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MY STORY EX-POSED - RELATIONSHIPS

By Erika

In my previous blog, I shared that I was sexually abused as a child. I had buried the pain for years until I decided that I was sick and tired of being sick and tried so I decided to take steps towards healing. Through counseling, supportive family and friends, I was able to address issues where I did not think healing was possible. Over the next couple of weeks, I will share the impact it had on me in certain areas of my life. Today, I’m going to share how it impacted relationships that I had with family, friends, and in previous dating relationships. As you read this, keep in mind that everyone’s story is different, the impact is different, and how each person heals is different.

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There are several areas that I struggled with but the two I am going to blog about today are trust and self-worth. I went into most relationships with the expectation that I would not be able to trust the individual. It was nothing they had done but it was the way I thought was safe and best for me. I often thought if I go into it not trusting the individual then when I was disappointed about something they had done, then it would not hurt as much. You see, it was my way of trying to prevent myself from reliving the pain that was once caused by the person that abused me. It just seemed to be a natural instinct for me to approach every interpersonal relationship with caution. By doing that, I was blocking others and not allowing myself or the other person to experience an authentic relationship. I had to be intentional about working on this. I was success at times and sometimes I didn’t master the art of an open heart but I never stopped trying. I am so grateful for the wonderful relationships I have and those that were restored. The reality is there are some people that may do something to make you question if you can trust them but there are more people that are trustworthy and genuinely wants what’s best for you.

Self-worth was something that I internally struggled with but I’m sure others were able to detect it. I knew how to dress up on the outside but internally I struggled with believing I was valuable and worthy to be loved. Being violated and my need for safety being ignored caused me to believe that my needs did not matter and I learn to put other people’s needs above my own. I applied this principle to most relationships so I found myself conforming to what others thought was best and relied heavily on what others thought of me. When I look back, I’m not sure how I managed to live that way for so many years. Can you imagine? I mean, trying to please everyone! There’s no way. There were so many times at the end of the day I was exhausted mentally and physically. The healing journey is a process so things do not magically change overnight. It requires practice and repetition. There are times the question of my self-worth surfaces when major events happen in my life. Now, I know truth and I remind myself of that. I am worth it, I am loved, and I am enough!

This is part of my story and some of you may be able to relate to it. I’m in your corner cheering you on as we’re on our journey. For those of you that cannot understand, we need you! We need you to remind us at times that we’re enough and worth it. For those of you who struggle with trusting and your self-worth. Many of us understand more than you know. Don’t be afraid to share how you feel with a trusted loved one or a licensed counselor. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel after sharing your thoughts with someone else.

I hope my story encourages someone to never lose hope and to know that healing is possible. I’m so thankful for those of you who support our blog, like or page, or share our stories with others. The statics are 1:4 girls and 1:6 boys so I guarantee your willingness to share is impacting your circle of family and friends.

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