My sexual abuse happened over the space of 5 years. The abuse culminated in me being raped in the back seat of his car when I was 17 years old. It was 11 years ago today that I was raped. For me, this date is always a difficult one. In the past I would hide away. I would stay in my bed, I would be flooded with memories; I would drown in the memories.
Today is different. Today I am looking at how far I have come. And I have come pretty damn far.
With help from my family, friends & the police, I was able to face my abuser in court. It was one of the most difficult experiences of my life - but I did it. I put my abuser behind bars. I started to heal & look after myself. I started taking better care of myself - physically, emotionally & spiritually.
Gone is the woman that tried to make herself invisible. Gone is the woman that was afraid of men. Gone is the woman with the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Instead, here is the woman that is loud and proud. Here is the woman with a wonderful, caring, kind & supportive boyfriend. Here is the woman that is ready to seize life and live it.
Don't get me wrong - it is still a pretty emotional day for me and I'm not quite on my 'A' game. I listened to some music and had a cry. But that's okay. I have turned into a strong woman, and have come to understand that there is strength in crying. In truth, I feel a lot better for letting it all out.
Today I am looking back at my journey and acknowledging the strength and determination it took to get here. Today I am realising that I am one hell of a woman with a bright future ahead of me.