When I was five, I was sexually abused for the first time by a family friend that used to babysit us

“I was adopted as a baby into a wonderful family. I don’t have any memories of my birth mother or of the circumstances surrounding my adoption. But I know she wished for a happy life for me, and for the most part, I did. When I was five, I was sexually abused for the first time by a family friend that used to babysit us. I didn’t know it was wrong; I thought it was a part of life everyone went through. It continued for the next ten years. He told me it was our secret, that no one could know, and no one would believe me anyway. I thought that was the truth. When I was twelve and getting ready to leave primary school, we had ‘the talk.’ The talk that everyone found hilarious and embarrassing and awkward. Everyone except me. It took me a long time to accept my reality and understand what actually happened. He stole my innocence, my trust and my peace, but I will not allow it to take my future. It broke me, and I still struggle to accept myself, but I try to be brave. I recently had a letter from my birth mother and the first thing she said was that she had waited twenty-five years to hear my words and that she hoped with all her heart that I was happy. She said it would mean she could finally be proud of the decision she made all those years ago. The torment of wanting her to be at peace with her decision, mixed with the reality of knowing the horrific abuse I suffered has meant I really didn’t know what to say to her.”

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