My name is Susan and I am a sexual abuse survivor.
My story began many, many moons before I was even born simply because I was born to two very wounded individuals. My abuse story begins at the tender age of 3 1/2 with my uncles. Call it being at the wrong place at the wrong time. They had teamed up on me, terrifying me and did horrific things to me, threatening to hurt my mother, grandma, and siblings if I ever told. To solidify my silence they repeatedly dunked me under in the pond where they had violated me. I swore never to tell. They finally let me go.
I ran home as fast as I could. I knew I was in trouble because we were never to go to the pond by ourselves, but I had. What a terrible error on a 3 1/2-year-old’s little mind. I burst through the door to my mom and grandma, only to meet my mother’s wrath about being wet, dirty and covered in pond scum. I told her I fell off the log in the pond. I was going to get a whipping, but my grandma intervened. She drew a bath to clean me up, but every time she tried to tip my head back to do my hair I fought her, hollered and cried. She finally had enough; she threw my head under the water. I knew then I was really going to die.
My uncles tormented and abused me for more years than I can remember. The woods, the chicken coop, under the stairs, the basements, just about anywhere.
My father entered the picture at the age of 6. At first, it was just to touch him. He wasn’t going to hurt me like the others for he loved me and I was his little girl. He had promised it would be ok but it had to be our secret. I could tell no one. It wasn’t long before he too was sexually abusing me. Hurting me in a way far worse than the others for because he was my father, he was supposed to protect me and rescue me. Yet, there he was doing the exact same thing as the others. I could not comprehend why this was happening. The mind games were far worse than anything I could even imagine. He too threatened that no one would believe me, and if I told I would be taken away, never to see my family again. My world was crashing and there was no one to help.
My grandma told me, “It was a man that was hurting me not God.” I stayed quiet. I was 14 when my uncle last abused me, and at 15 I turned my father in to my school counselor. I was taken out of the home, put into foster care. There was a trial, my father pled guilty. He was ordered to go to counseling and to stop drinking, for he claimed every time he abused me he was drunk. I remained in foster care away from mother, my siblings, and my grandmother. It all came true, it happened just like dad said it would.
I was placed in an abusive foster home. It was about two weeks when my foster dad approached me. He too said it had to be our secret. I knew what that meant, stay quiet or lose another family. My foster mom was good to me and I really liked her. I stayed quiet, for that was what I had learned.
Getting married and having babies did not stop my foster father. He harassed me till I was 21, stalking hunting, pressuring. I finally threatened him with the truth. I would tell. I would go to the cops. He relented and left me be.
I married at 19 to the first person that said I love you to me. I was in awe, dumbstruck that someone could love me with all that ugliness, dirtiness, and vile inside me. Little did I know how bad the situation would lead to, 13 years of broken bones, stitches, coma, and hospitalizations. I finally fought back and hit him hard. He went to the hospital. I pled guilty and received a 4-year prison sentence. At that time I looked upon prison as a respite from being daily abused and beaten. It was a respite for my mind, heart, and soul; a time to heal. I came to truly know God and his awesomeness. I was kept safe from harm. I was protected for the first time in my life.
Upon my release,65 I returned to my old ways and behaviors. The tapes in my head were endless. And I got myself in some very dangerous situations. A friend pulled me out before it cost me my life. I was introduced to Healing Private Wounds.
I have been involved with Healing Private Wounds for almost 8 years now. The program is part of my everyday life. A world was opened up to me, one of understanding, one of trust, one without fear and judgment. I learned I could move forward without the past nipping on my heels, assaulting my senses, controlling my mind. This program (HPW) has brought me light, and a place to lay down my burdens.
I have watched the program work for years and have seen what it has done for others. The simple act of separating truth from fiction; what is real and what is not brings freedom. I have choices now and this gives me life. I choose to start each day with God who loves me and understands me. Healing Private Wounds gave me a chance to discover who I am, what I need, and most important, who I want to become. My life is about giving thanks to God every day for life, love, happiness, and even for my pains and sorrows, for without them I could never grow. The confusion has been lifted; my eyes have been opened to a new and better way to live. I have no fear, no shame, and no guilt.
It isn’t all peaches and cream, that is not reality, but it is far better than anything I have known. Our abuse was not our choice, but healing is. Healing Private Wounds puts that out there for you to make a choice, a starting point. It takes time to heal, it takes faith and willingness and it takes courage and strength. HPW can offer you tools, suggestions, insight, and wisdom to start you on your journey. I am truly blessed because I chose to accept what they offered. It can save lives, for it saved mine. I have peace within something I never thought could be attainable given my history and all the pain I had endured. I am truly grateful.