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How I Took Control of My Life by Reporting My Sexual Abuse

Sep 13th, 2015 | By | Category: All Posts, Discovering I'm Empowered

When I was nineteen, I finally shared the secret I’d kept all my life—that my dad had sexually abused me for most of my childhood. My parents had recently divorced so the fear that my disclosure would end their marriage no longer applied.

My mom knew of another girl my dad had molested before my mom met him so she offered to go with me to report him. I told my mom that I didn’t want to take action out of vengeance. Looking back, the truth was much more complicated.

My dad had controlled so much of my life up to that point, even more than I realized. I was groomed for so long to protect him, even at my expense. Telling my mom about the abuse was one thing, but telling the police was another.

Soon after I broke my silence, I confronted my dad. He admitted to what he’d done, but blamed his parents instead of taking responsibility for the years of abuse.

What Happened When I Reported My Sexual Abuse

Aug 30th, 2015 | By | Category: All Posts, Discovering I'm Empowered

by Christina Enevoldsen

When I decided to report my dad, I didn’t even know if the abuse that had happened forty years ago could be prosecuted. I checked on the Arizona statute of limitations but because of how it’s worded, I still wasn’t sure. I also didn’t know if I remembered enough to make a case, especially since I didn’t have any physical evidence. Even though I was full of uncertainty, I decided to do as much as I could.

I was familiar with the process of reporting sexual abuse since I’d gone with my daughter to report her abuse. I left a message for the detective who handled my daughter’s case when we reported her dad. I held back the tears as I choked out the words. Then I hung up and waited.

I didn’t hear back for a couple weeks. It was agonizing. I felt forgotten, unheard and discounted. I discovered that I should have phoned the main number of that unit instead of calling the detective who worked on my daughter’s case.

Deciding to Report My Father For Sexual Abuse

Aug 14th, 2015 | By | Category: All Posts, Discovering I'm Empowered

When it came to my own dad, I didn’t feel that way. Even though both of our fathers had done the same things, I didn’t believe my dad deserved the same punishment.

Reporting my dad for the things he did to me seemed like reporting him for making me go to school or forcing me to eat my vegetables. I didn’t see a crime. I believed my dad was entitled to do whatever he wanted to me and that I deserved it. It wasn’t about who the abusers were; it was about who the victim was. It was horrifying to think of someone else being abused but it didn’t seem as wrong or as illegal to sexually abuse me.

Even if I had recognized that I was just as valuable as any other abuse survivor and deserving of protection…

Taking Back My Life After Abuse

Jan 1st, 2015 | By | Category: All Posts, Discovering I'm Empowered

Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon

by Christina Enevoldsen

New Year’s Day is traditionally a time for a fresh start. There are the usual resolutions and goals that everyone seems optimistic about—the eagerness to leave behind the old and to embrace the new and improved.

Until the recent few years, imagining or planning what I wanted to accomplish for the coming year seemed impossible. When I tried to envision a future for myself, it was dark and hidden. It felt presumptuous to say I could or would work toward a particular outcome.

The control I had over my life was limited to how I would adapt to the disaster I knew was coming. I’d be ready when the rug was pulled out from under me. I became an expert at “making the best of a bad situation” and “going with the flow.”

By the time I married Don almost ten years ago, I’d started to end some of my abusive relationships but I was still feeling and deciding and acting out of the beliefs that I had as an abuse victim. In the first few months of our marriage, we had a horrible fight that ended with me slamming the bedroom door and shouting, “I WON’T LET YOU BULLY ME!”

Sued For Exposing My Sexual Abuse

Sep 17th, 2014 | By | Category: All Posts, Incest

Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge Several months ago, I settled a sixteen month long lawsuit with my parents (actually, my dad died before the case ended so only my mother was left). They sued me for defamation of character and intentional infliction of emotional distress. I’d publically exposed my childhood sexual abuse by my dad and they didn’t like that very much.

I like to think of myself as a crusader. The internal image of myself is a fierce-looking woman, charging on horseback toward oppressors, declaring the truth to those they hold bound and inspiring them to overthrow the tyrants’ rule. I don’t back down from standing for and with the oppressed.

