Dear StacyK,

I struggled with writing and telling you my story. I know you through the Victoria Beauty College. I was a student there when I first heard you speak and share your story of sexual abuse suppression. I like having you as a friend on Facebook because you are very positive, and you inspire me. I guess that’s why I decided to share this story with you.

I was a victim of abuse. But before I go further, please keep all the details confidential because not many people know the truth, and my family will not understand. My father abused me as a little girl. He would sexually abuse me and tell me never to let anyone know—not even my mother—and I didn't.

As a child, I seemed to always be in trouble, and when I got into trouble I was whipped, not just by my dad's belt but by a lasso, extension cord, and whatever else my parents thought would hurt me. I grew up scared of them partly because of the beatings. I would have never shared what I’m fixing to tell you with anyone.

I was in the third grade when I first heard of sexual abuse. A teacher spoke about it in the classroom and asked the students to let someone know if anyone was hurting them. At the time, I wasn't sure what she meant and didn’t understand what she was talking about. But when my dad tried to touch me again, I knew exactly what she was saying. I remember kicking him off me and telling him to leave me alone, and that if he ever touched me again I would tell my mom when she got home. I ran out of the house that day, sat on the porch and waited for her, only to find the company of my friend, who lived next door, come over to comfort me after realizing I was crying. My friend and I were approximately ten years old at the time. As I began to tell her my story about what happened and try to explain (without knowing the correct words to use), she confided in me and said her father was doing the same things to her. In a way, I felt relieved because she understood what I was describing, and in this weird way she made me feel like I was normal and not alone. I never told anyone else the truth.

I never spoke of the sexual abuse again. And my dad never touched me again.

I guess he knew I was too old to keep secrets any longer.

I left the house when I was eighteen years old and became a statistic of teen pregnancy. I have a child out of wedlock who has never met her father, and I endured the challenges that go along with being a single parent. I chose men who cheated on me, beat me, and emotionally damaged me. I not only endured sexual abuse from a father but emotional and physical abuse from a mother; all these things were passed onto my adult life through relationships with other men. I surrounded myself with men who didn’t have confidence. I believed if I loved them, they would stop the abuse and get better because they loved me.

Long story short, I believe in God. I have always known Him. I have learned to treat this as a life lesson, and instead of allowing my past to define my future, I made the decision to let the past go.

A couple of years ago my mom and I were talking, and she apologized to me and asked for me to forgive her for all the bad things she and my dad did to me as a child. It didn’t take away the pain, but it did allow me to forgive them. They didn’t really know the damage they were causing. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I know longer attend the Victoria Beauty College because I moved away and married the man of my dreams. I work in a juvenile department now. I motivate and guide those individuals who have been through similar situations as mine, and who I can identify with just like you identified with me.

I am a survivor of physical and sexual abuse, and I have accepted that sometimes the two go hand in hand. I can honestly say for once in my life I am happy with my choices. I thank God every day for allowing me to overcome my past. I am strong because of it and able to help others. Thank you for being an inspiration to all women, and may God continue to bless you for the wonderful mother you are. #teamjustus #survivorsunite #stacyk

Belinda- 32 years old

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