I Choose Not to Live My Life as a Victim Anymore

I was 5 years old when it first happened. I didn’t understand what was going on because I was only a child and looked up to my stepdad. He always provided for my mom, brother and I, but favored me. In order to get whatever material things I wanted I’d have to let him use me. Throughout the 7 years this was happening I always felt empty and lost inside, not knowing when it would end.

One day I finally had enough and told my mom what was happening; thank goodness she believed me and we ended up moving. Even though I got out of the abusive situation, growing up in my teenage years I was always depressed, thought that everything was my fault, and didn’t deserve to live. In my 20s my friend suggested I go to a women’s retreat to help heal from my damaged heart.

I’m so thankful my friend suggested me to go because not only was I able to meet other women that have been through what I have, but I was finally able to learn how to heal. Each of us took our turns telling our story. We learned how to tell ourselves that none of it was our fault. I now live my life not feeling guilty of being abused or feeling sorry for myself. My heart will forever have a scar, but I chose not to live my life as a victim anymore; instead I live stronger and happier.

-Danielle, Survivor