Saturday, February 06, 2010

You Are Not Alone, Megan's Story (Blog-a-thon Post 5)

Dear Survivor,

I want you to know you are not alone. Here's what I have to say:

I am survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I was raped at the age of 18. I started my healing journey at 17 years of age, but I didn't actually tell anyone in my family about my abuse until I was 19 years old. I have been hospitalized twice for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety, and I have been treated in crisis centers so many times I've literally lost count. I roamed around for years, looking for help in so many different places, but it seemed as though things never changed no matter how hard I tried...

In March of 2009, at age 31, I was treated at a local crisis unit because I had a huge setback that ended up throwing me into "panic mode" all over again. While I was in treatment, a therapist named Ken took the time to teach me how to face the feelings I'd been burying my whole life. I left that crisis unit with a new lease on life. I followed up with traditional talk therapy on a regular basis. I poured over books and found resources to help me along the way of my healing journey. Then, in September of 2009, Mackenzie Phillips appeared on Oprah. Though Mackenzie's story is almost nothing like mine, I felt a camaraderie with her. We were both survivors of unspeakable things. I was not alone in my suffering!

When Mackenzie spoke about her traumatic experiences, I was inspired to reach out to try to support her. I started a group on facebook stating my support for her. In doing so, I became part of a network of survivors and supportive people who changed my life. Learning that I am not alone is what sparked me to begin reaching out to survivors everywhere. Finding the Angela Shelton Foundation is what fanned the spark into a full-blown flame. I now run an online support group thanks to Mackenzie Phillips and the Angela Shelton Foundation. I am helping other survivors heal!

There is a ripple effect that happens when you support a survivor. When you help a survivor find hope, you help them heal. Many survivors heal and then go on to help other survivors find the support they so desperately need. In the next several entries, I want to introduce you to some people who have found hope through the ripple effect... People who have been reached because of what the Angela Shelton Foundation has done for me. Angela Shelton's "ripple" moved me (and many others).

Stay tuned to meet some of the people my "ripple" has moved...

Watch the live UStream broadcast of this blog-a-thon by clicking here.

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