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My throat felt dry after continually repeating the word "no." I finally felt my heart sink and my soul diminish. For what had happened wasn't something I could just take back. Even though I wished so badly I could.

I felt as If I was no longer me. I was some girl that had to block out every memory so that she could survive. People became hard to trust, and friends became hard to make. I became an introvert. My parents and family quickly realized something was wrong, but no one questioned exactly what it was.

It wasn't until a year and a half of marriage and tainted views of marital relations being wrong, that I finally opened up. I admitted to my family and finally to myself that I had been sexually abused. I was so ashamed of it. I felt stupid and I felt as if it were my fault.

I've come to realize that it wasn't and that there is hope for not only me, but everyone that's been sexually abused. I felt comfort in the fact that I have a loving family and husband who I can trust and be open with. I know that this isn't the case for everyone and I feel so fortunate and grateful that I have that.

Being open was the only way I was able to finally survive and be me again. The difficult nature that comes with being open about things, especially about sexually abuse, is something that's so twisted within our society—even though being open is one of the key parts to surviving.

I promise there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope. There is help.

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