Growing up I was known as a chatterbox, but I kept so many things inside. One of the things I held in for many years was being sexually abused as a child. I tucked it away so deep inside me as if it never happened. What I didn’t realize is that this secret of mine was eating away at me and affecting my life in so many ways. Being silent about my abuse started the snowball of me never speaking up for myself. I would be the doormat that others could walk all over. I felt the need to please everyone. My self-esteem was so low. I didn’t love myself at all. Many times I questioned my own existence. I was on a path to self-destruction. I wanted the pain to end, and I contemplated suicide so many times. I came to the conclusion that the only way to get out of this prison I had created for myself through myself was to face my hurt. Dealing with the memories of being touched and engaged in sexual acts was gut-wrenching, but I had to do it in order to heal. I could no longer pretend my abuse was a bad nightmare. It was a real-life event that happened to me.
A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a sister friend, and she shared her experience of being abused. I don’t remember how we even got on the subject, but I had a choice to make. I could act as if I didn’t know what she was talking about, or I could speak up and share my truth with her. So, I made the decision to acknowledge my hurt and share my story with her, too. So often when we have been hurt, we feel as if we are the only one who deals with that kind of situation. However, I noticed that the more I spoke about my own abuse, the more others found the courage to come forward to speak up about theirs. It was so liberating talking to my sister and us being able to be there for each other. There is nothing like being free from the prison that silence creates. Once I began to really face what happened to me, it opened up the doors for God to start the healing process in me. I no longer wanted this experience to control me or my life. I have too much to offer the world. I also had to realize that the abuse I suffered didn’t define me. I associated my abuse with my own identity. I thought an abused and broken person was who I was meant to be. However, as the years past and I formed a relationship with my creator, God, I know that He didn’t create me that way. God created me to be a vibrant, creative, fearless woman that represents Him on the Earth. God didn’t just create me to be an amazing person. He also created you to be fabulous and brilliant too.
In order for you to truly be the person God created you to be, you have to acknowledge those hurtful things that you really don’t want anyone to know about. Holding on to the hurt of your past is literally killing you slowly. You don’t have any peace. You have become a master at pretending you are okay. You deserve to live in peace. You deserve to live a life full of joy. What you won’t face eventually consumes you. You have the power and authority to conquer your past. You may have been abused, but your abuse doesn’t define you. You are more than a conqueror! I know it’s a hard process, but it’s one you have to endure to be able to start the process of healing.
You don’t have to face your hurt alone. I along with other women from around the country, will be gathering in Atlanta, GA, and Birmingham, AL, to share our truth and to support each other in the healing process at the Restorative Healing Writing Workshop. We are our sister’s keeper! If you would love to learn more info about the workshop visit www.bit.ly/restorativewriting.
Sequoia T. Gillyard, The Word Worshiper