To the outside, I looked like a typical American housewife. I held down two jobs, married and had two beautiful children. I was known for my fun loving personality. I was able to be the children’s pastor of my church for 11 years. I was on the PTA and helped my husband coach my daughter’s soccer team. Somehow, I was able to summon strength to hide the horriﬁc sexual, verbal, and physical abuse I sustained as a child. This pretense, I was so good at.
I needed nine surgeries to correct the damage that was done to me. No one in my family believed me. I was all alone until I was able to start my own family. Still, somehow, I was able to hold things together. That is until my father, my abuser, died. My father was
an alcoholic. He was ruthless and sadistic in his sexual abuse. He also beat my mother and my siblings.
After my father died, I started to spiral down a slippery slope. I was no longer able to “pretend” everything was all right. I was suicidal, and the ﬂashbacks were horriﬁc. I knew I desperately needed help. I looked online for any programs that might be out there for help. I found the Susan B. Anthony Project. I was very scared to make the ﬁrst call. I met with Laura Beeman. She is incredible. She just listened and let me tell my story at my own pace. I felt safe, and she was the ﬁrst person I really trusted to help me ﬁnd peace. This was the start of a long journey. She offered services like counseling and support groups. There were some dark times. Laura was there to drive me to the hospital. She always went above and beyond to answer calls after hours or to visit me at the hospital.
I wish I could say everything was wonderful from then on...
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