Survivor of Assault
Survivor of Assault
You have experienced multiple assaults throughout your life. When were you first assaulted?
The first time I was assaulted I was 4 years old. My mother left me with my uncle when she needed child care. He molested me every time I was left alone with him.
Did you tell your parents?
No, I never told my parents. At that point in my young life I thought that my voice didn’t matter.
Did you experience any other assaults?
Yes, a neighbor who my parents were friends with molested me when I was 9 years old. I had begun learning how to block out the traumas in my life.
Were there other traumatic events?
My mother divorced my dad, moved immediately a few hundred miles away and didn’t explain why. I missed my dad terribly. She began a new relationship right away with an abusive and controlling man. I finally told them when I was 14 about some of the abuse I had experienced. They didn’t say much of anything and acted like nothing had happened to me. So once again, I learned that my voice didn’t matter. We moved often, always making me “the new girl” at schools. I was unable to build friendships and it left me feeling lonely much of the time.
How did you take care of yourself as you developed into adulthood?
I had two failed marriages with abusive men, both with addiction issues. My first husband & I were very young and naive. We weren’t equipped to cope with the needed tasks of a healthy relationship. The gift of that relationship was my darling son. My second marriage was with an extremely abusive and controlling man. It’s not too surprising, given the role modeling I experienced as a child. Eventually my 2nd husband’s abuse and addiction, forced me to flee the marriage with nothing more than the clothes I was wearing at the time. The gift of that relationship was my precious daughter.
What was the turning point in your life?
One evening as I returned home from being out with friends, I was brutally beaten beyond recognition and sexually assaulted by a man who was in my house. This time I used my voice and I was heard! I reported it to law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office, a judge, a jury and eventually to my counselor. They all believed me.
What has changed in your life?
Everything in my life has changed except my devotion to my children. It’s been a long journey with lots of discoveries and a few set-backs along the way. I decided to eliminate all unhealthy aspects of my life. I learned about my right to set boundaries and to demand respect from others. I have loving and safe relationships now. I trust my instincts and that’s a major change.
What did you learn through all of the traumas you have sustained?
I learned that I have a strong voice, I’m capable of advocating and speaking up for myself.
Do you have any words of wisdom for other survivors?
Yes, I want other survivors to listen to that voice inside them.
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