Guest Author: Fee Rocha
As a child I was a victim of sexual abuse, I was groped, fondled, exposed to pornography, and raped repeatedly. As an adult I am a woman who is not defined by what happened to me. I am a woman who lives free from fear, free to live my life as it was meant to live, enjoying the abundant life that God gives us. This change did not happen overnight; in fact there were many days and nights where I thought I would be eternally defined by my pain. Thankfully, we live in a day and age where we recognize that trauma can be processed and overcome.
The road to recovery as I mentioned, was rocky at times. The therapist that I see recommended a form of therapy called EMDR, so we met once a week and instead of reliving the trauma week after week as is customary in traditional talk therapy, we did sets of reprocessing. Slowly we peeled away of the layers and layers of trauma. It was not all progress however, some times memories would flood me and they were as painfully fresh as if they had just happened. Those haunted my sleep, they visited me in the daylight and interrupted my life as real as an intruder in my home. As I tried to reclaim my body and self, all aspects of my life were touched. I fought hard, and my amazing husband was understanding and supportive all the way. Even when I could not see the end of the road, he encouraged me to keep at it, and he loved me fiercely through it. Last week I started the last leg of my therapy, the hardest part of the therapy is behind me now. I like to say that I am on the sunny side of recovery, I used to live in the shadows, and now I live in the light of God, I live in truth. “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
While I was in therapy I had a breakthrough, and it was such an empowering moment that I felt embolden to speak out about my abuse on Facebook. I wrote a post breaking my silence about being molested and the feedback that I received was overwhelming! Messages, texts, and even phone calls…so many were suffering in silence, so many knew others that were suffering in silence all believing that they were the only ones! That day, I decided that there was a need in our little community, and that it was my duty to fill it. The idea of a support group in my community was born. In October of 2016, in conjunction with the Doves Program (non-profit group here in Nebraska that helps advocate for victims of domestic violence) we had our first meeting and since then we have seen a true community of survivors develop. My heart swells with love and pride in the work of the group and its members.
One evening after a meeting of the group I knew what had to do next. It was time to become equipped to help on a different level; it was time to go back to school. I enrolled in school to continue my studies and work on getting a degree in counseling. Currently I am enrolled at our local community college part time so that I can finish up as many of my classes as I can before transferring to Chadron State in Nebraska. It is hard some days. Some days I feel like crying at how hectic and time consuming classes and the homework are; along with how hard it is to home school three kids, and being a mom and wife all at the same time! I am reminded time and time again by my family and friends that it will all be worth it in the end.
So what is next? What happens now? I am not done reaching out, speaking out, I am desperately seeking to help others to seek help. I am a true believer that this does not go away on its own, recovering from sexual abuse is not something that you can just outgrow or forget. I am determined to shine the light on sexual abuse! Currently I am in the process of starting a non-profit that will help teach emotional intelligence and self care to children, men and women, along with raise awareness at the local level about the prevalence of sexual violence. It is time to end the silence, to get the bright light that only God provides and shine it on this ugly sin that is sexual violence. It’s time to put the blame where it need to be and that is on the perpetrators, those that hide in plain sight and threaten and coerce, punish and scare their victims. It is time to fight back.
Are you suffering in silence, in the dark? Are you afraid of what others will say if you seek help? Please, reach out and ask for help, you are not alone, you are loved and worthy of living life in abundance!
This is my last article on the subject (for now), and this has been amazingly healing for me, and I pray, for you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, if I can help direct you in any way, please reach out and let me know.