I’ve eliminated abusers from my own life, but after the relief of not having a relationship with my mother for nearly six years, she was back in it. With the lawsuit, I didn’t have the choice of walking away. I not only had to read the painful lies my mother used as “discovery”, I had to respond with a defense. I felt controlled and victimized again.

Not knowing the outcome of the case, how long it would go on or how many thousands of dollars we’d have to invest in it, it was difficult to make plans or to be motivated to do much of anything. It felt like Evil held me as its captive.

My Journey From Devastation to Restoration After Sexual Abuse

Aug 18th, 2014 | By | Category: All Posts, Sharing Hope

by Yvonne Ellis I’d finally hit bottom. There was nowhere else to go. The reality I didn’t want to face was now in my face. I’d spent the best part of ten years running away from the pain of my sexual abuse. Finally, at twenty-two years old, my past caught up with me when I […]

The Death of My Molester Father

Jul 28th, 2014 | By | Category: All Posts, Incest

by Christina Enevoldsen

I’d known my dad was getting close to the end. Ever since I’d really been facing my sexual abuse, I’d wondered how I’d deal with his impending death. There’s such a fantasy about deathbed reconciliations. Death makes us consider what’s really important in life—love and the people close to us.

After a six year estrangement, I didn’t follow the advice of well-meaning people to “let bygones be bygones” before it was too late. I couldn’t buy into the “he won’t be around forever” threat. It reminds me of a high-pressure sales pitch, “Hurry! This deal won’t last!!!” But what kind of an offer is that? The advertised version of the last moments with my dad would be bittersweet but fulfilling, but based on my dad’s history, that’s not what I’d really be buying.

Exposing the Incest Family Secrets

Nov 19th, 2013 | By | Category: All Posts, Incest

When I started writing publicly about my healing from sexual abuse, I did it to validate my own history and journey and to inspire hope in other survivors. It’s been wonderfully empowering to record my triumphs and to share the process with thousands of fellow journeyers.

However, being so public about such intimate feelings and experiences has been costly. For the most part, I count it a bargain compared with the expense of silence, but that resolve isn’t always very convenient or comfortable.

One of the recent costs for being so vocal is a lawsuit from my parents. They are suing me for defamation of character and emotional distress. Through their case, they want to shut down OSA and silence my voice.

In the minds of my parents, they are the victims; I am the abuser.

Casting Off the Shame of Sexual Abuse

Aug 11th, 2013 | By | Category: All Posts, Steps Toward Healing

I was twenty-two. I’d been married five years when I confessed to my husband that I’d been having an affair. While he decided if he wanted to stay with me, I went to stay with my parents.

The day I arrived to my parents’ house, I sat in one corner of their living room while my mom and dad sat in the opposite corner. The living room was mostly used as a pass through to get from the front door to the rest of the house. But on this day, I wasn’t allowed entrance to the rest of the house quite yet. I don’t remember anything specific that they said, but the message was, “How could you turn out so bad when you came from such a good family?”

Reclaiming My Self After Sexual Abuse

Dec 23rd, 2012 | By | Category: All Posts, Steps Toward Healing

by Caden Ceirdris

When I was twelve, I watched the sexually graphic teen film, “Kids” with my siblings. I remember being surprised when my sister described what happened in the end scene as rape. That it was rape to have sex with someone who was passed out, asleep.

It seems obvious, but in some unconscious part of my mind, I winced. What had been done to me might have been wrong too. Perhaps I also deserved boundaries, both legal and personal over my own body, at least equal to what my sister was willing to give a fictional girl. Yet there was no one in my life at that point who would have even suggested that, let alone validated my experience; I was trained to passively accept whatever my family did to me, and was condescended to when it came to my emotions.

I wasn’t asleep when my older brother sexually abused me, and as I’ve had to face the reality of my past, I came to realize that the rest of the family wasn’t either. They were conscious, they knew what was happening. Often only thin walls separated them from the abuse, but they built up greater walls in their minds to avoid my …