I don’t really know how old I was when he started to abuse me, but my mother noticed a change in my personality at around 3 or 4 years of age. I began to withdraw socially and started to exhibit signs of anxiety. I still begged to stay at the farm though because even with what was happening externally, I craved the peace that being out on the farm brought me internally. I needed the country, the fresh air, the animals, the nature.

I did my very best to block out most of the abuse I endured, but I find myself having more memories flood my mind as I continue on my healing journeyThe things that I do remember brought feelings of guilt, shame, betrayal, anger, disappointment, despair… It’s been a heavy burden to carry.

After I finally stopped going to the farm at around 12 years of age, the shame and anger and guilt ate at me until I finally turned him in. My family was falling apart (parents were divorcing), my emotions were always super high, and my relationship with my family was crumbling because of my emotional outbursts, it was a horrible time for me.

In the last couple years, I’ve begun to address my life and have found great hope in recovery and healing. I found my passion and purpose in healing myself and helping as many others along the way as possible.

-Hillary, Survivor

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