I felt incredibly insecure about my healing process in the beginning. Most other survivors I knew, the ones really serious about healing, had hired therapists. I couldn’t afford one. I couldn’t even afford a haircut. I wondered how much I could heal without guidance and support from a professional. Whatever progress I made, would it be considered “legitimate”? I felt like an outsider even within the survivor community.
I was determined to heal. I would find a way. I had some ideas about how I’d start, but I’d have to figure out the rest along the way.
I noticed early in my process that healing required a lot of extra energy. My first clue was that I panicked when my phone rang. It was a threat and invasion and I had to get away from it. Everyone having access to me all the time was taking its toll.
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…
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
by Christina Enevoldsen
When my daughter was nineteen and her father and I were in the middle of a divorce, she shared the horrible truth about what her dad had been doing to her for most of her life. As I tried to wrap my head around the fact that I had been completely blind all those years, a few words slipped from my mouth, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
I know now how painful those words can be. They communicate that all would have been well if only she would have come to me. That question might have also meant, “If that’s really true, then why are you only telling me now?” But I never doubted the truth and I didn’t blame her. My reaction came from feeling like a fool for being deceived by my husband all those years.
by Christina Enevoldsen After I watched the movie, “The Joy Luck Club”, I felt hollow and sad. The feelings haunted me for days. In the story, four daughters struggle against their emotionally abusive mothers until they discover their mothers’ difficult
by Christina Enevoldsen “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfill it.” George Santayana Recently, I warned a close family friend that his children weren’t safe around my dad, who molested me for most of my childhood. The
by Christina Enevoldsen When my two-year-old grandson accomplishes anything—big or small—he celebrates. Benjamin gets a huge grin on his face and claps his hands vigorously when he goes potty on the toilet. When he puts all his toys away, he
by Christina Enevoldsen I saw myself standing next to a long line of people waiting to have their requests fulfilled. I wasn’t in the line; I was standing to the side, waiting for permission to get in the line. I
by Bethany A friend of mine used to be a stand-in on a network show. While the actors were in their trailers, he stood in front of the camera. He was examined from every angle while the crew perfected the
by Bethany I had to cover my eyes during kissing scenes in movies until my teens. I couldn’t ride my bike more than two blocks away. All of my friends had to be approved. My mom would check all of