Taking my power back

*Warning – sensitive trigger subject*

This will be the hardest blog I release. Opening up about the moment I had my power stolen from me.

But I feel like it’s going to be my most important one too. This week I took my power back and it’s the most amazing, and, well the most powerful feeling in the world.

It’s hard to even type the words as I’ve carried this burden for so long. The shame and the guilt. The feeling of powerlessness. I know I just need to spit it out… at 10 years old I was sexually abused.

I’m not going to go into details obviously. No one needs to read that.

25 years ago someone took my power from me. He took my innocence. He took my confidence. He took my ability to feel comfortable saying no. He took my trust. He took my feeling of safety. He took the feeling that humans are inherently good and kind.

He took everything good from me and replaced it with everything shit. Guilt. Shame. Self blame. Confusion. Mistrust. Fear. Defiance. Anger. Pain. Over bearing emotions that I could never find a way to cope with.

I truely feel that the person I was originally born to become, died that day. From that moment I was never going to be the same. He fundamentally changed my personality, my heart and my soul.

This is so difficult because I don’t want to talk about the fact that he’s had a lasting impact on me for 25 years. I don’t want to open up about the fact that even now when people I love touch me, it sometimes makes my skin crawl. I don’t want to admit that I still have nightmares. I don’t want to tell anyone that up until a few months ago I couldn’t accept compliments because my first thought was always “what do you want from me?” I don’t want to fess up that even hearing his name makes me feel sick. I don’t want to share the details of how I sometimes get a bad gut feeling around certain men that makes my heart race, my hands shake, I start to sweat and feel the walls closing in like I can’t escape.

I don’t want to share any of this. But this is the reality of my life. And the reality for so many others that have been through the same trauma. This is the lasting impact that this has on our lives.

But as of a few days ago when writing this, all of it changed. And I feel like a million pounds of weight have been lifted off my shoulders.

I was talking to my therapist about how I feel so powerless right now because my ex has total control over my life. How it sends me absolutely crazy every time she takes even more power from me. How I get so emotional about it and feel like I can’t find my way out. How I’ve always been triggered when people take my power away from me.

She asked if there was a time when I was a child where I feel I lost my power. Obviously the abuse came straight into my mind. I did try to stumble my way through a few other minor things because I was scared to step up and face my demons.

I stopped myself and there was silence for what felt like an eternity. I knew I had to face it. I knew this was my moment to deal with it. I knew I couldn’t carry it any longer.

I took a deep breath and said the words. The flood gates opened.

She suggested a few options we could try and I felt that the imagery work we’d used before sat best with me. A quick description of what happened was that I visualise up to the point where I started to know something was wrong. I then visualise “Adult Jess” stepping in and taking “little Jess” out of the situation and comforting her until she’s feeling ok and safe. Then “adult Jess” and my therapist walk back in and get everything off my chest that I’ve wanted and needed to say to him my whole life.

The entire experience was so difficult, yet so healing. Especially the point in which my therapist says to him that it’s his fault not mine and that it’s his guilt to carry for hurting me and for choosing to hurt others.

The feeling that’s burdened me the most is the guilt that I feel because I didn’t stop him and because I shut down to try and cope and didn’t tell anyone, he hurt others. And I have blamed myself for that my whole life.

Hearing those words that it’s not my burden to carry anymore, broke down so many walls I’ve had up. It shattered the weight I’ve always carried. It transferred all of the shit he gave me, and returned it back to him.

In that moment I felt that I took back all the good he stole from me. I took back my innocence. I took back my confidence. I took back feeling comfortable to say no. I took back my ability to trust. I took back my feeling of being safe. But most importantly, I took back my power.

I walked out of that office feeling like a new person. I barely recognise myself. I feel entirely different. It’s like I actually see the world differently. I can’t find the words to explain it properly. But it feels good. It feels amazing actually.

And by no means do I feel that I just walk away and forget it happened. Like I’m magically better and won’t ever think about it again. I will always carry the scars from this trauma. I will always remember. I’ll probably always get the random flash backs and the nightmares. But I’m hoping that these things will lessen over time now that I’ve faced it and feel myself healing.

For the first time in my life, I don’t feel like a victim anymore. I feel like a survivor. And that is incredibly important to me. I faced one of the most horrendous things a child can face, and today I stood my ground and took my power back!

