I am a survivor of sexually abuse from age 2 1/2 until I told the summer I came out of eight grade. I remember my abuse but I have blocked a lot of the feelings that go with it. I have done a lot of counseling because of this. I am 56 1/2 now and I have had my voice about talking to those who need to hear what I have to say and not feel ashamed for telling what happened to me. I have found that in telling what happened has been giving me my power back and is very healing. Many say I am crazy for bringing the past up and I should let that go. Why should I. At 2 1/2 I did not ask for these things to happen to me, at any age I did not ask for any of this. I wanted to die for so many years and it is just now in my life that I want to live. Yes I still have hang ups, and PTSD and I act from a child’s mode sometimes but I do not care because it was stolen from me. I grew up thinking if any man advanced me I was suppose to give him what he wanted. It was not until I was 24 that I learned this was my body and I did not have to give it to anyone. I grew up in a very small house with a step-dad and a grand paw who were both abusing me. Then there was a teenage boy in the neighborhood when I would go out to play. I had no one to turn too. My step-dad would show up at all hours of the night waking me by his hands all over or in my privates or forcing his penis in my mouth. I was not allowed to lock any doors, and specially the bathroom. As we moved from that house and he made my grand paw leave, it was him. As I grew it got worse and all I knew was death would be so much better. He was beating my mother so she would not tell for she knew what was going on too. He always told me I was damaged goods and no one would ever want me anymore and that he was the only one who would ever love me. I knew if this was love then I wanted nothing to do with it. I have memories but not many feelings around it. I learned to leave my body very young to stay safe. I still can leave my body if I start to feel. I only really understand anger and rage. I am learning and I am and have healed since there. Listening to others stories set me on my healing path. I realized a lot back when Oprah told her story and her movie Color Purple came out. That had a effect on me and brought so much up at that time to help me understand this was not my fault. Thank you all for sharing your stories. I believe in telling is very healing and hard and it takes time to do this. I want so bad to write my story in which I did a short one about the Little Girl in the Picture which is on this site somewhere. I do know this that together we are strong and I believe in you and your stories.
— Ellen, age 56