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About Me

About Me

Be the person who breaks the cycle. If you were judged, choose understanding. If you were rejected, choose acceptance. If you were shamed, choose compassion. Be the person you needed when you were hurting, not the person who hurt you. Vow to be better than what broke you – to heal instead of becoming bitter so you can act from your heart, not your pain.

— Lori Deschene.

ABOUT ME…..

I am a female in my 20’s and from a small country town. I only recently in the last couple of years completed a University degree and work in a Primary School. Moving forward I hope to pursue a career in Special Education Teaching. My passions are sport, boating, outdoors, music and yoga. I want to be able to help every individual achieve success and grow as people.

These are all things that people close to me would know, but what many of them don’t know is that I was sexually abused as a child. I grew up struggling with confidence, trust, low self-esteem and anxiety. I have also at times felt worthless and alone. For many years I kept it all to myself and never said anything, but I eventually reached a point in my life at about 20 years of age where I just couldn’t cope anymore. I am now 22 and have only just started to open up to others about my experience which has been one of the most difficult things for me.

So I guess you’re wondering why I am writing this? Ultimately, I am here to talk about my journey and what has lead me to where and who I am today, in the hope it may help someone else going through a difficult time and dealing with something similar.  

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

The Turning Point

“Working with children with autism has provided me with an opportunity to see the world in a different way. I see them strive to overcome obstacles and persevere and learn to persevere myself. They are my inspiration”


A major turning point in my life was when I started working as an SSO with a young girl with non-verbal autism. She came into my life at a time when I was completely lost; I didn’t know who I was and didn’t have a lot of direction in my life. Amazingly she has changed my whole perspective on life and made me see things in a completely different light. I am now seeking help through both a psychologist and kinesiologist. In addition to the things I was already doing to try and cope with everyday life, I have started Yoga classes and am using essential oils as a natural solution for physical, emotional and spiritual issues. I am now open too trying new things and have developed a real interest in alternative therapies. I have now started to take the necessary steps to help in my recovery.

It is simply amazing how a young girl who struggles to communicate and express here own needs or thoughts has had such an enormous impact on me. I developed an instant love and passion for working with individuals with special needs. I feel lucky everyday getting to work with her and she teaches me more and more about life everyday. It is incredible what we can learn from the young people around us. I believe she would want everyone around her to utilise their strengths and to be the best version of themselves. Seeing her succeed and overcome challenges brings me so much joy and happiness. I have always felt such a strong connection to her. When I think about it, she represents something that I felt all through my childhood. For so long I was in silence and felt that I couldn’t speak. I now want to be her voice and the voice for other non-verbal individuals.

She is my inspiration

I want to protect her as I feel she is amongst some of the most vulnerable. Children with autism may encounter communication challenges that may make them particularly desirable targets of sexual offenders because of the perception that they will be unable to disclose the abuse. This really scares me as some of these children would have difficulty disclosing the abuse or even understanding what is going on. As I have a voice, I feel I need to be the voice for these individuals; I have the power to speak and make a difference. I am motivated to do something that is important, something that helps someone or that makes the world a better place. I hope in some small way I can make a difference in someone else’s life.

I feel that she has come into my life for a reason; to show me how special the small things in life are, and as a reminder to us all to enjoy and live life to the fullest. She can instantly light up any room with her joy and infectious smile. She is absolutely my inspiration, and I have since found some purpose and direction. I will forever be grateful that she come into my life.

There have been a few people that have come into my life in the last year and have made a massive influence and impact on my life. I will continue to show them just how much I appreciate their support and guidance.

Someone shared this passage with me and I would like to finish by sharing it with you. I want to share it with all of you because it really forced me to think. The things that I have experienced have helped shape me into the person that I am today.

