As October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a survivor has asked that her story be printed in the hope that it will be helpful for others.
Am I all alone?
I am sharing this in the hopes that with my struggles being overcome it will show that there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel for others who have suffered. In all honesty, I am uncertain the best way to begin but I know it should be from the start. While I have reached a point where discussing what happened is easier I feel that rather than going into full detail, I will give a basic idea of the things I have struggled with over the 40+ years of my life.
When I was young, that was when the abuse first began; it ranged from the physical, verbal and continued into the sexual. Not only was I victimized in this manner, but I also was abducted and spent a measure of time filled with terror and uncertainty. I was traumatized to a point where even when I was free from those that abused me, I found myself getting involved with more people that would continue the cycle of abuse. Even then I went through more of those abuse forms, it felt hopeless. In some ways, I felt like I would never get out.
There were times I feared death would come. The terror was so overwhelming, so much strength to it I was certain death was coming for me.
A year ago my life began to change because I was finally introduced to varying resources that were available. From private counseling to group counseling, there were programs also for survivors that taught me to look within and find my rock. The school my son goes to has several sources also that have been an immense help. My church family has helped me to regain spiritual strength. I also could not have started much of this path I now walk without the priceless support from the men and women of the Mexico Police Department who helped me to begin to feel safe.
But the biggest thing for me was when I totally surrendered everything I carried to God and told him that I trust3ed him and I would let him carry me through. It was at this time that I had my healing truly and purely begin. And I praise God. I just want everyone to know there is hope and there are resources out there that can help. If you are in a dangerous situation, there is hope. If you are being threatened, others’ lives are being threatened; there are people out there that can help you. You are not alone.
Some of these valued resources are:
Safe Voices; Bridge to Succeed; Care and Comfort; Swift River Counseling; the school district; Tri-County Mental Health Services; local churches; police departments; REACH.
Don’t hesitate if you find the need is there to reach out and save your life and the lives of others you love.
I praise God I am a Survivor, you can be, too. - Surviving in Maine.
Upcoming activities for Domestic Violence Awareness Month include:
Oct. 17 is Wear Purple Day – hope to have classrooms and businesses wear purple, send photos and share on our Facebook page.
Oct. 19 – Engaging Men Activity – MVHS Football players and Dirigo HS Football players and other support groups will display purple. Event at each school. More information to follow.
Oct. 20 - The Walk to End Domestic Violence at Hosmer Field at 9:00 – to raise awareness of the issue and share resources.
Oct. 26 – Engaging Men Activity – OHCHS Football game – more information to follow.
If you or someone you know needs assistance, call: Safe Voices: 24 hr. free and confidential helpline 800-559-2927, www.safevoices,org; REACH: Sexual Assault Support Center: 800-871-7741 www.reachmaine.org; or contact your local police department: 9-1-1 for emergency only.