At age 17 I ran away from home. I ran from an environment that can only compare to a Hollywood Horror Film, a life of severe mental, physical and sexual abuse.
I kept secrets of the abuse my entire life and was contented to this, until meeting another survivor (from my past) in 2011. While talking I realized that he too had kept secrets of the abuse, and from the conversation I had 2 life-changing revelations.
1. As survivors we often struggle with shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, PTSD….as survivors we are more susceptible to heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases etc, and we struggle with all this as we SILENTLY protect the abusers. How wrong is this?
2. I also realized that I had to accept my past. It IS after all, the past and at this point there’s nothing that I can do or go back and undo, I cannot change or fix what happened…..I have to accept it, AND move forward knowing I can control today, and everyday forward.
With the help of a therapist and a wonderful support system I have been able to turn a very dreadful childhood into a positive. Since 2011 I have founded the Miles For Smiles Foundation and channeled my energies into supporting other survivors, raising awareness and I am now working on an educational tool aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse.