To my fellow survivors,
In light of the recent news on the Weberman case, I have read and heard so many stories of such tragedies.
I would like to share with you my story in hopes that it will bring some positivity out of the horror and bring about some light at the end of each your dark tunnels.
I was you.
My story is pretty much your story, in its own version. I grew up in a frum family and community. I looked and acted like a regular child except I had a terribly painful secret, that no one had any idea about. A relative had abused my body and me throughout my childhood. Then a teacher in my high school has done the same.
I was in and out of high schools and failing my way through life. I was up every night with flashbacks and nightmares. Every thought was brutally interrupted by images of my attackers. My life was a never ending battle of chaos and pain.
As my friends and I graduated high school they were all talking about seminary and traveling when all I could think about was getting through the next day. As the years went on, I danced at the weddings of friends with a pained smile plastered on my face, knowing I would never have this experience of my own. My life as I knew it was ruined and never to be reclaimed.
After seeing about 8 different and ineffective therapists, I decided I would try one last time. I refused to give up on myself if it was at all in my control.
I struggled and fought through 6 agonizing years of therapy. I worked through flashbacks and panic, anxiety and depression. I cried over lost childhood. I grieved over stolen innocence. I worked through trust and abandonment issues but most of all I took back control – control of my life that was so evilly taken. I went back to school and got a great job and am now ready for a healthy trusting relationship.
I now cherish every day of my life. I value and appreciate the amazing supportive people I have come to know. I wake up every day grateful to Hashem for my second chance at life.
If you would have told me 3 years ago that this would be my life now, I would have laughed. But this is my life. I am now emotionally connected, I learned how to communicate and I know who I can trust and who I can’t. I learned there are amazing people in this world as well as, unfortunately, evil people.
I’m sharing this with you because I want you to know that this can be your story too. You had no control in the past but you have the control now – take it back! Get the help you need and deserve.
Your life is NOT over. Your life is NOT ruined forever. You still have life ahead of you. You did NOT deserve the abuse but you DO deserve to heal. If we can take away anything from the tragedies that happened we need to first heal ourselves so we can protect our children. Don’t give up on yourselves. You deserve better.