I am a writer, social worker, and survivor of childhood sexual abuse. When I first disclosed to family members that my brother had sexually abused me, I thought everything would change. I assumed they would share my desire to examine what had gone wrong and pursue a path toward healing together. Instead, their behavior made me feel as though the abuse didn’t matter. Even though they believed me, they seemed determined to brush my trauma under the rug. Over time, I came to realize they viewed me as the problem for focusing on the abuse, rather than the brother who abused me.
I was blindsided. Feeling more confused and alone than ever, I searched for resources to help, but found little information to explain what was happening to me.
Essentially, I lost my family. But I never lost myself. Throughout the journey, I made healing from the abuse and my family’s subsequent treatment a priority. With the support of two gifted therapists, a support group, my dear circle of devoted friends, and most of all the love of my husband and children, I put the pieces of my broken self back together and built a rewarding life.
I have made it my mission to examine and communicate about family responses to the disclosure of child sexual abuse. Today, I am driven to apply the lessons I’ve learned to provide comfort, information, and support to others. I created The Second Wound to offer my fellow survivors the help and understanding that I desperately searched for all those years ago. Through their messages and emails, and the countless contributions of the brave, compassionate members of our online support group, I have learned far more about this topic than I knew firsthand.
The Second Wound is for all survivors who have been hurt by their families’ responses to abuse or assault, and need to know they are not alone.