I’ve given CSA presentations to thousands of people since then, many of them teens. It was during that time I received an email from a teen in Iceland. After he realized he could trust me, we began to email back and forth.
Slowly, he opened up and told me about his life: a very sad story of physical and emotional abuse by his stepfather. The abuse started when he was six years old. By the time he contacted me, he was sixteen.
His mother had passed away, and he told me he didn’t cry. Why would he? She didn’t protect him from his stepfather’s abuse. You can’t love a parent you can’t trust, one who won’t protect you from harm.
That brought tears to my eyes. I could remember being angry with my mother when I was his age. She didn’t protect me from my stepfather’s abuse either. Now I know why. She was just doing the best she could in an abusive marriage.
As he opened up to me, he told me about his troubles at school and how he thought about hurting himself. I wrote back and told him the abuse wasn’t his fault.
I hoped he would believe that. I know how hard that truth is to swallow. To my surprise, he thanked me for replying. He said it was a relief to tell someone about the abuse and to be believed. Then he told me he had heard me speak the year before, and that’s when he realized the abuse wasn’t his fault.
I never heard from him again, but I think about him sometimes. He’s twenty-four now. Eight years ago he took that first step on his healing journey. I hope he continued.
Breaking the silence is so important. When we do, we help others who still think it’s their fault. It’s NOT your fault. It never was.
If you believe anything, believe that. It’s the truth.
Were you sexually abused as a child? Is your life stuck as an adult, and you can’t seem to move forward? I offer private coaching sessions by phone or skype ($55.00 per hour) for child sexual abuse survivors just like you. To set up an appointment, call 619-889-6366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today. Take the time to invest in yourself. You’re worth it!
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