We all have moments of self doubt, it makes us human and shows we have feelings. We can’t always be awesome, although I am sure like most people, I give it a good shot at feeling awesome most of the time, and if I am not, I voice it pretty fast with my closest friends. It offloads that heavy feeling, and especially helps when you get the response that they too feel like you do sometimes. It isn’t because I had the life I had.
The other day I shared the image above of me as child on Instagram. I wrote the words below…
‘See the little girl in the yellow skivvy, she’s me. I wasn’t funny looking, I wasn’t different to any other child; I was just like any other child. It wouldn’t even matter if I was different, it wouldn’t matter if I looked funny, I was a child, an innocent child. It’s never ok to abuse a child. I know I’ve been brave speaking out about my past, there’s so much I haven’t shared and a lot that scares me. I have old diary entries that I find hard to read. They were pulled out for the ABC news interview. The way I hated myself, the way I didn’t think I was worth anything, or worth living in this world is heartbreaking. It’s incredibly uplifting to know that I’ve more than survived, and it’s all from my own personal strength to help others and make a difference. To share parts of my story over and over again is incredible, and it’s empowering to know that me being who I am helps so many people. I’ve decided to share some of these diary entries, and I will let you know when I do. I just need to be careful with what I share and how I share them, as it takes a lot to not feel judged about who I was. I know it was not my fault that he hurt me and I felt the way I did. Sometimes I believe it was my fault and those times suck….But look back at the image, look at the little girl in the cool yellow skivvy; pretty sure she didn’t ask to be abused by her father. Be Brave. ‘
Firstly I am going to say I wish I was normal, and I also wish I knew what normal was. Because we all strive to be that person, when really I think being me is the best person I can be. So what if I have insecurities, that I am afraid of the dark and the boogie man. I know they are small parts of what makes me the person I am, and I know those close to me think I am pretty awesome just the way I am. The other week I was interviewed by ABC news with a follow up story to the ride I did at the end of March to Parliament House in Canberra. It was a great interview. I felt I didn’t say enough, always feel like that being put on the spot! I had old diary entries that I had to flick through and they zoomed in on some of the words I wrote. I had to tell the camera man to not go much further down the page. It wouldn’t have been appropriate for viewers eyes, and I was also protecting myself from him reading the words I wrote back then. I would hate, (and I say hate in the full meaning of the word), for him to judge me, walk away and turn to the journalist and say I wasn’t worthy of an interview.
Shit isn’t it. That I felt like that. I felt like I was going to be judged for something that was never my fault. That I never asked for. And they were there in my home to support me, and to help push for more with the story; my story.
I am strong, (sometimes weak), courageous to stand up like I have for child abuse awareness and to continue to fight for more change. Back when I wrote these diary entries, I was also strong. You might think when I wrote things like;
‘I did this because it was just too hard. Being happy on the outside is fine for those around me, but inside I am hurting and maybe I was trying to get the pain out or I was punishing myself.’ – I had thrown up all of my Christmas lunch
‘Today I tried to find the best pole or tree to run into’
that I wasn’t strong. However if you look at some of the other lines,
‘ I really need to take him to court. I can’t keep on going on like I am. I am afraid of the dark, afraid of what’s around the corner, afraid of men when they get angry. Basically I am constantly scared. I need to go back to counseling so I can put this bastard away.’
and you see beyond your screen, there is a woman still standing tall on the other side being braver than ever.
Sadly it isn’t always great for survivors of abuse, and they turn to drugs, self harm and they continue to punish themselves for something that they did not ask for. I still struggle with anger in men, and trusting men. I wanted to share a small amount of how I felt back then. I wanted to put it out there so you can see that even the strong, brave woman you have gotten to know over the years was incredibly broken from child sexual assault. There are quite a lot of lines I couldn’t share. They scare me, and I lived it. To read how broken I was is heartbreaking, however to know I am here today doing what I am doing is unbelievable and an amazing reflection of the incredible person I have built myself up to being. I also needed to share this post for me too, because I needed to write it all out, so the words I saw, and read don’t hurt me anymore. To take that weight off me, to continue to feel normal, and to be this brave beautiful woman that I have grown into being.
And to continue this journey to make change.
Be Brave. H