International Women’s Day is everyday…says this survivor.

Being an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape at 14. I lived most of my life in a fragmented mindset, pieces of my identity hidden behind the shadow of what I only allowed others to see. The secrets were suppressed and the key to that pain was locked away.

The bondage placed upon my life at the early age of 4, was meant to be a death sentence of everything good that my Mother and Grandmother stood for and the love they so lovingly wrapped me in, was now blemished. The curse had been passed down through generations and as much as they tried to protect me from abuse, I experienced this unmentionable pain in the hands of people they trusted.

Years of flashback and triggers haunted me as I covered up the pain through perfectionism, people pleasing, an eating disorder and many other coping mechanisms. Trauma after trauma tried to keep my mind in a self-denial pit of defeat. Blurring my decision making and accepting unhealthy boundaries.

On the outside I appeared to have it ALL together, picture perfect is what some would say. But, on the inside I felt scarred, damaged, worthless, unloveable and broken.

I was lost.

When I chose to face the truth and feel the pain, it was excruciating, literally debilitating and heart wrenching.

I wanted to put it all back in the pretty little box that I secretly kept hidden in the crevices of my heart.

But I couldn’t…the truth was exposed and I had to make a decision, either I was gonna fold or I was gonna fight…and I chose to fight for my freedom.

What does fighting for my freedom look like?

Everyday making a decision to do the next right thing…..in spite of depression, anxiety, ptsd, wanting to isolate, low self esteem, doubt, fear or self sabotage.

The next right thing looks

like…..accountability, intensive therapy, an eating disorder program, Celebrate Recovery: 12-step Christ centered recovery program, reaching out to others who I trust when I need support or a listening ear, prayer…lot’s of prayer, self-care, journaling, spending time with my husband, kids, granddaughter and our dog, walking preferably near salt water with the beach under my feet, fresh air, essential oils, laughter, whole food, supplements, chocolate, reading, drinking water, sipping my cup of coffee in a pretty mug, finding joy and gratitude daily…even when it’s hard and learning to love, accept love and give love.

Above all else, my relationship with God through his son Jesus is how I am learning to view myself through His Word, promises and truth. I am healing.

These are some of the tools, resources and support I have used and some I am still using to help me walk in my freedom.

Everyday I celebrate “international women’s day” as I cheer on other women who are locking arms with others who are overcoming tremendous battles (some in which others may never know about) and are taking one step at a time to courageously become liberated from what tried to destroy her.

My name is denise marie and

I AM no longer held captive…by my childhood secrets, I AM free.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

I was attacked

at the very core

of my being and

was told to end it.

That I was not going to

live past the depression,

the anxiety and the tremendous

amount of pain.

The lies, and self hatred

tried to overshadow every ounce

of hope and faith

I previously held onto.

Even though I walk through the

darkest valley…

Fragmented pieces of the

memories came flashing

back as I tried to piece them

together and make sense

of the realization that these

were not nightmares but

factual suppressed recollections.

I will fear no evil…for you are with me….

It was too much!

I felt as if I was literally being

ripped from the inside out.

Every part of my body ached

as I exposed the truth and

walked through the dark

murkiness of my past.

You protect and guide me,

and I find comfort as you console me…

In my despair,

I wept, as I released the pain.

You are repairing all the damage

that was done to me,

and restoring the deepest,

most real part of me.

Lord, my strength and hope, comes from you.

(*Psalm 23)

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

Words that are silenced are lethal….

Words that are silenced, are lethal secrets to destroy your soul. Speak your truth.

Many times it’s hard to remember the exact details of all the great memories that my Mom and I shared in my childhood. The confusion and pain of being sexually abused as a child, tried to overshadow the good times.

For so many years, I was afraid to tell anyone because I thought that they wouldn’t believe me. I blamed myself and carried the shame of those secrets.

When I was 40 years old, I told my Mom that I had been molested & raped as a teenager…and she believed me. She then asked me to forgive her for not protecting me.

I fell to the ground, as I weeped and screamed from the depths of my soul, every ounce of pain that had been confined was being released, as she quietly and lovingly held me.

She then, told me that she too was sexually abused as a child. This moment, yet painful was the beginning of much healing in our relationship.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

Not believing the hype of wearing an “S” on my chest..

superwoman-blog-illustration

Like many of you Mom’s out there,

At times, I struggle with balancing life’s demands.

Tackling multiple projects at home and work, juggling hectic schedules and commitments..trying to meet the needs of my children, husband, friends and extended family.

Proudly announcing to whoever will listen, that I AM WOMAN!

Running around, pounding the “S” on my chest, with my eyes bugged out, looking less like the sexy SuperWoman, but more like a frazzled, stressed out Mama in need of a pedicure.

While listening way too much to the little voice that whispers..your never going to be good enough.. therefore..keeping me trapped in the lie of never measuring up to the woman, that I have put on that unrealistic platform of perfection.

Ouch..it hurts to read those words. You see…as easy as it is to place the blame on someone else, I had to admit, that I choose to live this way.

You see, from the time I was a little girl, I had this overwhelming need to be needed.

So as an adult, I had to stop and recognize the unhealthy behavior that continues to try to hinder my healing.

Today, I am believeing that my value and worth is based on WHO I AM and not because of what I can do. 

~ xoxo Denise

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Please join me in sharing the following video. Social network has a way of spreading information out quickly, please reblog, post, tweet, facebook, email, etc! Thank you ahead of time for doing YOUR part in bringing Awareness to END Childhood Sexual Abuse.
~ Denise ~ No Longer Held Captive..By My Childhood Secrets

No longer held captive

~By breaking my silence, I am no longer giving power to the pain~

Today, I want to encourage you to break your silence and declare that you

Are No Longer Held Captive..By Your Childhood Secrets..

May your temporary sorrow, lead you to Triumphant Victory ~ Denise

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No longer held captive..

~By breaking my silence, I am no longer giving power to the pain~

Today, I want to encourage you to break your silence and declare that you

Are No Longer Held Captive..By Your Childhood Secrets..

May your temporary sorrow, lead you to Triumphant Victory ~ Denise

Oh..the tangled web we weave..

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” ~ Sir Walter Scott

Children are most likely to be sexually abused by someone they know and trust…

This statement rings true in my own life. You see, I was molested by people who were closely involved in my life. There were no initial red flags saying “danger”.  I was taught to fear strangers, you know, to be afraid of the scary looking bad guy who might try to snatch me on the way to school. But I was not taught to be afraid of my childcare center teachers who required me and the other kids to remove our clothes, to take a nap. Or to be afraid of my friend’s relative who sneaked into the bedroom at night to fondle me. Or to be afraid of my babysitter’s daughter who would molest me in her closet. In each of these incidents, I was a little girl who had no reason to fear these trusted authority figures… until they touched me. My life went from normal to out of control. I did not feel safe in my own body. I no longer believed that I could be loved. I no longer looked to adults as a safe haven. Every relationship’s motive was questioned. I became withdrawn, would stop eating and would be called “bratty”. I went from the bubbly little girl, to a little girl who just didn’t know where she fit in.

The deceit was presented to me little by little, laced in a pretty little box full of “good” things. When I was showered with love, attention and kindess, it gave me every reason to trust them. The powerful tools of deception forced me to keep the secret hidden.

The weight of this bondage was tremendous but once I was able to reveal the TRUTH, than, I was able to walk in the direction of healing and restoration.

Believing the truth…first starts with admitting the truth.

It took me 40 years to share my childhood sexual abuse and rape story, and on April 5, 2012, it was the beginning of my NEW Story.