It’s hard to remember what my life was like before the trauma had occurred. What I do remember is that I almost always had a smile on my face and always wanted to make others around me happy. Going into middle school, I had no idea that my life was going to soon be impacted in such a huge way.

In 8th grade I was sexually abused by someone I thought I could put so much trust in. When I was 13 and 14, I was probably one of the most innocent kids in school and had no idea what was even happening at the time. The abuse went on for almost 2 years and it wasn’t until high school that I began to understand what had happened to me.

In high school, I tried my best to push away those memories and keep them a secret. I always feared I would be in trouble for being in that situation and felt it was my fault. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I told my truth to anyone. Several years of memories and flashbacks finally caught up to me and the pain was just too much to bare.

In 2016, I wanted to take my life because I felt there was no way out of the shame and sadness I was experiencing. I was hospitalized for a short period of time and still managed to finish my first year of college. I’ve been in therapy for over a year now, working to manage my PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Healing hasn’t been easy, but finding the right therapist has been one of the best things that’s happened for me. I still experience daily battles trying to live with the past and what my future holds.

After 2 years of waiting, I will finally have my chance this year to tell my truth on the stand, face my abuser, and hopefully gain some closure in the process. Knowing that sharing my story can help others motivates me to push through. Although my innocence was taken too soon, my spirit to survive can never be taken from me.

-Ally, Survivor

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