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Beyond Blue

ShareWIK: Surviving Sexual Abuse

You all may remember the quality video that producers made of Eric and I. They have published another dynamite testimony on surviving sexual abuse. I know that many of you are sexual abuse survivors and need to be validated on your journey to wholeness. Recently a Beyond Blue reader wrote this comment on my post “May Is Mental Health Month”:

I am a 45 year old female and I have two grown children. I had made it a point to make peace, as an adult with my childhood and feel that I have come a long way in dealing with my issues. I made sure that my family knew that I had gotten passed a lot of my isues, before they passed away. And most importantly that I forgave them for all the hurts they had caused me. My question to you is will I ever stop fighting to heal my emotions?


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  • Joni

    This is so powerful. What a tribute to love and faith.

  • Shavon

    I am also a survivor of abuse, and I love the idea of helping others through similar situations. I am 28 yrs. old and from the age of 8 to 16 i dealt with abuse. I never recieved therapy, and my mother is still in denial about what happened. I moved far away, but my memories still haunt me. I have come a long way in my journey to heal, but I wonder will I ever be whole… Is it possible to move forward if the monster who raped me daily is still free to roam the earth?

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  • Jade

    What a strange way to start what I assume is supposed to be a supportive article…(from the email link to this article) “Because I personally have not had to deal with the baggage of sexual abuse (thank God), I wanted to present this video, for all of you who have…”
    Yes, thank God, but saying that only seems to rub the victim’s face in it, and worse, reinforces that there is reason to feel horrible and victimized (and shame) for those who aren’t able to “thank God”. Surprisingly insensitive.

  • Virginia F. Dye

    I dared to talk with my brother who had intercourse with me whenI was 8. After, several times my parents caught him.My Dad gave my brother a spanking. As adults, I thought as Christians we might be able to resolve this problem, I was like a bomb ready to explode. I wanted answers. Now that we are both adults and Christians I was ready to forgve him and told him so.I just asked for an apology. I know that he loves his daughter very much with his life and soul. I wanted to know how he would feel if one of his sons had sex with his daughter at the age of 8. He didn’t answer me but when his wife read my e-mail, he lied and told his family
    that we were playing doctor and I was mentally off. With Mom still alive, my sister-in-law finally asked my Mother because she would like to sue me for slander. Mom was truthful and told her that yes this had happened and what I had said was true. Instead, of feeling remorse and resolving the problems,thus began a new world where his family hates me. Mom told me that she knew other children that brothers and sisters were having sex constantly yet no one was making a big deal out of the behavior except for me. I asked Mom why none of her brothers attempted to have sex with her. Mom’s answer was because her brothers weren’t that kind of boys and all had girlfriends.
    I pray to God that things will change but my brother and his family have hardened hearts about me and also my mother. My Dad died in 2004 and this same brother took Dad’s life insurance check to the bank for her and cleaned out all the money in her name and now he has taken her from her home while being ill with shingles, sold her house and put her in an assisted living home where she doesn’t want to be. She wants to be with her family but it is obvious they don’t care about her. No calls or visits from his family because she dared ask him where her money is. No resolutions being solved here, just lies and hate is all my brother feels for Mom and myself.

  • Jess

    I was abused by many people during my childhood. I still struggle so much now as an adult. I have been now starting some therapy but still cant seem to fill a very lonely black hole inside. On the outside I seem a very normal person but my family knows how destructive I can be to myself at times. I cant seem to ever describe the emptiness inside and if I will ever be able to live a life with happiness! I have been in the therapy now for a year and dont feel any better for it! Meybe Im not trying…..
    I cant give any type of advice to anyone on how to feel better or let go for that matter,,but I can say that I know I am not alone in this struggle and there are many survivors of this. I am a survivor!!

  • David

    Thanks for the video. I have been in recovery for 19 years now. It has been a long journey with both bright sunny days and horrific storms. I have met people that have been willing to listen to my story as a man and many that didn’t want to hear it. I remember when I was in undergraduate and shared my experience with a soon to be social workers, he suggested that I should talk about “it”. I’m going to talk about “it” till it no longer happens and we have more services for men, and women that have been sexually abused. To my fellow surviors…we can fly with the wings of eagles too!

  • casey

    i have to agree with Jade & say I found your introduction to this article very insenitive as well… as someone who has repeatedly been judged because of suicidal tendencies & mental illness, how could you think such a light hearted approach to such a seriously terrible topic would be okay??? you write your column to reach out to other troubled people & give hope… i felt like this article took away that hope for sexual abuse victims, because we cannot thank God for being free of such “baggage”… and reminding us of that certainly does not inspire hope. I lost alot of respect for you as a writer today, and as a person. God bless.

