When you first begin to associate with and talk to other survivors, "your story" will likely be one of doom and gloom - fear and anxiety - sorrow and pain - betrayal and abandonment - embarrassment and shame - hopelessness and helplessness. As you share your story with others, you will begin the process of letting go, releasing pent up emotions and leaving pieces of your past behind. You will learn that truth and transparency are essential to your healing. You will learn that peace comes from being truly known.
As you share your "early" story with other survivors, they too will learn. They will learn they are not alone. As you share what you've been through, the emotional scars that were left behind and the "crazy" habits you created in order to feel safe and in control, other survivors will hear "their story" in your words. They will move from feeling different to feeling the same. They will move from feeling isolated to feeling connected - maybe for the first time in their lives. They will be encouraged to begin their own healing process by sharing their story.
So even at the beginning of your healing process when you might feel like a blubbering idiot or a burden on those around you, please know that other survivors who have not yet found the courage to break their silence are watching and you are modeling for them what it looks like to heal.
Your Test is Your Testimony!
As you engage in the process of intentional healing, you will learn to consciously observe your thoughts, feelings and behaviors and how your surroundings affect you. As time goes on, you will begin to see yourself and your world with more truth and clarity. You will begin to actually believe:
- You are good
- You are worthy of being loved and cared for
- You deserve to be happy and safe
- And You can and will be whole again
As you continue to associate with and talk to other survivors, your "healing story" will begin to reflect and reinforce your new belief system. As you share and celebrate your healing progress with others, you will inspire them to start and continue their process of intentional healing. How powerful is that?
Survivors with Purpose - Actively Sharing Your Story
You know how abuse happens. You know what makes children vulnerable. You know the grooming process. You know how perpetrators gain access to children. You know why children don't tell. You know how children "cry out" for help. You know how bystanders miss or deny the obvious. You know how "the system" can save or fail our children. You are uniquely qualified to teach people how to prevent child sexual abuse.
There will come a time when you feel strong enough to share your "purpose driven story" with the aim of educating the public on how to prevent child sexual abuse and helping survivors heal. We encourage you to continue your intentional healing until you do feel strong enough.
As you move through your healing process, use this image of the upside down pyramid to help you envision how you will give back - one person at a time. Every survivor has the opportunity to be part of the resolution of the child sexual abuse pandemic. As you share your early story, your healing story and your purpose driven story, you will lift people up and give them the courage, strength, hope and fortitude to heal and the knowledge needed to protect children from the pain that you endured as a child. What a blessing in disguise!
Your Mess is Your Message!
When you're ready to be a Survivor with Purpose, TAALK offers a that will help you get started quickly!
In the meantime, it's irresponsible to talk about child sexual abuse without providing the resources and referrals others may need. You should keep the following four resources handy but you can always refer them to our website for further information through our .
Suicide Prevention Hotline
1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433
1-800-799-4TTY or 1-800-799-4889 for the Hearing or Speech Impaired
To Report Child Sexual Abuse
Call 911 or your local Child Protection Services agency or
Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD if you suspect abuse and need to talk it through
To Learn Your Part in Preventing Child Sexual Abuse or Find Resources for Healing
Visit or call 1-888-808-6558
If You or Someone You Know Struggles with Inappropriate Sexual Feelings towards Children
Visit or call 1-888-PREVENT