Hi, my name is Elaine. I am honored to share my story with you. For many years this is something that I would not talk about, but I realized after years of suffering the aftereffects, I had to talk about it to release the burden from my shoulders. Today I share with the hopes of helping another. As a result of being sexual abused I experienced a very difficult period including drug addiction. Rather than being defeated, with the help of others, I turned my life around and have been a volunteer advocate for women and children. I founded Re – Creations Enter- prises, LLC with the mission of partnering with victims & survivors of sexual abuse as they make the journey towards healing and reclaiming the power that was stolen from them. I have written two plays about my experiences with sexual abuse —Raining Grace and Yet I Stand. My greatest achievement is my son whom I love and adore.
My teenage cousin who I was very close with, he was like my brother molested me when I was around 5 or 6 years old. I wish I could say that was the only time, but my grandfather who I know was a pedophile, molested me several times. I later learned that he did the same to other children. When I say “molested” I mean that they would touch me in private areas and make me touch them also.
When my grandmother learned, what my grandfather had done and she blamed me and I was never the same. I was so traumatized by her ugly, angry words that I and my view of the world completely changed. I became very quiet trying to will myself invisible and I was afraid of everything and everybody. Worst of all I hated myself. So, at 10 years old when I was raped by 3 guys in my neighbor- hood, I kept quiet about it.
The heavy weight of shame and guilt that I carried on my shoulders was too much and my way coping was over indulging in drugs and alcohol for many years. I was an addict I needed the drugs so I couldn’t feel the pain. After 10+ years of drug addiction, and self-degradation, 23 years ago I took the necessary steps, and did the required work to get clean and sober and with the help of re- hab and counseling thus began the process of healing from the abuse. It was a long and hard journey but so worth it and today I can say I was a victim but I am a survivor.
My Healing Journey
My healing journey included rehab, I had to get off the drugs first. Addicts that had been clean and sober for a number of years sponsored and mentored me, giving me hope for a better life. I came to believe that if they could do it so could I, and for the first time in a long time I wanted to live but not the way that I had been.
I sought counseling from professionals who helped me to understand myself bet- ter and taught me different methods of coping.
I grew spiritually and developed a relationship with God and Church and received overwhelming love. That love helped me to see that if God could love me then I must be worth something and I had to learn to love myself.
I have some very close family and friends who don’t judge me and are there for me always.
Then there is my son, his birth and his love empowered me like no other. I had to be there for him and I had to show him how to do this thing called life. I love him with my whole heart and soul and if I even think about feeling down, he lifts me up without saying a word.
Writing my plays and seeing them performed and how they affect others has helped me tremendously. Boldly putting my story out there, with no shame has probably been the most healing thing I’ve ever done.
“You didn’t tell anyone then, but now my darling take every chance you get to tell. That’s the best way to release the burden from you and put perpetrators on notice, NO MORE. Speak up and speak out now and forever.“
To My Younger Self
I am so sorry that you endured so much abuse and pain. You are loved, you are worthy and the things that happened to you were not your fault. You were a child that was victimized, especially by those that should have protected you.
The burden of guilt and shame you carried for much of your life was not yours to carry. Hurting yourself with drugs, alcohol and men who mistreated you, only gave those who hurt you more power.
I’m so happy you realized that and took your power back. You deserve the life and the freedom you have today.
You didn’t tell anyone then, but now my darling take every chance you get to tell. That’s the best way to release the burden from you and put perpetrators on notice, NO MORE. Speak up and speak out now and forever.