  • paula

    I was abused by afew people in my child hood and as a adult i was raped and i had two abortions and miscarriage my whole life was a mess i got help thought incest surivoers gropus plus one on e counseloer thean I wnet back to the catholic church i got involeved with pro life i’m still healing from the abortions I had I regrett this still its been very hard thing even though I know God gorgave me for what I did i gave up two preciouse lives the reason i did this is out of selfishness. presser from certain people I don’t talk to anymore.I survived it allI know I’am not aloneBeing involved in pro life has helped me out alot to be able to help other woman. i wish that I had found this gropu 20 yrs rs ago when i had two abortions.

  • Amy

    Count me in with Jade and Casey because I too, was put off by your introduction to this article. We didn’t choose to be victims of sexual abuse or ever even have the chance to state anything to the effect of ‘thank goodness IT didn’t happen to ME’. Our lifetime struggle to function as unscathed adults is not helped by your “us and them” atttude in an article entitled “Surviving…” Some additional training on your part seems to be in order.

  • catherine

    The worse sex therapy after being sodomized and raped by my parent is those who say “whore – we will whore you so you can get beyond this or you will think any time you have sex “impact” you will claim that person raped you. They had a blast – a damned Catholic field day. From The legal system who used me to find other pedophiles, to those who returned me to the parents house, and to the Catholic church who said ” We work with families, this is your lot, karma in life put her sex therapy at the age of 12. On going abuse. Then I was sodomized,raped by a high school teacher. I had to call him mister c. From the abortions to the hormonal rape – yes – them sucking the breast milk afterwards so I will bond to the others and give them money, food etc “poor babies” to extreme usage…. and other acts of rape. A marriage where parent said to soon to be spouse you are marrying “damaged goods”. That shame belongs to them – not to me – for it is their guilt not mine. “sign this and we’ll get you some “treatment” She is pretty – use her again therapy… I have a suggestion to make…. kown as intensive pyscological rape to therapists on their knee calling me a whore for being orgasmic. I feel only hatred to the penis pumping sperm heads known as psycologists to the priggs of religion..”she is our class project- a whore, carve her out some for poor boo hoo jew so sufferd”. The horrors of illegal abortions, prompt me to say, “keep abortion medicaly safe and legal”.

  • catherine

    Oh, I forgot – They are “sorry” and I am an a “unforgiving whore”.

  • catherine

    P.S I think your initial premise is appropriate. Thank God, you were not sexually abused. And thank you for this forum.

  • Lynn

    I am a 59 year old woman who has battled my whole life because of what my brother perpetrated on me as a child. Noone believed me. They said I was crazy and to stop lying. Until I was in my 40’s I never told anyone else about it. My mother gave me away when I told her about it. So on top of it all I have abandonment issues. I have and am struggling everyday. I too got spiritual. It helps some. My family has disowned me. My daughter and her family have stuck by me but I can be very trying at times. I still feel the need to escape my thoughts. I try to like myself and not feel isolated and “labeled”. I have no self esteem and have been in and out of therapy for almost 20 years. All the doctors want to do is give you drugs that make you gain so much weight you thatyou feel even worse about yourself and they do not help. I have begun using prescription drugs to escape but I promised my daughter I would not do that anymore. Am I addicted? Yes to a big degree. I would l;ike to know if anyone out there has had electro-shock treatment for depression.

  • Clare

    I appreciate this video and the people who had the courage to come forth with their personal stories. Healing from sexual abuse can be a lifelong journey. If you surrender the pain to God, it is half the battle. I wish everyone who has had this experience, love and healing.

  • Karen

    I am 58 year old female who was molested by mother’s live-in over a two year period. I continue to have problems with intimacy, over-eating and purging and feelings of isolation. What saves me is spiritual seeking, sobriety, creating (when that is not blocked), reading, gardening, my love for my son and for my pets, and connecting with other incest survivors. I lost my family over the abuse and have been estranged from my mother for approximately 20 years. My 53 year old brother is homeless in Corpus Christi and a practicing alcoholic. I don’t know whether my mother is alive or dead. The molester died of cancer. I burned an effigy of him one Father’s Day on the beach. Been in and out of therapy my whole life. Been involved with women’s issues such as domestic violence and volunteered in shelters. All this has contributed to healing. I still have issues, but consider myself in recovery. Hello out there. You deserve to be loved. I hope this helps.

