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Healing from Child Sex Abuse

It took me 42 years to finally tell someone that I had been sexually abused as a child starting from the age of 5. That’s a long time to carry a secret. More than that – it is a long time to move through life not truly living. Hiding so much of yourself. Coping through drug use. Suffering from panic disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts. Dropping out of school. Being re-victimized and never feeling worthy. Thinking that you are the only one…the only person who feels such shame. That was my reality and on December 13, 2005  I broke that silence and began the journey to wellness.

Since disclosure I have moved forward and turned my pain into something valuable and healing. Starting Voice Found has been a labour of love and has helped in my healing so very much. One of the most significant things I discovered on this journey is the importance of knowing that I am not alone. That I am not the only person who has woken in fear during the middle of the night certain that ‘he’ was there. That I am not the only one who can’t walk alone in the woods or enjoy a simple sunny afternoon in a meadow. That dental appointments are like facing the gallows or that a certain smell or touch can bring me back to that 5 year old child who does not understand what is happening. Learning that what happened to me at such a young age was the reason my life felt so out of control was a gift. Finally things made sense.

That conversation – that understanding – that voice where there was once silence – it is so powerful when shared. 

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Lauriane – a vibrant young woman from France who now calls Canada home. She shared with me her story and told me of her plan to bike across Canada as part of her healing journey. BIKE. ACROSS. CANADA!!!!!!??????  She wanted to get people talking about child sex abuse as she felt that it was still so shrouded in silence and that there was so much more support needed for survivors. I wholeheartedly agreed. Her idea was to get survivors talking about ways they heal and to shed light on organizations across Canada that provide help to survivors. For her, biking and physical activity is healing.  And so when she said she wanted to do this ride from Vancouver to Ottawa THIS SUMMER and would I support her- how could I say no?

This is Lauriane’s journey. We are providing moral support, encouragement and through the power of social media want to help connect her to as many survivors and organizations as possible along the way. Her website is live and through GPS and social media you will be able to follow her journey. We would love to see you bike a few kilometers with her, cheer her on and share your stories of healing. And, if you are so inspired, we have been selected as her charity of choice. Funds raised will help us in our mission of preventing child sex abuse and commercial sexual exploitation.

I will be at the starting line on July 4th! If you are in Vancouver (Third Beach in Stanley Park to be exact) – the ride starts at 10:00 AM local time.

Time to ‘Break The Chain’.

Cynthia – Founder and CEO of Voice Found

 

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