Please share your story:
I have very many stories, However one that changed my life forever, where my NORMAL will never be anyone else's. I was molested, sexually assaulted, almost sexually assaulted, and over all, I believe I had a very sexually abusive life. There is a lot to my story. However in short, I was molested for many years by someone not that much older than me, which was very confusing. For a while I thought it was okay, even though I didn't want to do the things he made me do. I was intimidated and for some reason I felt had to do it. I was then raped by my male "best friend" at 18, and then almost assaulted by some random person. I never saw his face. I was raped again after just beginning to heal at 30, by a old classmate. And then I was raped again after the devastating loss of my mom at 36.
How has your story shaped who you are today?:
I had to realize that my life will never be the same. I learned that my world is not safe. I still worry, and have developed PTSD. Often times I worry and have fear that others may feel is irrational. My "normal" is not someone else normal. And that's okay. Through the process of healing 4 times, I have learned to stop apologizing for my fears, my normal, and my trauma. I stopped blaming myself, at the same time recognizing and understanding why I may have had a lack of boundaries. I have learned to stand up for myself. I have learned there is a profile type for a person that does this to someone. Finally I am so strong. I have learned how to press, push, and I have learned to not care about others opinion of me. I have learned to love my flaws and who I am, and not allow people to put me in "THEIR" little box.'
What compelled you to share your story?:
I have been through so much on so many levels, I have learned so much, and God has healed me and made me whole each time. I am more than a survivor, I am an overcomer, a conqueror. I believe I can help many by telling my journey of pain and continual healing, and the testimony of being whole. I have also volunteered as a rape advocate so I could help other women who share a similar story. I've been through counseling. I have a BA in psychology and am currently in school for my Masters in Social Work. In which a few years ago, one of my classmates, who works for DCFS, knew that I had my foster care license but no kid. We got to talking, and I told her I love teens. I was interested in an older youth because most who foster don't want older kids. These older kids tend to age out of the system and end up on the street. She told me about a coworker who was looking to place an older youth and connected me to him. When he told me about Mary, I fell in love before I met her. I prayed long and hard for a child that really wanted a home, a parent, and wanted to be loved. I wanted to meet her to see if it was a good fit. When I met her, we ended up talking for 5 hours. I couldn't wait to see her again. I was so sad to leave her, but I knew she would come home to me one day. A few LONG weeks later, she came home and the rest is history. It will be two years at the end of August, but it feels so much longer. We have struggles but I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world. She's my daughter from another mother, and just wish I could have had her sooner.
You can read Mary's story here: http://www.clickforhope.net/blog/2017/3/26/awakened-by-a-man-on-top-of-me
What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?:
Time does heal if you allow GOD to heal you...and simply LIVE...don't just breathe...LIVE.
Don't allow people to tell you how you should feel and react.
You are Awesome..no matter what, you are not what you've been through.
Don't get OVER it, move THROUGH it, soar BEYOND it.
Wholeness and Healing is possible.