Stories from Survivors

My name is Tanya. I endured childhood sexual abuse from a very young age until I was 12 years old. My earliest memory is around 4 or 5 years old. At the age of six, I told an adult, but nothing happened to stop the abuse, and it continued. After telling and nothing being done, At the young age of six, I chose to stay silent.  I did not speak of it again until after the death of a very close family member. This trauma had nowhere to go, so it bubbled out of me. 

Did you know that our trauma will eventually make itself known? Me either.  I was no longer able to keep inside, this 35-plus-year-old secret. 

Letting the secret out is when my healing began. A little more than 3 years ago. After a lifetime of coping, and secrecy. Suffering from eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder(fear of contamination), CPTSD, anxiety, and dissociation were some of the things the abuse had left in its wake. 

There were days I didn’t see any light, any hope, any point of even trying. Maybe you have been there too or maybe you are there now…

I want you to know that there IS hope. I know it may not feel like it right now. I know the days can seem so dark and lonely. 

So, what did hope look like for me?? It was taking it one day, sometimes one moment, at a time. Seeking therapy with a therapist trained and experienced with sexual trauma. Finding people who believe, validate, and support me on my healing journey. And personally, without my faith in Christ, I know I would not be here today to tell you there is HOPE and a full and BEAUTIFUL LIFE beyond what happened to you. I was referred to PRCC by a friend and when I called the hotline I spoke with Susan. She was a caring listener, compassionate, and she believed my story. Soon after speaking with her, I received a package in the mail with resources on healing, and items to bring joy to my day.  It was in the prettiest bag that read “Beautiful girl, you can do hard things.” I cannot explain to you the impact those words had on me. The validation and empowerment I felt all from having someone say they believed me and to encourage me that I could do this.

 PRCC offers so much support for survivors of sexual trauma. They stand with you from the moment you reach out and offer help and guidance on what to do at a time when most of us have no idea where to begin on our healing path. They take your hand and guide you through. 

Today, I am the author of three books, a yoga teacher. I am free from the unhealthy coping I had for years. I continue to walk on this healing journey, and I imagine this will be lifelong. However, that is not my identity and each day I am so thankful I didn’t give up!! This life is such a gift, and it is beautiful. Do not give up, and please reach out for help. You are not alone. You can do this. 

Thank you,

Tanya

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