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Rated: 13+ · Essay · Biographical · #2272811
how I turned the effects of my sexual abuse into life changing approaches
                                                                                                  Pain Into Assets

         Once upon a time, a little girl lived in fear and pain and in the land of 'less than'.  Her house was filled with fights and abuse and alcohol, excessive alcohol.  'Well, I was drinking, and you know how I get.'  her mother would say.  Or 'I couldn't help it, I was drunk', her father would say.  Or the worse excuse, 'I would never do that.  You must be crazy.'  Both parents used this one, pretending child abuse wasn’t happening.  She used to think hiding would protect her.  She could hide anywhere....in closets, under beds, behind doors.  Even at night if she pulled the covers up over head, she hoped he wouldn't see her.  But of course, he always did. She was told every day, 'You asked for this', everything was her fault.  She was, simply, a bad child who deserved everything she got.

         As she grew up, she became less and less.  She was an object, a thing to be played with, to be given away at the slightest whim of others.  Long before she reached adulthood, she didn't know who she was or why she was even living

         One day she met a lady who told her she was beautiful.  Beautiful?  Her?  This lady must have it wrong.  She wasn't beautiful, she was 'less than'.
Gradually, the lady encouraged her into a new way of thinking.  Maybe she could be of value.  The lady taught her how to turn her pain into lessons.

         She learned not to drink because of those horrible things people did while drinking.  She learned fighting was, definitely. not the way to handle conflict because she never won.  Screaming and pushing and slapping, she would always remember how that made her feel and she vowed never to do the same to another person.  She didn't have to live in chaos, she could seek peace in her own home.  She wouldn't allow anyone to take that away.  She learned that being alone didn't mean loneliness.  She realized having any man was better than none wasn't true.  This realization saved her from bad decisions made out of neediness.

         Hiding was different if she didn't see it as a goal.  Silence could be very useful if she listened instead of talking.  Sensitivity grew out anticipating other people's mood, a trait she used as a young child.  Staying out of the way turned into letting others go first.

         Value of herself grew every time someone complimented her.  She worked very hard, first because she had to be useful.  Then she realized working hard was the only way to get things done.  She remembered what it was like to come home to no electricity and no food.  Her mother used any money to make sure she always had new clothes.  Remembering these times, taught her how to budget well and not waste dollars on frivolous things.  Doing for others so she wouldn't get punished became kindness.  She, especially, revered older woman, kind women, to replace memories of kicks and slaps.

         It took her a very long time not to be afraid of men but that heightened her sense of danger which proved to be useful when approaching new situations.  She wasn't sure she could ever totally trust any male older than twelve, but she could see the possibilities if she just kept evolving.

         Her love for animals, the only things that never hurt her, led her into a career of rescue.  She had experienced what some of the poor animals had experienced: not enough food, kicking, cold, etc.  Her empathy worked wonders for beaten down dogs. Anything she could do for an injured animal was never too much.  She knew how old people felt, living uselessly in nursing homes, forgotten by their families.  She could give them a small sense of purpose just by her smiles.  She could and did recognize the patients as real people who still had something to give.

         She was starting to feel 'more than.'

         Then she discovered writing.  Of course, just writing wasn't t enough.  All the pain, conflict, being unwanted was a wealth of information she could use and express.  But she still was afraid she wouldn't be good enough.  One day she took the plunge.  She put some of her writing on a local website for everyone to see.....and they liked it.  Maybe she was valuable, maybe she had things inside her that could help her connect the dots for others.  She had overcome a great deal, but her journey wasn't over yet.  She could continue to evolve, erasing memories, replacing them with new more fulfilling ones.

         She would always remember the past, but she didn't have to live there.  Maybe someone else would see that, use that to start their own healing journey. She didn't want to write only pain and abuse and sorrow, however.

         A simple children's book that made children smile would be enough.

         Now she looks in the mirror every day and tells herself, 'You are more than'.

Word Count 836

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