how mindset work ties into it. Our mental health affects many systems, including our immune system. Negative feelings like fear, anxiety, and rage impact our overall wellness.

Part of my wellness journey is accepting and healing those negative feelings. I'm not there 100%, and I don't know if I ever will be. But I'm trying and pushing forward daily to heal myself emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Human trafficking has been on our minds this year. Pedophiles are trying to be acknowledged as a sexuality, and folks, THIS IS NOT OKAY! Our children need us to speak up and say enough is enough.
So, along with my health and wellness viewpoints, if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you've probably seen me share a lot about pedophilia and human trafficking. Maybe you've wondered why I care so much all of a sudden.

I'm here to tell you, this isn't a sudden change.

I'm finding and using my voice for the first time in my 32 years. I won't stay silent.
At 12, I experienced sexual abuse.

Some background info is needed to understand my story.

My abuser was someone I knew, who had been physically abusing me for most of my life.
Things were different when I was young, and the line between spanking and beating was crossed too many times. This was only part of the abuse I endured and witnessed as a child. Hint: Spanking never involves pulling a child's pants off or using a belt. I still get flashbacks when someone snaps a belt together.

He was a physically abusive alcoholic. I won't discuss the other abuse in my home, only my own. When sober, I loved him. But when he drank, which was most of the time, he scared me. Luckily, my mom got us out of that situation. They separated when I was in junior high. He still had visitation, and the abuse wasn't as bad now. Growing up with an abuser, I realized physical abuse is also psychological. I had a deep fear of him. Fear made me stay silent, do what he wanted, and fear speaking out now. Fear has been my worst enemy.

Remember when he adopted me?

Every year we celebrated the day he legally became my dad. It was a special daddy and me day. We usually watched Star Wars or did something fun. In 6th grade, that meant staying overnight alone with him in his studio-style home. I fell asleep next to my "Dad" while watching a movie.
That's when he first touched me inappropriately.
He apologized the next day, saying he was asleep and mistook me for my mom, whom he missed so much.

I felt sorry for him.

That's why the abuse continued for so long. I didn't think he did it on purpose. I didn't realize it was a big deal or that his apology meant he knew what he was doing. I only told one person, my cousin, who was in the same class. I'll always be grateful to her for speaking up. She told school officials because she couldn't focus in class.

At the time, I resented her for it.

Because of her, my dad went to prison. Because of her, everyone knew the secret. He conditioned me to hate the only person who tried to save me. This is how the abused stay trapped. Our abusers make us believe that everyone else wants to hurt us.

My family dealt with DCFS, and I told them as much truth as I could remember. I don't recall much about the investigation or what happened after. But I'll never forget those words:
"I thought you were your mom."

I was 12. As a late bloomer, puberty had barely started. Now I realize his excuse for his sick behavior. He tried to normalize it. No normal man would touch a child and mistake them for an adult they hadn't slept next to in almost a year.

I actually wanted to talk to my abuser. He was only in prison for a couple of years. I am still shocked by the short sentences sexual predators receive. Lock them up and throw away the key.
My mom met Jeff after my father was put away. Having a strong, kind male role model in my life taught me so much. Finally, I had the dad I always wanted. He loved me unconditionally and showed it. I am forever grateful to him for coming into our lives. He saved me, unknowingly. He taught me what a dad should be and helped break the cycle of abuse for my family.

But my story doesn't end here. 

When I turned 18, I searched for my abuser, still brainwashed, thinking he might have changed. After six years of no contact, I thought I should find him. To this day, I wonder what I was thinking.

I found him living with a woman I used to trust, who knew all the things he had done to me. I visited him a few times before finally speaking my peace. I told him exactly what he did to me. She asked if she should leave during this hard conversation, but I said, "No, you need to hear all of this too."
I let him know how much he hurt me growing up, and how much I hated him for what he did. I told him how much he ruined me for so long. I let it all out. Then I left, and never spoke to him again.
I remained silent for so many years about my past to protect others involved and be shielded by the secrecy. I didn't want to be judged for what happened to me.

I became strong because of what happened. 

I hate that I had to go through it, but it shaped me into the opinionated, outspoken person I am today.

I will never be silenced by someone who wants to harm me, physically, sexually, or psychologically. I will always speak up for myself and my beliefs. I will always fight this internal battle, but I am not a victim. I am a survivor, and I have survived a lot in my short 31 years. I have endured more than most do in their entire lifetimes before they can legally drive. I will continue to be a voice for the unheard.
You may wonder where this leaves me now. I am a work in progress. I am dealing with the emotional and physical traumas of my youth. I am working on building myself up and growing into the woman I am meant to be. I am ready to face life's challenges.

Sometimes, I may retreat into my own little world, especially recently. The news about Human Trafficking and Pedophilia has drained me emotionally. I work daily to keep my energy high and continue this fight. I support my emotions using natural options, talking to people, and sharing my story. Many of us are dealing with things no one knows about. I want to be there for you. You are not alone. Email me, message me, call me. I am here to listen.