It’s taken me a long time to decide whether I should write this, let alone make it public. But with everyone’s encouragement and kinds words I have decided that I can do this…

The scars I carry are invisible to most but if you take the time to look a little bit closer you’ll see them quite clearly. The scars on my wrists I wear like bracelets, the eating disorder keeps me clothed and the the depression and sadness I wear around my neck like valued trinkets…these are my scars that I carry.

On Women’s Day I tweeted “today I celebrate me because I am a survivor. I have been abused, molested and raped but still I stand”. I have come through the worst and I am still here. No-one can take that away from…sadly no-one can take away the scars either.
From very early on I was abused. I think I was about eight or so. It went on for another eight years. Later on I found myself in situations where I was molested (or fiddled with, as some like to call it) and as an adult I was attacked and raped.

The guilt and the shame I walk with everyday have become companions and a few well-meaning therapists have confirmed that the blame is all mine. One of them kindly told me that I must have enjoyed it if I allowed it to go on for so long. Another explained that because the age difference was not a big one, it made the events consensual. She also asked me if I had looked inward to see how my behaviour attracts these kinds of situations.So there I was, already convinced it was my doing and now being told by professionals that yes, it indeed was.

My ways of coping have included gaining as much weight as possible, in attempt to make myself less attractive. I have also lost weight in order to lose the curves and shapes that are a woman’s right.
I have cried out for help. I have silently pleaded for anyone to take notice. I have tried to numb the pain with sleeping tablets. I have told myself it’s all in my head and that what happened wasn’t that bad.

I have looked for love in all the wrong places, because love isn’t supposed to feel right, right? I have sabotaged loving relationships for not so loving ones, because I don’t deserve it. My relationships with men are complicated, but nowhere near as complicated as my relationship with food.

When everything else falls apart around me I can control what goes into my body (or doesn’t) and at it’s most basic level I don’t feel as though I deserve the nourishment and nurturing that a meal gives. I hate my body. My body has deceived me too many times. My body does not belong to me.

For years I felt as though I had dealt with a lot of my issues. I told myself that I had made my experiences a part of me and they have resulted in the person I am today. Kind, caring, empathetic and strong. But at almost forty I still haven’t found my voice or my place in the world.

I like to think of myself as a survivor but a survivor is someone who has lived through an experience and comes out the other side. I live my experience everyday so for now I am a perseverer.

My prayer for you is that you find your voice…

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7 thoughts on “My prayer for you is that you find your voice…

  1. Melinda, there is definitely something liberating about sharing your story it that helps to remove the shame. I am really sorry that you haven't found suitable professional help – it sounds like the people you saw were (insert expletives here).Maybe you could look for someone else?

  2. I hear you. You are brave. I'm currently on the “reminding myself it's not my fault” journey! And it's hard. How do I convince myself????

    I sit and wonder, way too often, who I would've been. How my life would've been. But then I remember my Dude & Dudie, they are my greatest blessings. And it is, in fact, for them that I perservere. I often feel lost in the world. But I do have an unexplainable urge to live! I will take it in my stride to face the world day by day. And whilst my urge is burning, I will push on. As for finding my voice, I don't know if I'll ever find it. What I do know, is that I will live MY Life!

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