I am 34 years old. I was sexually abused by my ex-step-father for nine years. It ended 20 years ago, and I am only now comfortable and very passionate about using my experience to help others in some capacity. I am only very, very recently learning about ways that I may be able to do this, and am looking for more avenues to help and contribute in some fashion. I feel like my experience would be a complete waste if I did not use it to help others somehow.
The abuse began when I was four or five and lasted until I was 14. At age 17, I had a psychotic break and was hospitalized and put into residential treatment for many months. Eventually I got out and tried to commit suicide and got put back into the hospital. I was given up to the state of California as a ward of the court during that hospital stay. I was put into a group home. The following day, I ran away and was put into a “safe house” until I was placed in a foster home. Once I was put in a foster home, I completed my senior year of high school. During that year, my ex-step father was convicted, pled no contest to the charges (he had abused me, two of my friends who spoke out, his own biological daughter in front of me, and tried it with a third friend of mine who resisted), and served one year in jail. Halfway through his jail time, his employer unsuccessfully attempted to get him out of jail because “his company was failing without him”. Ridiculous.
That said, I have been in and out of therapy since the age of 17. The abuse affects every area of my life, and I am still going through the healing process. I sincerely believe that by speaking out and helping others, it will help me in my healing process, as well as others in theirs.
I would encourage others to do the same so that people living with this secret do not feel so alone. I have felt alone my entire life, and I am tired of it. I lived with this secret for many years and then once it was out, nobody wanted to talk about it. I hope to find other girls and women who WILL talk about it and who want to try to help one another. I am determined to live a happy, healthy life, despite what has happened to me, despite how hard it feels somedays. Thank you for reading my story.