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Dear Survivors, I am 26 years old. I suffered sexual abuse most of my childhood. I used to stare at the ceiling and just imagine being somewhere else when I laid on his bed being violated. That was my mental escape. I had gotten used to it so I never shed tears anymore. I just accepted it as being part of my life. I used to write journals as a method of helping me cope. I had a long list of questions some of which were: Why did you do it? Why me? Wasn’t your wife enough? What did I do to deserve it? I felt guilty. I felt ashamed. I was disappointed, angry and scared. The reality of what happened to me all those years only struck and sunk in the day I told my truth. I was overwhelmed with emotions as tears streamed down my face. I testified and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. I had no support from my family concerning the abuse. No one ever asked what happened or even asked about the case. I was suffering major depression back then. I cried almost every day replaying all the incidents I remember in my head. I cut myself, I overdosed a few times on pills. I was even rushed to hospital one night. It feels like nothing else in the world exists but your heartache and pain. I used to be angry with God, asking why he allowed it to happen. Where was he? When I was being abused over and over and over again. I’m not telling my story to seek sympathy. I just want every survivor to know: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It might seem hard to believe especially if your abuse was recent and still fresh in your head but things will get better in time. You won’t feel like this forever. One of the most important lessons I have learned through my trauma is to NEVER GIVE UP. Something I have also learned is that your trauma doesn’t define you. You determine how it helps you shape into becoming the person you want to be. I might not be always able to post but I wish to share my experiences with all of you. Sometimes it might be incidents or just how it has been affecting my life all these years in both bad and good days. Thanks for reading. I hope it helps even if it is in a very small way. PS: My title is inspired by the series New Amsterdam. Somehow the question always pops up: "How can I help?". And I wish to help.
We are all born into this world as loving, trusting, pure beings. We possess a genetic and a soul connection to all of our ancestors. We are the culmination of everything that we have ever been as well as all that we can and will ever be. Upon this earthly playground we live, love and have experiences both public and private. We are molded by our unique genome as well as our environmental influences thereafter. We experience ecstasy as well as pain, joy and sadness, heaven and hell. So when it is time for us to die, what then did we gather from all of this life? For those of us who are agnostic or atheist; the question is... "What legacy have we left"? For those of us who are spiritual or religious; the question is..."What contribution have we made to the greater good and what rewards or challenges shall we face in the hereafter?". None of us get a free ride. There is a natural give and take that we all share in this life. Some of us believe in a higher justice and some of us question if there is such a thing. When we are in the midst of our sufferings, faith can be hard to muster. Maybe we think we deserve punishment. There are still others that live with an attitude of entitlement. As if all other beings and nature have evolved only to serve as an instrument of personal satisfaction. Presented to us just for our personal exploitation. Family, friends, life, death- does any of it matter? Is there a God? If so; why do we suffer so much? Perhaps we are all organic miniature libraries circling the infinite main library of the creator. Micro representations of the cosmic macrocosm. If we accept this hypothesis, then what we do and think at all times is recorded and rewritten many times within ourselves and beyond. This IS the model that I subscribe to personally. We all fall, we all make mistakes and we all can get up again and heal wrongs of the past. We have a responsibility to all creation to makes things better and not take more than our share. At this point I am going to divulge some personal information that some may find shocking. This announcement is in the spirit of healing for all those whom have had any similar experiences and need a platform for their voices. My father Lester raped me when I was approximately 12 years old. When he performed this heinous act against me he stole my feminine power and my life in one fell swoop. My life would have gone much differently if this tragedy had not occurred. In the 44 or so years that followed I have done much work on myself and have triumphed as a survivor. My father went on to have his 15 minutes of fame and has been able to live a fulfilling and exciting life. He has played a leading role in saving the peregrine falcon from extinction and blazed the trail for others to continue this important work. His personal contribution to the higher good of the planet is an unquestioned fact. He is a charismatic, handsome and successful character in that particular play. He got away with his crime against me without any visible downside in the public eye. I went on to struggle with lingering PTSD for the following 44 years. In that time I have done much healing work on myself as well as many others along the way. This public announcement is intended to reach any other "targets" out there whom Lester or any other perpetrator may have damaged. If you or someone you know had any alone time with my father as a minor please contact me! Together we can close this chapter of abuse and educate others as to methods in prevention of this kind of sexual crime. This sociopathic behavior can only be prevented if we bring this problem to light for all to see. Most of us survivors are terrorized by the idea of exposing these dark offenses. We most often are ruled by shame and fear that paralyzes us from taking any important bold action. My silence very well may have left other innocent young people unprotected and then later preyed upon by this man. The statistics vary greatly, but generally show that approximately 1/5-1/4 of us have fallen prey to sexual abuse by the age of 18. Most experts agree that all child sex criminals are serial offenders. Most of these predators are people who are close friends or family of these young people. The targets are from all walks of life, all races and can be of either gender. These perpetrators most often "groom" their young prey by establishing special relationships with the children. They make the children feel extra special and usually progress to the inappropriate behaviors with these minors almost in plain sight. In other words the perpetrator is usually trusted by the child's family and therefore allowed to have private time with the minor. The only way for us to protect our children from these kinds of crimes is to educate all of the young and adult public. We have to change laws that are protecting the perpetrators. We must also provide better social services and effective counseling to the families involved. Now that I have spoken my anguish publicly, I may live the rest of my life fully. I will die knowing that I have done everything in my power to contact any other people who have experienced this indignity. Bless you all! The professionals say that according to statistics, I am not the only one. I have not found the other survivors yet. Anyone with any information related to this case or any other similar cases are encouraged to contact me! You might not even realize that you were victimized by this man. You may have warm and fuzzy memories of him because you thought that you were special to him. Please take the time to reconsider what the actual nature of that relationship was. As a united front, we can heal together and end this kind of abuse. Are you brave enough to be a part of the solution? If so, let’s talk. :-) My father's name at that time was Lester He preferred to be called “Les”.