Adiemus by Enya & Enigma

***T*** Be safe
My name is Whitedove and I was sexually abused by my father for six years.

Though this is a simple sentence, for me, it has basically ruled my life since I was around 11 years old. I also have three elder sisters who were abused by him as well as a childhood friend.

I started dealing with the abuse in 1998, when I went to a counselor for what I deemed at the time as relationship issues with my then boyfriend, and I started to want to deal with why I was so unhappy and depressed. I attended this counselor for a number of years, weekly at times, monthly at others, to help me through. It was tough work, very emotionally draining and at times extremely frightening, I continued to seek help in whatever way I could.

I joined an abuse group in 2000 where I was helped out by other women in similar situations to my own. It was through lots of counseling, helping hands from my husband and counselor and friends, that I was able to confront my father in 2000. It was a difficult time, and very daunting, but I could not continue on with the fallacies and lies that they were feeding me.

The confrontation was awful, but I gained a sense of purpose and understanding from it. I realized that I was not at fault and that I could speak up and confront the person who I had feared for all those years. I no longer have a relationship with either my mother or my father, they are both still alive, and my mother still lives with him, even though he admits he abused three of his daughters.

My other two sisters are in denial, and it makes it hard. I have had to step in twice now when their children have been put in harms way. I do not want to risk other children being harmed by this man. Unfortunately my sisters do not agree with my stance and are still visiting the abuser. I hope one day that they can realize what has happened, and to begin to heal from our childhood.

It has come to the point now where I have lost all of my immediate family, because I find it too difficult to visit them, knowing that there is this between us all, and nothing is said. I feel like I have to live a lie when I am around them. I have sought out other relationships where I feel I can be supported and understood.

When I first started dealing with the abuse, I did not know what it had done to me emotionally, and it was not until I examined my life and my childhood that I started to realize that my childhood was not “normal." At the time, I felt completely alone with this issue, thought that only I had been abused in the family and felt that I was completely at fault, somehow explaining to myself that the abuse “did not really matter” in the whole scheme of things.
How wrong I was. I had extremely low self esteem, constantly blamed myself and degraded myself, had suicidal thoughts, fought boughts of depression, shaking and anxiety, sickness and migraines. It was not until I started to deal with the abuse issue, that I realized how it had effected me.

I now live a completely different life. I am generally happier and calmer and have more of an understanding of who I am, and where I have come from. I recommend to anyone who is considering counseling for this issue to stick with it, read books, listen to yourself, talk to people who you can trust and know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."
~ Maya Angelou
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