How I journeyed beyond childhood abuse

Originally appeared on

There was a time when I didn’t think I could make it. Seven years of childhood sexual abuse had carved an apparently indelible scar on my being.

On the surface, I probably looked as though I were in control, but inside, I was a wreck. In some ways, I'd made progress—I’d finished high school and college, gotten married and found meaningful employment. But too often I made it from day to day simply by forcing myself to fulfill my responsibilities. My marriage was struggling and I was unhappy at home. And, I thought a lot about suicide during this time.

I was in a mental prison, trapped behind the bars of the past. The abuse had happened years ago, but into my 30s, I was still struggling. I kept a journal and read self-help books, but while they gave me an emotional outlet, they didn’t provide lasting solutions.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.