  • Jamie

    hi everyone my name is Jamie I am from Elmira NY I was Sexual abuse when I was a child I was 3 years old and my mother and her boyfriend did that to me I was so scard. when the poloce come to my mothers house they puted my mother and her boyfirnd in the car my father was not there because were he was staying at was not safe for me so I was puted in a faster home up until I was 5 years old I was so happy to see my family my grandma was the one who now what was happed to to me so that is way she called the Police on my mother and her boyfriend. but as I have goting older my father told me that my mother and her boyfriend was ever puting in Jail for what they did to me I was so mad at my father for lieing to me and telling me that they wer in jail for what they did to me when I was a child and that huted me so much. but know I think god and my grandma for eveything that they have done for me today even thow my grandma died for cancer when I was 9 years old but I know that she is washing over me.


    Well I must say that this storhit home to me. I was sexually abused by a few different males in my family or friends of my mother from the time I was 4-7, while I do not remember the horrible details I do remember incidences with one particular person, my brothers father. He was never mean and or anything and for a long time I believed that he truly loved me. It wasn’t until I was 17 years old that I found out that he had issues. He was a convicted killer who was put on death row in alabama for his crimes. During his incarciration, I really wanted to deal with my issues and asked of him, “why?”. He couldnt’ give me an answer but told me that he loved me very much and that he was sorry for hurting me. I explained to him that in order for me to move on, I would have to forgive him, but that I know that I will never forget. His actions have shaped me into the person I am today and it is not all good. In October 2007 he was set to be put to death, but the justice system didn’t feel that it was ‘ETHICAL’ because he was dying of Prostate Cancer at the time. I felt totally violated! You mean to tell me they want to spare him pain because it would be unethical? Are you freakin kidding me. I must also say for many years I didn’t allow myself to have a relationship with my brother because of his father. It wasn’t until 5 years ago that I finally broke down and told my brother why I treated him that way for many years. We have a better relationship and he understands why I have such a hard deamnor and I am very untrusting. I know one day I will move on completely, but until then people need to know what happens to those who suffer this time of abuse.
    I wish you all good luck!

  • kristein

    Thank for coming forward and telling your story.I am 40 years old and when I was 7 my stepfather sexual abused when i watched your viedo I cried.To just know there is hope of life without hate and hurting all the time.Hope to hear more of your progress.Keep your heart and head held high.

  • Sheth Dharamshi Shantilal

    Good approach !!

  • Sheth Dharamshi Shantilal

    Good Approch !!

  • Mary

    Hi. I’m 70 & I was sexually abused from the time I was 7 by a supposed to be well trusted cousin. This abuse went on till I was 17 because of the fact he had threatened me with death if I said anything to anyone. I thought I was his only victim, but I found out many years later that I was just one of a whole lot of others, including boys as young as infants. When I got up the courage to report him, the police started investigating him & he was charged with 40 different charges, ranging from rape to kidnapping. I am still angry with the fact he only got a one year sentence because he pleaded guilty to all charges. Then he only served 4 months in protective custody. Where is the fairness in that, we as victims had no protection so why should he as an affender have it. This abuse has left me with many inhibitions concerning sex, how do I get past them?

  • Adelle

    There is no fairness in the sentace that he was given, and this raises concerns for me about what i will achieve for myself and future healing. I wanted to give a statement to the police about my brother sexually abusing me when I was around 6, it stopped when i was 11 and he was around 16 17. My many main problems amoungst many also include sexual difficulties with my loving and supportive partner and feelings of disgust for my body especially my virginia. I have been through more than five years of theropy, read books and articles and still I am unable to heal. My angry simmers on the surface and swells deep within me, how do people find this peace and ability to forgive. I try desperatley to live life and to move on, but I seem to be stuck in this hell. You are 70 and i am 37, i really hoped by the time i was in my retirement i would have found peace and it sadddens me to hear that you are suffering at this stage in your life.

  • Dee

    I have to tell you that Ellen Brown’s experience doesn’t sound authentic according to the research done on sexual abuse survivors.
    It is unlikely that she suddenly “recovered” her memory of abuse as described. I wonder who helped her “find” it. Suddenly remembering it and using it to achieve great health might very well have helped her coaching business, however!

