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A letter for men, from a sexually abused woman

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This is a letter to the men out there. Men in my past, men in my life now, and the men I’ll meet in the future.

My abuse does not define me. It took over a decade of silence for me to be honest with myself, and the world about being sexually abused. So please, please don’t think you’ve got me all figured out the second you find out about the trauma in my past. Even I am still trying to figure out what it means in my life, and I’m constantly learning how to heal and grow.

The worst thing you could do, is treat me differently. I am still the same girl you met, and developed a relationship with. I am not my trauma, please remember that.

I am capable of intimacy, love and trust. Of course, going through sexual trauma made relationships and trust very difficult (and nearly impossible) for many years, but every day I grow and every day I do better. I have loved, and I have been intimate and I have learned to trust. You can tread carefully if you need, but I’ll guide you through it. Just communicate with me, and we’ll be fine.

Don’t walk away because of my past. A fellow Victor told me that her husband left her when he found out she had been sexually abused, and that broke my heart. I sympathize with the fact that you may not understand the trauma I’ve been through, but you don’t have to. If I can stand up and be honest about it, and face everything that comes with that honesty, you can at least stand by me.

If you don’t know what to say, just don’t say anything. Just be with me. Letting my past mar your view of me, just gives more power to my abuser. I am strong, I am getting stronger, and I am still capable of love.

My trauma does not define me. I’m still me.

 

— Written by Amber Craig
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One Comment

  1. David Lucke / June 17, 2015

    Dear Amber,
    Thank you for bravely sharing your story. I am a heterosexual male sexually abused by a family member starting very young. It took me 40 years to break my silence and seek healing support.
    Your guidance and suggestion to men in your relationships and simply having communication show amazing healing work.
    Healing and the emotional awakening that is part of the journey is difficult, confusing, and trust is a hard one for me to get comfortable with. I have had no relationships for 10 years now as my trust issues have transferred to women.
    Your letter resonated in me that relationships, intimacy, and trust can be talked through and my “when I’m ready” date can take place anytime as my trauma does not define me as well and that I will have to take a chance and meet someone who will understand and support my healing as I would theirs.

    David Lucke

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