When I first remembered that I had been raped, I told a few people that I had met online through the Law and Order: SVU fandom. That was when I first found my voice.
I later told a few people in real life. My therapist, a co-worker and a few others. I must say I received a lot of support and I started my healing journey.
However, now in hindsight, I realize that that journey was put on hold, even backtracked when I found myself in an abusive volunteer position.
I had contact with an advocate from The Family Center from when I had done a radio interview. A few months after I found the strength to get out of the abusive/toxic relationship I had found myself trapped in. I had received an e-mail from my advocate contact at the Center. It came at just the right time. I had felt so alone, so broken, so damaged. I found the courage to speak up.
I’ve received a lot of support in my life, especially the past 5 years, but I must say, when I got in contact with The Family Center and started to receive their support is when I really started to heal and be able to help others heal as well.
The advocates at The Family Center, I have found, go out of their way to help survivors. In the past year they have made it possible for me to attend their support groups over the phone (and several times in person) as it’s too far from where I live to walk or take public transit (I have no drivers license), they have readily been available through e-mail or the phone to help talk me through things. But, I’ve got to say, the thing that was most healing for me was having my advocate come with me to my doctor’s appointment. For the first time since I remembered my abuse, I was able to get through the appointment without a break down. Just being there meant all the world to me.
I’ve come a long ways, and I’ve gotta say The Family Center has played a big part in that and I will always support them.
And in the words of Olivia Benson (my hero from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit)
“You know what I’ve seen? Is that people who have gone through unfair, horrific experiences, is that they have this will, and when they get support, a chance, they can not only survive, they can thrive.” Olivia Benson