I almost want to laugh at how many REALLY obvious signs God has given me within the last few days...
Yes, I am a survivor and this is the first time I've ever really said that. I was sexually abused when I was 4-6 years old (I honestly can't remember when or for how long) by a family member. Growing up I always knew what happened to me, yet I think I had surprisingly good memory blockage, or whatever its called, because its not something I thought about a lot-- although I realize now I had (and still have) a lot of signs of child sexual abuse. It wasn't until I was in sixth grade I correlated what happened to me as actual abuse. Needless to say, it hit me like a Mac truck. When all of that started coming out more and more I started acting out and finally started to repress it yet again when I got to high school. For the past few years I've been able to ignore the flashbacks and physical tremors (I'm not sure how to explain those; maybe another time), although it frustrated me that I couldn't deal with the problem and I felt more and more like a coward. I feel like I can't address it because I feel responsible, guilty, and ashamed for what happened and even try to make excuses for this family member (I know, I know). This limbo sucks and only recently have I the divine intervention:
1) Last Sunday my mom and I attended a free, all-day women's self-defense class. The first half was devoted to learning about the different types and styles of sexual abusers (mainly rapists) and the second portion about actual self-defense in the event of an attack. Just hearing the terms and images used in that first part really struck a chord with me and I became a little sensitive to it by the end (the flashbacks, although very brief, started happening again and I had to really try to block it out).
2) Then yesterday I went on the website to find the free online handbook the organization that taught the class gives out. I made myself read through everything again just to tell myself that I need to not ignore this subject so much because I know eventually I will have to address this dark and silent part of my life head on.
3) Today I was looking around on YouTube to find a link to the Points With a Purpose video. After watching it, I decided to join the group because I thought this would be more positive way for me to address my own issues (and its a really cool idea!!) . While I was on PWaP, I stumbled upon the "If You Need Help" page under the "Extras" tab and I say the RAINN link. Again, I thought I should give it a look just to acknowledge my issue and found the RAINN day link and wanted to see the date for 2009. HOLY CRAP!! Say what you want, but the fact that in 2009 the college campus RAINN day is on my birthday seems like its a little more than coincidence!
So, that was it for me. I know I need help now-- not in a week or a month or a year. Don't worry, its not serious. Im not contemplating suicide and I don't have an eating disorder. I was never raped or seriously harmed, yet I WAS sexually abused at a very young age and only now am I connecting the dots between what happened to me and the negative behaviors and feelings that I've never been able to explain.
Please, if you have any advice for me I'd love to hear it. This is the first stage of me getting out there and telling people, and I would love to have some positive feedback to squash the fears I have of telling my family.
Thanks for reading :)