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Stories of Strength

Sexual Assault Survivor Shares Her Moving Story

June of 2012, I was the victim of a sexual assault. I was raped. I immediately began individual therapy for several months. After some time, I could no longer deny my feelings of being alone in my struggle. I felt that I really needed to meet other women that had been assaulted and had a similar experience. I had come to realize that it is not always easy to talk with family and friends about such an emotional situation. In my case, I felt that I did not want my family to worry and would rather keep my feelings and pain inside. This is not a direction toward healing. I decided to find a place that offered group therapy. I discovered Center for Community Solutions and made the decision to call.

The first meeting I attended was the hardest. I honestly never wanted to quit something as much as I wanted to quit the group. It was hard to relive the assault and to face my pain again. I was afraid that I was not emotionally strong enough. It was both hard and a relief to know that other women carried a very similar pain. It was hard to come to the realization that we are forced to protect ourselves from each other when believe we are here to help each other in life. Deep down, I knew I needed this group and the next week I decided to return. I was able to process these feelings with the group and the facilitators.

I recently completed my first group therapy of ten weeks. When I look back, I see how confused my thoughts were and my feelings did not have a peaceful place of their own. It has been though each meeting, each hour that my life began to come back into focus. Slowly, the shame and guilt I felt became something I could face and finally understand. I was allowed to be angry. I no longer feel the assault was my fault and there is no shame in needing help. The therapists guided the group to bring out deep buried feelings and make sense of them. I learned tremendously from the other women. I feel we were able to guide each other and in this process, heal ourselves.

June of 2002 I was raped. This does not define who I am. I know that I am able to continue leading the life I was meant to live. I have found a safe place for my pain and I feel I am honoring my pain by doing this. I have a healthy balance in my life; the rape no longer has the power to consume my life. I am extremely grateful for Center for Community Solutions for the time they gave to help other survivors and myself. I am also very thankful to the other women in my group. The world is beautiful in so many amazing ways.

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