Have you ever met someone who has been through a similar traumatic experience as you? You can see that they’re not just surviving, but thriving. They are open to sharing their story not just with you, but anyone. Maybe you question why you are still struggling. You wonder how someone who has been through so much darkness, can be such a light in this world. We start comparing our stories to someone else’s.
I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone.
When I was a child, I was sexually abused by two people. The memories didn’t resurface until around 2012, but suddenly my life seemed to make a little more sense. Trust issues, hating hugs or rather any sort of touch, depression, anxiety, and more.
As I started to work through my own challenges, I met others that had similar stories. Early in this chapter of my life, I would get frustrated that someone could be thriving, while I was still struggling. I just wanted to be where they were at in life. But it also gave me hope that there was a light at the end of this dark road I was on.
Most importantly, I had to stop comparing my chapter 1 to their chapter 22.
I remember talking to a mentor of mine after a few months of counseling and mentioned how I just wanted to be healed already. He followed up with the question, “How long have you been hurt?” I was abused when I was ten years old. Then when the memories came back. I kept it a secret. I eventually asked my mom about the first case, but the second case I kept a secret much longer. I thought I did something wrong. I was afraid my family and friends wouldn’t believe me. Here I am, in my twenties, finally getting the help I needed, but wanting to be “healed” immediately. I wanted to jump ahead to chapter 22.
But the thing is, when you meet someone who is at a chapter in their life that you wish you could be, you didn’t see all the hard work that they had to endure to get there.
You didn’t see them in counseling every week.
You didn’t see them removing toxic people from their life.
You didn’t see them start to work out more.
You didn’t see them start to eat more fruit and veggies and less sugar.
You didn’t see them on the verge of a mental breakdown.
You didn’t see them sharing their story with a few close friends and family before sharing with a room full of people.
One day, you will realize just how far you have come, but you don’t want to skip ahead to chapter 22 without first going through chapters 1 through 21. You’ll miss out on crucial plot points and the story won’t make sense. Remember that your story is just that: YOURS. Take as many chapters as you need. You are worth it.
Thank you, Rose, for boldly sharing your story with us!