This blog post is a departure from my typical postings about writing, books and related topics. You may or may not want to read about the topic I'm speaking about today. I share from my own experience as a survivor, and my purpose is to build myself and others up. I respect your right to avoid such topics, so I am posting this disclaimer.
Thank you for your understanding.
Please come back on Friday to read my review of INTO THE FIRE by Kelly Hashway writing as Ashelyn Drake for her INTO THE FIRE blog tour.
I have been open and shared that I am a survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) in previous blog posts and interviews with authors who write about difficult topics. If you missed those, I apologize for catching you off guard. This is a serious topic, and one that I've addressed in my YA novel, THE PACKING HOUSE, which you can read about using the tab links at the top of the page.
Writing about CSA is both cathartic, and triggering. This is especially true throughout the revision process. But, today, I want to talk about what I've learned as a survivor, and hopefully, this post will be an encouragement to others who have gone through what I have.
For my interview with a fellow survivor on surviving and thriving, check out the link here.
Sadly, far too many of us are survivors. Many of us do not talk about it. Ever. I am choosing to speak because I believe it takes what has happened and turns it into something else. By speaking about it, I shine a light into those dark places and let others know they are not alone.
Take a look at these staggering statistics:
See more posts for survivors on my Pinterest Board:
1 in 6. 1 in 4. And these numbers are moving in the WRONG direction. They are close to changing to 1 in 5 for boys, and 1 in 3 for girls. This is unacceptable. We've got to talk about this, and stop sweeping it under the cultural living room rug.
I certainly don't want my four boys to grow up in a world where those are the numbers impacting them. Maybe you know someone who is a survivor. I ask you to consider doing what you can to contribute to the solution, rather than letting silence enable perpetrators and abusers to continue to do what they do in darkness, secrecy, and silence.
Here is what I have learned from my experience as a victim of CSA:
1. There is Greater Strength in Humility.
2. We weren't meant to survive alone. We need each other.
3. We can't change other people, we can only change ourselves.
4. Some secrets need to be shared.
5. My abuse does not define who I am.
6. We need to practice regular, positive self-care.
7. Reliving your trauma must be for a purpose. Seek to understand, do not hurt yourself any more.
8. Abuse is not okay. Abuse is not love.
9. Forgiving my abuser sets ME free, and allows me to move on with MY life.
10. I am worthy and deserving of genuine love.