  • Cindy

    Never underestimate the power of Acceptance, Love, Supportive treatment. I found Acceptance of self, of love, of pain, of self harm urges and actions, of the damage abuse has done, and that your feelings are normal under the abnormal circumstances. Acceptance does not mean you’re condoning, or liking the behavior. It just says I can see this is happening in this moment and that does not mean I am crazy or a bad girl.
    when you can move forward, name what you DO want as opposed you do NOT want, progress can occur at a steady pace. Making healthy relationship choices can reduce your stress so we have a chance to decrease the energy it takes to stay in fear/survival mode and anxiety. By accepting what life gives me (even when I do not like it), and choosing to help others makes me feel better about who I am.
    When I decided to never again think of suicide as an option to get away from enormous painful realizations – I almost felt worse – because I had taken away a survival skill – an option to escape, to run away – and now I chose to sit with the intense feelings.
    Just this year I remembered a small piece of a abusive time period – in a split second while using the EMDR technique- and suddenly I knew the answer to one question I had been asking for decades. Opening myself to it lead to more understanding of why she turned so often and quickly on me.
    I learned the one positive belief I never ever thought I would believe about myself. That one thing that shows me I really DID do my best to stop the abuse – and as a small girl – that was all I could have done. I tried to make the violence stop then- I was telling the truth and no one believe me. That for me has made a world, a universe of difference.
    Yes I still have very bad days – but I also have very good days. And I accept that either may happen with one small stressor, but I have learned skills from group treatment, etc. – and I can believe what she is saying.
    You can change your own stars – don’t give up.

  • yolanda

    hi,im 36 years old and i have been raped and beaten bye family members and boyfriends.the boyfriend that raped me was sent to prison for 5 years.i was only 14.he may have gotten more time if i wasnt scared and fought more.when i told my mother about it,she didnt believe me.she said i was always trying to get attn. but what she failed to want to see is i was getting beatings till i bled every night.and my older brother was being raped bye our step father (he was also getting beat,just not every day).so i would always go to her and tell, her.but she didnt do anything about it.she would always tell me how i would never grow up to be anything ever.alot of other things had happen.but as i did grow up,i had alot of problems trying to just deal.i turned to drugs and drinking alot.i have a wonderfull husband who has stood bye my side and has always known about my childhood.i think everyone who has had to live with any rape or abuse should have someone to talk to.since the last 18 years i have been with him,he has helped pull me out of the pain and i have learned to relize it wasnt my fault.and i was a great mother and a loving person.and one of the best people he i think that is all anyone isnt like i still dont get night terrors,and it is still hard for me to trust people.well hell,to just meet new is better.

  • Maria

    I am a 46yr old female that was druged and raped by three men at the age of 22. Back then it wasn’t heard of the drugs and raping women.
    I can’t even have sex with any man I have no desire at all.
    My husband left after 20yrs and I am amazed that he stayed that long.
    How do you overcome this??

  • Lonni

    I think forgiveness is the key to surviving sexual abuse; not to benefit the abuser so much as to care for oneself. When it’s hard to forgive it’s made easier by remembering that Jesus states that we are to forgive and He never asks us to do anything that He won’t enable us to do. With forgiveness comes release.
    I also think that “loving our enemies” is also a way to escape the burden of abuse. Again, not being able to do that on our own is settled by the fact that Jesus will enable us to do that as well. I have found that when I can love people whether they love me or not, they no longer have any power over me or my feelings.
    It takes a personal relationship with Jesus in order to accomplish love and forgiveness but it’s the only way I have found to survive even after all the years gone past since the abuse.

  • Kristyanne

    I was raped and mosleted by a nebor it was scaring but I ‘m survising.

  • Kristyanne

    p.s. sorry about the spelling

  • Night Terrors Children

    Raping should never be forgiven. You should get hummer and make him pay. Not kill him

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment myrna johnson

    I can totally relate to alot of the abuse stories, I was sexually abused by my natral father, and a few other adult males from 12 to 16 and i am now 50 years old and im still not normal whatever that is. Ive been in counsling for 5 years now and i must say i feel alittle better now that i understand what happened too me wasnt my fault, i find it hard to understand why my own father would do this to me and even the other GROWN ASS MEN to take advantage of someones innocents. I am a survior, but i feel i was robbed of my character and not being the true person im suppose to be. I have been dealing with this my whole life, i gave birth to a son by one abuser and it must be in the genes because my son abused my daughter and son by another man when they were 7 and 8 years old right under our noses, and now after 10 years my younger son told me because it haunted him for a long time it made him very mean also my daughter too she still mean even to her 5 year old this really hurts me so bad because i know the damage has been done. Neither one of them dont think they need couseling cause theres nothing wrong, but truly there is, and all i cant do is pray about to get passed it. I must say its still HARD!!!

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