I started being sexually abused around 8 years old. How do you tell someone that your own dad assaulted you? How do you process what’s happening to you? You don’t. At least I didn’t at first. I continued to be abused for at least 5 years, and it wasn’t until 5 years after it stopped that I had to say something. I was dying on the inside every single day of my life. I had to live with my abuser every day of my life. I was told I was “disrespectful” to him for wanting nothing to do with him. I dealt with this for about 10 years on my own, and when it came time to go to therapy to help cope with everything, it didn’t help. I suffer from nightmares about being abused. I suffer from anxiety and depression. At one point in my life I lost the desire to live. I couldn’t get out of bed. I over ate and gained a lot of weight from it. I felt so bad for myself. Well, this past year has been a journey for me. January 28, 2016 is when I reported being sexually abused. Things only got worse from there. I got kicked out because of it, people didn’t believe me because I didn’t report it sooner, I was questioned by numerous people, numerous times, if it really happened. At one point I was blamed for all of the pain my family was feeling. I had a great relationship with my mom that no longer exists. To this day, even though my abuser admitted it and took responsibility for it, some people are in denial about it and want nothing to do with me. One thing I learned is that it’s okay. It’s okay that I went through so much pain before I felt better. It’s okay that I felt worthless only to feel that no one can make me feel that way again. It’s okay that I’m not embarrassed by this anymore. It’s okay that I’m on a journey to completely love myself for who I am. Most importantly, it’s okay to have bad days. I will no longer be a victim. I will take what happened to m e and make something of it. I believe we are dealt with only things we can handle in life. I’m handling it and becoming a very strong, independent person because of it. I definitely learned what a cruel world this is at a young age and I grew up fast. January 26, 2017 is when my abuser was sentenced. It took me a few days to wrap my head around the outcome. I feel like the sentence is not long enough for 1 victim, let alone 2 like there were in this case. He got16 months-4years in state prison. wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my friends and part of my family for supporting me. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
— Rebecca, age 20