I've always been someone that kept to herself, so when I was sexually abused as a child, I kept it to myself and tried to pretend it didn't happen so that nobody would find out. The abuse happened multiple times and of course that was confusing, frustrating and extremely hard for a little girl to go through. I didn't completely understand the severity of what was happening until it stopped, to this day it has shaped me as a person; the good and the bad. I started becoming suicidal not long after that, I noticed people around me were self harming in order to cope with what they were going through and I thought that it would help me get through the thoughts I was having. I never told my family that I was struggling that much, someone from my high school had called my mom one day at work and told her that I had cuts on my arms and that's when she found out. I used to cut on my lower stomach, hips, sides and places that nobody would see.
In my first year of college I was sexually and physically assaulted and being me, I naturally blamed myself and didn't want to involve police or anyone. I told my close friends what happened and I thought that would be enough, I tried to stay in school because I didn't want it to affect my life but it was too overwhelming for me and it was hard to admit that. I fell into deep depression, worse than it had ever been before and without the help of my incredible friends I'm not sure I would be writing this today.
I am hoping to become a patient advocate for sexual assault victims to ensure they know that they're not alone and they do have a voice, it is something I am very passionate about and I will never stop talking about my abuse and assault because if it helps one victim understand that they can get through it, then I will have achieved my goal. I still struggle with anxiety, depression and flashbacks but I am extremely grateful for this campaign, friends and family that are helping me through every step.