I was 15 when I was first involved in a relationship with a family friend 10 years my senior. It began innocently enough, and quickly, a very deep friendship developed between my abuser and myself. When I was 18, this person suddenly left my life- she blamed me for all the things that had happened between us. She said it happened because I was in love with her. In those 3 years, I never would have imagined what was happening to me was sexual abuse. I was groomed, isolated, manipulated, shamed and molested by this individual. It wasn’t until I was 18 years old that my therapist was able to help me see that what had happened to me was so abusive and so emotionally damaging. I think that is the worst part for me- the fact that this person became so crucial to my every day life that I literally felt that I couldn’t breathe when she wasn’t there. She used this dependency and fostered it. She forced me to isolate myself to her and only her, and then she stole my teenage years from me. I’m 21 now. I struggled with bulimia and still do to some degree. I spent the year I was 18 abusing alcohol. I now have been forced to take a year off of my university degree, where I was studying dance, because the trauma made it too difficult for me to connect with my body in the way I need to for my schooling. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and am currently medicated for my depression and trauma symptoms. I am writing this from a truly desolate place. Watching Brave Miss World gave me such hope, and so much light in a really dark time. I am writing this mostly to say thank you to Linor – for the first time in a while, I feel not so alone.