EMILY

Often times the psychological damage is the worst. Not only is your body violated, but so is your mind.

For years I worked on trying to get his words out of my mind. From compliments to threats. He'd tell me I was beautiful then minutes later he'd describe to me in detail how he was going to rape me or defile me the next chance he had. He would tell me how when he was finished, no one would want or love me because I was so beaten and broken down. He'd apologize and I showed him kindness in return for his harmful words. We would return to how we were before everything had transpired.

This cycle repeated itself everyday. Multiple times a day. For over a year. 

I look back and I am so critical of myself. So many things I could have changed to make my situation better. If only I knew how to describe the things I was feeling or what was doing to me. I have to remind myself that as a young naive girl of thirteen there wasn't much I could do.

The psychological effects of his games lasted for much longer that the events he orchestrated. I went from doctor to doctor trying to diagnose me for something that I was too ashamed to talk about. PTSD took over my life before I even knew what it meant. From one suicide attempt to another, I stumbled through a cloud of anxiety, depression, and agoraphobia. That led to the sea of loneliness and being misunderstood. 

One trip to the emergency room, two psychiatrists, three psychologists, four types of antidepressants, five years. They told me at the end of those five years that I have come to the point where I will be ‘okay’, but I don’t think 'okay' is a place that will ever exist for me. It’s been two years since those words were spoken to me. I work every day to find my okay. 

I choose to use my former circumstances to propel me forward. I choose to heal myself through service and inspiring others every day. I am so much more than my story, but I am so much more because of my story.