This post was originally shared on my old blog on 8/29/16 but I wanted to share it on this blog as well.
After months of contemplating and changing my blog title a number of times; I finally found what I’ve been searching for. The name that describes all that I am and want to be.
After months of therapy and years of processing my past I am finally in a place where I feel like I can share my story. And more than that I am in a place where I not only want to share my story, but I want to help others who have gone through similar things.
When I was sixteen years old I was sexually and emotionally abused by my best friend.
At the time though, I didn’t really understand what had happened to me. I felt guilty. I felt like it had all been my fault because I hadn’t tried hard enough to stop him. Because maybe at first I’d wanted to be touched and loved, until I said no and stop and he didn’t. And because I didn’t walk away even when everyone around me was telling me to do just that.
I was a victim.
I felt stuck. I felt alone.
People thought I was the bad guy. That I was being cruel and mean to him because I wouldn’t give him another chance at a relationship.
I felt broken and insecure.
I’ve been haunted ever since.
I hear myself saying “no” and “stop” and I can see him looking at me with this funny gleam in his eye as he said “it’s okay” and pushed further, as I weakly stopped fighting because it was no use. He was going to take what he wanted.
It was hell.
He was also my best friend. I trusted him with my life. Even after the sexual abuse. Which is when I was then emotionally abused.
I couldn’t get out.
At one point I saw him in one of his darkest moments, and somehow I had the power to forgive him and I saw him change right then. But that didn’t take away what had happened. I had forgiven, but I would not soon forget.
It wasn’t until I was about to enter the mission field when I realized what had happened to me. Maybe I’d been in denial for two years or maybe I just didn’t have the proper sex education or abuse education. But when I finally realized what had happened to me, I seemed to break again. And by that point I was already a missionary. And I’d been learning how I could turn my Savior, Jesus Christ, to become whole again.
It took months before I could tell some of my best friends what had happened to me. Even longer to mention it to my family. But I realized that I was healing. And for the first time I was able to look back on my experiences and see them from a different perspective.
And then it was getting close to the time for me to come home.
And I was hit with anxiety that I’d never experienced before. Anxiety that would stay with me until today, and even though I’m learning how to cope, it’s something I still deal with on a daily basis.
I was terrified of coming home.
I didn’t want to see him.
I was afraid of what would happen when I did.
I knew I was stronger than before
but I was still so afraid that if I saw him I’d go running back to him. Be his best friend again and set myself up for the same hellish experience that I’d lived through in high school.
. . .
I am not a perfect person. I know for a fact that I did not treat him well either. But I am also not going to excuse him any longer. He sexually abused me.
And that is not okay.
He was addicted to pornography and there were moments when something would switch in his brain and making out was no longer enough. The naive touching wasn’t enough. The innocence was gone and he had to take what he ‘needed’ as a result of his addiction.
I am now quickly approaching the six year anniversary of when I was sexually abused. Some may ask why I haven’t really spoken out before now. My answer to them is that simply I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t ready to go back to those moments and feel them and experience them and then talk about them in a way that brought peace. But I’m ready now.
I am ready to talk about how I have found hope and happiness and peace in my life.
I am ready to share my story so that I can help other victims and other survivors and so that they can help me. (and because writing is also highly therapeutic)
I am still healing.
I am still moving forward.
But I am happy and I am okay.
I am a survivor and I am finding hope.
. . .
Photo Credit: Makenzie Jamias Photo