I started writing publicly about my childhood sexual abuse over six years ago. I jumped in with a lot of passion but without much knowledge of what I was jumping into. I only thought about how freeing it was to speak the truth and how much I wanted to validate other survivors.
Writing about my healing process has been a wonderful journey. Through it, my voice has been strengthened and so has my resolve to continue to heal. I don’t regret any of this, but I wish I had been better prepared to face the challenges that have come with this.
Here are a few things to consider before you speak out:
The secrets of abuse can be isolating—but so can disclosure.
I took smaller steps in disclosing my abuse before I made it public. That helped me to face my childhood fears of breaking the “no telling” rule. However, not all of my fears could be dismissed as childhood fears. The “no telling” rule still comes with present day consequences. Sexual abuse, especially incest, is still considered taboo to many people. Rejection in the form of avoidance is a reality to most survivors who speak up about their abuse.