It’s not about you, them, or even me anymore.

It’s only been 4 actual blog posts since I launched My Heart Sees Hope and I have already gotten some raised eyebrows and fear expressed to me about writing on this very personal subject publicly. 
I want to clarify a couple of reasons why I would choose to share my story at all. 

Reason 1. “We are only as sick as our secrets.”

If you were to ask me about my childhood 10 years ago, I would probably tell you that I grew up in the city of Chicago. That I have 2 siblings. That I attended a Catholic Grammar School K-8. That I moved to the suburbs in my sophomore year of high school. That I became pregnant at 19, a wife by 20 and that my parents were divorced shortly after I had my oldest son. Period.
End of story. 

I would have never believed that I would one day have courage to ever come forward to admit that as a young child, I was sexually abused from the ages of 5-11 by 3 separate people. That at 13 years of age, I was raped in the basement of my house by a 17 year old boy. 
It’s not comfortable to be this open and vulnerable. But it’s even worse to feel as if this part of my history, something that is a part of who I am, should be forever smothered with avoidance. 
My story today is not for anyone to pity me. There was a time a few years ago when I was in the really raw part of my healing process and hurting extremely bad and I needed people to feel sorry for me. I dwelled in it for a period of time. I’m not happy with that part and time in my life, but it was all part of the grieving process. The moment when I came to terms with the answer to the question… How did I become so broken?

 I lost many friends then. Some because they didn’t understand me, but most because I pushed them away. 

My story today is to take back my life. Take back my story from the perpetrators that stole parts of who I was and to find my true purpose in the world as a survivor of this. 

Because whether you want to hear this or not, I will never be able to forget this. 

It will never go away.  

But I can take what was once sadness and confusion, I can change what once was shame, and turn it into good. So to those asking why…this is why. 

I really want to help others like me. Period. I don’t know exactly how I will yet, but I have a really good idea that it starts with the words … “me too”. 
We need to know we can share our stories and that there are places to be encouraged, safe, and understood. I made the mistake these past few years sharing my story to the wrong people. It has been terribly retriggering and it caused me to retract into my shell for a bit. It’s a story I will write more about later and an important lesson in my journey into to healing and recovery. 

My Heart Sees Hope was born out of that one really difficult lesson. That’s my motivation and mission. 

I will not be ashamed. 

There are people who really don’t get it. They really don’t care, and you or I can never make them. But on the flip side, I do care. Many people do get it and we can ban together and be a tribe of our own. 

Reason #2 
“To educate the ignorant.”

The biggest problem with the world and these issues is the shame that surrounds it. Nobody wants to talk about it because it’s … icky. It is. But to those who know someone or are actually related to someone who has been a victim of this – if you truly care about them, then you need to understand how this affects a person. I’m not everyone. My story is only my story. However, every single group I have attended, every recovery blog I have read, and every person I have met that has experienced this type of trauma, have experienced the same exact struggles and effects I have. 

So who knows?!? My story may help you understand a friend or a relative a little bit better. 

Reason #3 GOD

Throughout my life God has been a pivotal force in my existence. Throughout my years of therapy, I have been told by more than one doctor that people have committed suicide for much less than I have experienced. I’m going to tell you what, I would NOT be here right now with out my relationship with GOD. 

My journey as a Christian has not been smooth, or easy. It’s not been always positive either. People can suck whether they attend church or don’t. However, I know they are not GOD. They are flawed broken people like me. Hurt people – Hurt people. I am grateful for my volatile faith journey because it tested me and my faith today is stronger than ever. I cannot say enough about how GOD heals. 

This parable below says a lot about why… 

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Matthew 13: 4-9

You see I don’t know who my story will reach. I just am trusting that GOD who strengthens me to do this, knows my heart is good in this, will have it fall on the right ears and one day will help. 
Because it’s not about the people who did these things to me anymore. It’s not about the people who weren’t there. 
It’s not about me anymore either. 

It’s about HOPE for the broken and living in the light. 

Chantel Ferraro