I’ve been going back and forth in deciding whether to write a blog on this. I don’t mind sharing these details with the hundreds of people that read this that I don’t know and never will. But it’s especially hard to share such a traumatic event with people I know. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. Or to look at me with pity. Or to feel uncomfortable around me because they don’t know what to say. No one can say or do anything to take away the pain so please don’t feel that you need to “fix” anything. I’m sharing this because I know the worst thing about being abused is that you feel like you’re the only one.

So I want to stand up and say, you’re not alone! If we’ve never met, or if we’re best mates, or if we work together or if we fell out years ago and have never spoken since, I don’t care… you’re not alone in this. If you need to reach out then I’m here. You’re not alone.

The other emotion you carry is the guilt and self blame.

So I want to stand up and say, it wasn’t your fault!

The only person to blame in this situation, is the perpetrator. No one else. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t my parents fault. It wasn’t society’s fault. It wasn’t his parents fault. He alone made that choice to hurt me. Him. No one else.

I also wanted to share this as I made a promise to myself when I started this blog, that I was always going to be open, raw and honest. And this is the most significant trauma in my life and has impacted me so much. So standing up and facing it, will have an enormous impact on my journey.

And hiding what happened is a way of him still holding power over me. So I’m standing up now and saying no more.

“You, you piece of shit, no longer hold any of my power.” It’s mine!!!

51 thoughts on “Taking my power back

  1. Good for you! I love reading about the positive steps you are taking in your life. No one should be able to take your power from you. Opening up to your therapist is the first step in getting your power back.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Wow Jess, you’re incredibly brave. Do you see the power and strength you possed to hit “publish”?
    Situations that result in significant trauma do hold us hostage, and I think it’s because, at a young age, we don’t realize there IS a way to correct it. We’re wrapped up in the emotions of it all because that’s we understand as children, how others make us feel.
    I’m so very proud of you!! Not only did you face and speak of this with your therapist, but you spoke of it a second time, with all of us. That’s transparency!! It’s incredibly brave –
    I’m looking forward to walking this healing journey with you. As a follower of your blog, and you a member of this WP Community, you’re never alone. So proud of you!!

    Liked by 6 people

  3. It sounds like therapy has helped you make a breakthrough in moving on from this. Like you say it’s just a start but to have the feeling that you are in charge of your life once again is huge. Keep with it, you’re strong enough to get through xx

    Liked by 5 people

  4. It sounds like you have a great therapist who is helping you work through your trauma. When you wrote about the load being lifted I could relate to that as my therapist has helped me work through my trauma. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your title attracted me to read this post, and what a share …. feel like I’ve immediately stepped into your private life and what I see is an extremely courageous woman who is indeed empowering herself and others with this daunting but rawly honest share ❤

    You write from your heart, and I feel you will now be instrumental in helping others deal with their trauma, bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh Jess, I came to thank you for your recent decision to follow Learning from Dogs. But then I didn’t factor in reading your post and reflecting your bravery and courage in publishing your experiences. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for you over all the years but I can tell you that you have turned a corner. So many congratulations, Jess. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a powerful statement: “I don’t feel like a victim anymore. I feel like a survivor.” It is amazing how a sudden insight can shift everything. I remember this happening to me years ago, and the good news is that it was so transformational it lasted! The horrible feelings never came back in full force, and they were easily dealt with. Little Jess never needs to fear again because grown-up Jess is there for her and speaks the truth. Sending love and light. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reading your story made me cry. I too went through exactly what you did but my power was not refound until 2018-35 years after what occurred. I spend years harming myself with drug abuse because it hurt so much inside but I was not ready to see it/deal with it. Well I did last year and never again will I allow anyone to ever take my power away again. Granted I learned more about what happened to me as my brain was keeping me safe until I was ready……brains are miraculous for doing that. Since facing what caused the hole inside of me, forgiving myself I am a brand new person. I am happy and confident. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Welcome to that little voice and thank you for following my blog. I don’t know how you found my blog, but I’m delighted you did. One of the things you wrote was your commitment to be honest, and that opened a window for me, reminding myself that my goal is to share honestly. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The strength and courage you demonstrate feels me with immense pride and I don’t know you. But you are a beacon, a lightning rod to show others where their strength comes from: it comes from within! I am humbled and I thank you for following my blog. Presently I am in the hospital and will not be posting anything new for awhile. Hopefully I’ll be back soon. In the meantime I hope you will avail yourself of my previous posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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