Dear StacyK,

I'm finally sending this to you. I started writing it three months ago. I can tell you're very busy, so I didn't know if you'd have time to read it. I have been reading all your posts, and I’m encouraged about what you’re doing. You rock!

I was sexually abused by my uncle. He was recently sentenced to prison for life without a chance of parole in L.A. Thank God he's off the streets. I'm very grateful that he won't be able to abuse anyone else. It's all difficult to explain, and I once felt guilty because I was afraid to tell anyone about what happened, but the truth is I was sexually abused from the age of four till nine years old.

My mother never talked to me about sex. I didn’t know what was being done to me. I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain to anyone what was happening. I didn’t have the intelligence to understand it. I had never seen sex or knew what sex was during that time, so I didn’t know I was being sexually abused. I was seven years old when my mom cornered me and asked if my uncle had been touching me. He had been arrested around that time, and when my mother found out she immediately asked if he had hurt me.

I lied to her.

He was a part of my family, and I didn’t believe he had meant to hurt me because I didn’t know what he was doing was wrong. I was scared of him and knew in my spirit what he was doing was scary, like a nightmare, but in my mind he was my family and my mother’s brother, so when she asked if I was hurt by him, I said “no” because I didn’t believe it was real.

The hardest part about being sexually abused is realizing that you were. As a survivor I had to learn to let the truth out and accept that my past no longer defined me. It actually molded and shaped me into the woman and mother I am today. Being a survivor of sexual abuse means you have to let go of the guilt and accept your past. The guilt you feel as an adult changes once you experience sex, family, and relationships with others. These things give you wisdom and open your eyes to a truth about the past. It hurts.

In some ways I think I’m doing right, and in some ways I have hate in my heart. My life has been filled with pain, but it has also been filled with love. I was a promiscuous teenager and got pregnant when I was fifteen. I was four months pregnant when I decided to put my baby up for adoption. He was the most beautiful baby boy and perfect in every way. My baby turned eighteen years old last April. This is perhaps the hardest thing I've ever been through. Every time I see a teenage boy, I remind myself of that, because I chose to give him life … he is living. I stay in touch with the adoption agency, so they know how to find me should my son ever want my information. My case manager told me that oftentimes children who are adopted seek out their birth mother, and I pray this happens one day. God’s timing is perfect. I know this, and it’s a process of time and patience to gain back what I have lost and acknowledge what I have been through.

I know love. I know God is love and forgiveness, and this encourages me to share my story with others and be grateful for all I have. I’ve been blessed with the most selfless, loving, and generous husband, and we have a beautiful son together. I know now, I didn’t do anything to deserve all this happiness, but still, I am worth it. My mom always says, “God blessed the broken road," and this is true, because without Him I don’t know where I would be. The guilt you feel as an adult when looking back on your childhood is the hardest part to overcome.

Currently, I volunteer my time at a women's pregnancy clinic in Corpus Christi. I help others heal from a pain that no one but God can soothe, and this makes me feel better about myself, and that’s amazing. It's not often you find women who are empathetic, but working there was the best thing I ever did for me. While serving others I serve myself! I wanted to share my story with you and thank you for being so positive. You've encouraged me to be proud to be a survivor of sexual abuse suppression, and I can only imagine how many others you’ve encouraged.

Keep on keeping on! I hope to meet you one day. “Pray it out—Write it out—Speak it out!” #teamjustus

Angela- 35 years old

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