SURVIVOR ADVOCATE

Survivor Advocate - Share Your Story at American SPCC

SURVIVOR ADVOCATE

I am a survivor of physical, mental, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse that I endured for years, which started around the age of 11 or 12 years old. In my early beginnings in life, I lived with my great grandmother who was a Godly woman, loving, kind (most of the time), but in no way abusive towards my brother and I. She was strict when she needed to be but also showed us a lot of love so that was the only life we had.
We had a great childhood and anyone that knew me back then could tell you the same. We had a typical childhood, sleepovers, carnivals, fairs, was very active in the arts such as drama, writing, played in the band (various instruments), etc…a fairy-tale. Soon afterward, however, my great grandmother fell ill (which she was ill all along but as children, we didn’t realize how sick she was). She passed away in 1983. I was 13 at the time.

A couple of years before she passed, my mother came back in to my life and we’d moved away with her and with a stepfather that we quickly found we didn’t like at all. We barely knew our biological mother to begin with because she’d drifted in and out of our young lives so much, it was useless to get to know her back then. However, when she entered the picture again, she stayed.

This was the beginning of a horrific nightmare to say the least. I was not happy at all because at his hands, I became a victim of all kinds of abuse. Even worse, I had no one I could tell…who would listen to a kid when you have a smooth manipulator on your heels that everyone seemed to believe and listen to. I was up against more than a child could fight alone. And, yes, I was alone in this. Back then my mother seemed at that time to oblivious to what was really going on.

I suffered physical, mental, emotional, verbal, sexual, and even spiritual abuse…all at the hands of this one man for years. When I say spiritual abuse, I mean I couldn’t even openly read the Bible. I had to sneak to get the Word. That fact alone is what broke the small already weak connection between my mother and I. I had nothing that kept me connected to my source. There was no way I could possibly forgive her for letting this happen to me because what good I had left in me had long since left after the horrible ordeals I continuously went through. I felt beat down, dirty, used up, unworthy of anything, and really wanted to die. I have a brother and he suffered too…in other ways, but he suffered as well.

Years later, I have forgiven but not forgotten how it felt to be abused and feel helpless to do anything about it. It profoundly affected my life and changed the path that I now walk. Without going into a lot of sordid detail, please know that my life was a complete nightmare until I was able to get away. I am now 49 and able to openly share my story. I am in the process of writing my life story, I speak at events and do whatever I can to support other survivors. I am also in school to obtain my PhD., with my dissertation focusing on resilience as a benefit from coming up in a maltreated environment…(although earlier in my life, I was told I would amount to nothing and be nothing)…despite all the odds against me.

I beat those odds and am PERFECTLY preserved. I have been saved so that I can spread this message of deliverance, hope, and love to others that are or have endured the same or worse life than I had. So, I speak about this every chance that I get.

—Shawna
American ASPCC encourages you to Get Involved! Be a child advocate. Speak up, because a child can’t. Together, we can spread the word, break the silence, raise public awareness, and shine a light on the epidemic of child abuse, neglect, and bullying in America.

September 25, 2017

Help others by sharing your story of inspiration and hope.