By the telling of my story, I hope to free anyone reading from some kind of abuse-related fear. You might fear of telling about or facing your own abuse. You might fear victims because you are unsure of what to say or how to act. You might fear of hearing about abuse, because you have children and you worry about them. You might fear for yourself in the future if it ever happens to you. Fear is something to move past. Talking about abuse, facing abuse, sifting through the wreckage of abuse is what forces fear out. The truth will set you free.
If you are one of those people who has not been through abuse, but would like to know how to talk to a survivor, then please visit some of these websites. Of course, if you are a victim, then please visit these sites as well, but please seek professional help if you can.
I was abused sexually a handful of times when I was in elementary school. My father was the perpetrator. My mother never saw it. However, my mother was depressed and unable to take care of me and my siblings. She depended on her children to emotionally to take care of her. The stress of the role reversal (feeling like I had to take care of my mother at the age of 5), left me feeling different. The sexual abuse that happened a few years later (I was 8 or so), only solidified my solitary nature. This was difficult as a child, and I look back now realizing that it was adding insult to injury to be abused on top of being pretty sensitive to begin with. I would have had difficulties with my extreme sensitivity even if I had nurturing, helpful parents who were not caught up in their own problems.
My sexual abuse may not be comparatively bad, but as they say "once is enough". Regardless, it gave me classic abuse victim problems. I did not trust people. I was sexually confused. I was depressed, but also experienced extreme highs. I gained weight to protect myself. I would dissociate in painful situations. The list goes on. Becoming aware of the symptoms was my first step. Then I could see what was causing those symptoms: my unresolved abuse. Admitting that what happened was "abuse" was my next step.
Arguably, that was the biggest step I ever took. It started me down the path of facing my problems instead of running from them. If anything has happened to you that you think might be abuse, try to face it. You are not alone. I will talk to you, and I will accept you.