Understand the misunderstood. 

“Just get over it already!”

 “Let it go”

“You really need to move on” 

“How much attention do you need?”

“Why can’t you just BE HAPPY?”

There is nothing I wanted more for my children, my husband, my mother, my siblings, the friends I have today, as well as the friends that I have lost on this  journey then to just simply 

LET IT GO. How about not even having anything to let go at all???

But to those who have no real understanding of sexual trauma and abuse, (a.k.a. Didn’t happen to you) 

I needed to understand that I even  wanted happiness for myself. That I deserved to let it go for myself in order to move forward. That in doing this, it wasn’t saying it didn’t happen. That in doing this it wasn’t being selfish. That I could do it at all. 

As I write today, I know it’s possible. I’m currently living in a new world of growing self love, finding my peace and worth, as well as understanding who I am and where I came from. 

But for those of you preaching those words, it really is a little more complicated then Elsa’s beloved lyrics. 

I wanted to share a little insight on what I know on experiencing  trauma like this. Trauma at any age definitely affects us emotionally – we know this.  

Scars heal but never go away. 

Physically body scars change how we look right? Well if they are in the brain, how can you argue that emotional scars don’t change how you actually think? 

Here’s the real deal:

Trauma causes legit “Brain Damage” 

Trauma especially during childhood while your brain is growing, can rewire a persons thinking structure. 

Another words, in my case because the abuse started from such a young age I never looked at the world as my children do.

Ever. 

Only today am I understanding how different the world and people actually are.

Most people trust others if there isn’t a reason not to, but for 30+ years of MY life, my view has been someone must prove to be trustworthy and then will be allowed in. This is a HUGE struggle even today. It’s a continuous battle. Probably will always be. 

So the words to just “be happy”or “let it go” fuels ugly cycles in survivors like me. 

Let me explain: 

When you are a person that is already swallowed with secrets and shame, these words become the constant reminder that you will never be understood or belong.  Because honestly we see everything differently. I see everything differently. Period. 

When your identity is not rooted in  safety and truth, those words might as well be in another language. 

We don’t get it. We want it, but we can’t figure out a way to understand it and in the the cycle turns into a shame game. 

Here’s what I have learned today, I CAN let things go. It just takes me more time than others. 

I believe I have forgiven and let go of a lot and as much as possible at this point in my life. 

I’m here right? Writing this. 

 But I couldn’t for a really long time. I needed to believe and understand that my identity wasn’t what happens to me. That my identity wasn’t in what anyone thought of me. 

You see when you are abused like this, boundaries are not healthy nor understood. 

So in my case I had allowed who I was to be determined by everything happening and everyone around me. If something was bad, I was bad. If someone didn’t like me, I didn’t like me either. 

I never just understood, I have the power to believe I am worth it regardless. It’s like that piece of myself never grew. It was really crazy when it all clicked. I found my ruby slippers! 

Literally this just happened recently. 

As a person who has been looking in the mirror at herself for a really long time at all the ugly she has come from and in return created around herself because of not feeling heard, I know that WE MUST learn to let it go. 

We DESERVE to feel happiness. I deserve to like me and feel like I’m worth having relationships that are safe, loving, and let’s not forget ….fun.

But it took some real unconditional love from my husband, my children, and my mother to see it through with me.  

I needed to be held.

 I needed to scream and cry. I needed days to be quiet and be sad. 

I needed to say I was angry and that life wasn’t fair. I needed to pity myself. Not forever but for a time. 

I needed tons of grace and forgiveness for my lack of trust of good people and my actions to them because of it. Apologize and own it. Then move on whether they get it or not. 

I will be the first to admit, 

I have not been easy to love.  This process is terrible and unfair to all involved. 

But there comes a point when I had to choose to accept that life wasn’t fair and these were the cards dealt to me. 

I had to say I have the choice now. I’m not a victim anymore. I had to grow up. 

I have people in my life who not only love me, but they truly like me. 

They HEAR me and because I know this of them, I trust them, today I can let it go. 

The worst part of being a victim of sexual abuse and rape is the isolation you feel because of SHAME. 

Shame is the ugliest word in existence. It’s what the devil will try to use against me every day of my life. 

He’s losing though because his games are always the same. I’m smarter, I’m stronger, and I see it when it’s coming. I have a support system that I trust to share my struggles with and they are what have helped me let it go. 

If you are a person who struggles like I have, please know this. You need people. You cannot do this alone. Their are people who will go the distance with you. I will. 

Write me. 

If you happen to be someone who knows someone with struggles like mine, love them anyway. Know that it will be worth it. That this is a process. Don’t leave them. That’s what they expect. 

Help rewire what was damaged and be a part of their story that leads to victory. 

See this little girl??? That’s me! Just trying to play.. Like any other little girl. 

I know God didn’t put me on this earth to see his world that he created and had Jesus die for, to just hate and see as I had for so long. 

Amongst all the crazy turmoil in this world today, I can see God everywhere working. He uses people like me, the broken, the damaged, the misunderstood, the unfit, the crazy, the slutty, the tattooed, the try to hard people to change others. 

Because like that little girl in the picture, we didn’t start out this way. 

This is our journey, we can find our way back and to see even better. We will change the world. 

Chantel Ferraro