“It’s crazy that every single thing I’ve been through, even the things I wish never happened – the thing I literally cried on the kitchen floor over – are what brought me to where I am and who I am today. Like every shitty, horrible thing that you’ve ever wished you could go back in time and undo, is part of the reason for any good that has happened along the path your life is currently on. You can chalk it up to the butterfly effect, or karma, or fate, or magic, or coincidence, or God. But the fact remains that every bad thing that’s happened to you is partly responsible for every good thing that’s going to happen to you.”

My Childhood: Before Anyone Knew


You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it

Unknown

Throughout my experience of years of sexual abuse by my step brother, I had feelings of isolation, fear, powerlessness, anxiousness and felt I could not relate to anyone. When I look back and consider these feelings, I did pretty well at hiding them from the outside world.

At the age of 7 my parents separated, which was a relatively civil separation and still to this day have a good relationship. I don’t remember a lot about my parents being together but what I do know is that I have felt some degree of resentment towards my mum and at times wished they stayed together as than none of this would have occurred. By the age of 8 I was being sexually abused by my now step brother. Initially I didn’t really understand what was going on, but the longer it went on the more I felt it wasn’t right. In my later years, especially once I had my car license I felt I had a little more control. This meant I could leave when I felt I needed too and if I knew my step brother was going to be around I would plan something with my dad.  

There was however, a stage in my childhood where my dad had a very abusive partner and their relationship lasted a number of years. They were together when I was aged 10-18, although I wasn’t around for the later years of there relationship. There were times throughout their relationship where I didn’t see my dad, not because I didn’t want to see him, but because I didn’t want to be a part of it all. The police were involved, restraining orders were put in place and broken, and she even went as far as to falsely accuse us kids (myself and siblings) of vandalising our school. I won’t go into the details of these incidences but what I will say is that it wasn’t very nice to see or experience. We witnessed a lot that we shouldn’t of at such a young age.

I remember spending one night hiding under the bed with my brother and sister, scared of what she was going to do. She also said a lot of nasty things that I think also contribute to my low self-confidence. I encouraged my dad to leave so many times, but he would always go back to her. She would manipulate him to make him believe he was at fault. I can now see my dad experiences low self-worth as a result of this relationship. My dad confided in me a lot which made it all the more difficult when he would go back to her. I would get very upset, I almost felt that he was choosing her over us. Anyways the point for sharing this is to express that I basically had to choose between seeing my dad, physically and emotionally abused by his partner, or being sexually abused myself. In both these situations I felt I had no control.

When experiencing the sexual abuse, I supressed the memories very quickly after, and was able to continue on with life as though nothing happened.  If you ask me, I would consider my schooling years to have been a positive experience. I had a great group of friends, received good grades throughout and embraced all that school had to offer. I believe I supressed the memories of what happened in order to regain stability in life. I kept myself very busy throughout my childhood; participating in extracurricular activities at school, playing sport, coaching and being fairly social. I was always a pretty responsible kid and didn’t get myself into any trouble. I found I could cope with what was going on, if I kept myself busy.

When thinking about why I never said anything for many years; my greatest fear was ruining the family. Along with this I also felt embarrassed, shame and guilt about what was going on.  

After finishing high school with the grades I’d hoped for, I moved  to Adelaide and started my university degree. I was in Adelaide for 3 years before moving back to my hometown to pursue my career. It took me a little while to find my direction, but I am now very happy in my current role as an SSO in a Primary School working with students with special needs and learning difficulties.

I am now 23 and I first spoke up about my sexual abuse when I was 20 …. 12 years later. 

Speaking Up

When we speak
we are afraid our words
will not be heard or welcomed.
But when we are silent,
we are still afraid.
So it is better to speak.
– Audre Lorde

Over the past 3 years I have started to speak up about what happened to me as child. When I was younger I felt like I couldn’t say anything because I didn’t want to ruin the family, felt ashamed and I was worried no one would believe me. I still believe that if I had of said something as a child it would have separated the family and I would have blamed myself for that. There was also fear associated with not saying anything, as I didn’t want it to happen to anyone else; my younger sister or younger cousins. As I got older, I didn’t want to be around him but I knew I just had to deal with it. I had the responsibility to protect them and stop it from happening to others in the family.

