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grace's story

when i was five years old, i was sexually abused by my step-brother. he cornered me in rooms and refused to let me go, often bribing me with toys and saying it would be the final time. this continued for several years. after someone witnessed one of the instances, he was interviewed by the police and removed from the house.

the trauma was too much for my mind and it blocked out the memories of this. i grew up knowing he had sexually abused me but thought it was just the one time. my family refused to speak about what happened. So when i grew up, i sought information by the police and agencies involved. i found out it was multiple times for several years and that he blamed me. he described me as being flirtatious.

growing up, there had also been other sexual abuse instances by others outside of my family. reading the transcripts and seeing that it was detailed as my fault by him broke me, and i quickly became depressed and suicidal - blaming myself for what happened. growing up, i channeled myself to push that aside and focus on my studies and just did nothing else but that.

my entire existence became just succeeding and not feeling. just had to keep going and going for me. my family was dysfunctional and there was no other adult to trust growing up. it was just me. so i never dealt with any of my personal feelings or trauma.

i am now 24 years old, a teacher and have been in therapy for a year. i am only just beginning to process what has happened and am learning to trust others around me. yesterday i got asked to visualise my dream self and my hurt self. and when i saw my hurt self, i saw a terrified little five year old girl who is in a world of pain.

i don't know how to fix her. i don't know what to say to make it okay. but i'm going to try. i am still battling depression and self-blame... but i have hope that one day we are going to make it out the other side of the tunnel. and maybe one day i can say sorry to that little girl and that it wasn't her fault.


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