I remember when my mum and my step dad got married in 2015 and it was a surprise wedding, so nobody knew. I remember spending most of the night crying, everyone thought I was just in shock, but really I was feeling trapped with no way of escaping. It made everything feel so much more real and the hurt wasn’t just going to go away.  They were all happy that we were finally a family, but for me I knew I was going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life.

The first person I told was a close friend and they supported and encouraged me to open up to my family. I have never really been one consider us a family, my family will always be my mum, dad, brother and sister. On Christmas Day a few years ago mum and I got into an argument about me not being overly friendly and accepting of my step family. I was generally pretty good but sometimes things just got the better of me and I would remove myself, which made me look rude. I rarely got upset as I didn’t want anyone suspecting anything but this night I did. I had a long conversation with my mum and sister and eventually told them that I had been sexually abused. Although I have spoken up I still struggle with going into any detail about the abuse. I still have a mix of emotions and feelings surrounding my experiences. Re-living what I went through in my head can be difficult but saying it out loud is another level. They were both very supportive and sorry for what had happened. When opening up I was very strong in saying they couldn’t say anything until I was ready. They were respectful of how I wanted to deal with it all.

It has been a long process as telling my dad, step dad and siblings has come with its own challenges. I have needed time to process telling each and every person. It took me two years before I was okay with mum telling my step dad. I could see she was struggling not being able to say anything to him. As long as they have known they have wanted to speak to my step brother and approach him about it. I eventually got to the point where I said they could talk to him but I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. He didn’t deny what happened, but said he didn’t think it would have affected me that much. This made me angry and feel as though I was overreacting and that what had happened was nothing.

I have only recently told my dad about what happened. I couldn’t even express it in words, so I had to write it down on a piece of paper and left it for him to read when I wasn’t there. My dad has also been a great support, and as he is less connected I feel I can talk to him about it without hurting anyone. Its hard with my mum and my step dad as they also have a relationship with him. Especially my step dad as it his son, and he feels it is his responsibility to help him.

 I have also disclosed the experience to a few close friends as I find it much easier to talk them as they are removed from the situation and have no relationship with my perpetrator.  

For anyone that may be experiencing anything similar or having struggle speaking out please know you are not alone. Just remember you are brave, you have strength and you are empowering. If anything know that by speaking up you may give someone else the strength to speak up as well. My story is now semi out in the open, and I just want to use my experience to make a difference and help others.

Letter to my abuser

This was one of the first pieces of writing I did around my experience with sexual abuse. I did this as part of my healing journey and as a way to express how I was feeling and the impact it has had on me. Although it was very difficult I found this process very benificial as it forced me to face my fears and release everything inside. I felt a great deal of relief getting it all out in words.


I’ve been so afraid to write this letter. To prepare myself on how it might feel, I read a number of letters from victims to their perpetrators on their different experiences. Although many of their experiences where slightly different and somewhat worse than mine, I could still strongly relate to their pain and feelings.  

I want you to know not just how this has affected me, but the impacts the experience has on me every day since and will for the rest of my life. In the beginning I don’t even think I truly understood what was going on, but as it went on I become more scared and trapped and felt as though there was nothing I could do. I never wanted to be the one to ruin the family, or cause any hurt or worry. I held all this stress and worry on myself for many years. Still to this day, I have no idea what it will do to our family, but I know that it is out of my control and I need to be okay with the decisions that others make.

Following the experience I felt a great deal of guilt, shame, confusion and was scared of what would happen if I ever told anyone. I had a large sense of powerlessness. I could never express even to my own family exactly how I felt, I kept everything inside. To others I would have appeared to be a carefree, happy and enthusiastic  young girl.  At times I was even a little over the top trying to hide how I was really feeling. On the inside however, I was just this scared, insecure, innocent little girl.  

Throughout my life I have struggled with confidence, trust, low self-esteem and anxiety. I think what happened has contributed to this. I struggle more now that it’s out than I ever did, as I have no control on what will happen or what people will think. You made me believe I could never trust anyone. You made me believe I was never good enough. You made me feel like I could never stand up for myself. You made me second guess the clothes that I wore, ensuring not too show too much skin. I worried about this as I didn’t want to appear as though I was asking for it.

The things you did I still struggle to come to terms with and understand. I have a constant feeling in my stomach that I can’t even explain. You touched me inappropriately and in places you had no right. Because of this, I want you to know that to this day I am unable to handle the physical touch of another person. I freak out each time I experience any physical contact.

I don’t think you understand how difficult it has been for me to have to continue to be in the same room as you and act as though nothing ever happened. At the time I may seem fine, but after behind closed doors, I spend hours crying and not being able to sleep. Even just your name being bought up in conversation or other family members talking about childhood memories, I hate it. What others see as good memories, are some of my worst and is what I try to forget about.

I want too thankyou not for what you have done to me, but for showing me how resilient, courageous, determined and strong I can be. I could have really let this bring me down and ruin my life in more ways than it has and it hasn’t. I have had the strength to push through and achieve things I never thought I could. The things I have been through and experienced have brought me to where I am and who I am today. For so long I have felt angry, hurt, upset and laid so much blame on myself.

Although it was not a desired experience, I now see things from a slightly different perspective. I can now use the experience to make a difference and help others. This is a life I was given for a reason and it is to make something of the experience, move forward and be the best person I can. I know I still have a long way to go in my recovery, but I hope in writing this letter I am one step closer. In no way did I do this for you, it is just a stage in my healing process and something I needed to do for myself.

I believe this has happened to me for a reason, to show that I am strong enough to overcome this and make good out of a bad situation.

My Story

After nearly 10 years, I have finally found the strength to speak up about what happened to me when I was a child. I was sexually abused by my step brother over a number of years from the ages of 8 till about 17. I didn’t know what was happening at the time or that it was wrong, I was only 8 when it all started and at this age our brains aren’t programmed to understand this sort of thing. I spent so many years trying to shut it all out and forget, that I now don’t remember everything that happened.

As a child I learnt to block my feelings in order to get through.  I felt as though I had no power or control over the situation I was in, I was afraid that if I spoke up I would ruin the family and cause hurt to others. I chose not to say anything as it only affected me and I didn’t want to cause hurt to anyone else in the family. I never wanted to be the one to ruin the family, I could see how much both my Mum and Step Dad wanted us all to be one ‘Big Happy Family’. However, for me I knew I was NEVER going to be able to accept him as my family.

I felt trapped in my own home. My body had been invaded; touched inappropriately and in places he had no right. I would be walking down the hallway and he would come up behind and grab my breasts, butt etc. We didn’t have a lock on our bathroom door so he would open it and stand there looking at me while I was in the shower, it made me feel disgusting. I would tell him to go but he would just stay there looking at me. He would do things to me then force me to do things back ‘I hated it’ but would freeze and couldn’t do anything. These are just a few of the things that happened. As a result of all this I have struggled with trust, confidence, low self-esteem and anxiety. I have always hated my breasts as he would always make comments about them, I made sure the clothes that I wore didn’t show too much skin as I didn’t want to appear as though I was asking for it. 

The smallest things can cause a trigger in me. His name being mentioned, other family members talking about childhood memories,  photos, having to see him at family events or even just being in the house where the sexual abuse occurred.

Still to this day I have to pretend as though nothing has happened as many people don’t know. Although there are days where I wish I never said anything , I also know that in order for me to heal and move forward I needed to speak up. Fortunately for me I have had the support of my family and they are very respectful of what I need to help move forward. I feel I can use this experience to make a difference and help others. This is a life I was given for a reason and it is for me to make good out of a bad situation.

More to come about my healing journey.