trauma

‘I stumbled on my dad’s porn. The girl was young, like me. In shock, I watched the man on TV do the things that happened to me.’: Child sexual abuse survivor says there’s always ‘light waiting to wrap you up’

“My dad went downstairs to get ready for work. When he didn’t come up, we figured he was asleep. At 9 a.m. my mom’s screams pierced every cell in my body. I turned the corner and saw his body. He was exposed, sitting in his chair in front of naked women running across TV, his lifeless eyes staring at the ground. ‘How could you die like this, dad?’ I tied his robe closed, called 911, and ran outside. My hero was not who I thought he was.”

‘I broke things off with my husband. It was a shock to my family. I hid my unhappiness well. Then I met Sean.’: Teen bride finds ‘unconditional love’ after realizing she didn’t want to be ‘pastor’s wife,’ is ‘grateful for second chance at happiness’

“I was 18 when I married my high school sweetheart. I hesitantly resigned myself to becoming a youth pastor’s wife, and told myself I’d learn to bake casseroles and become the epitome of domesticity. I told myself this was who I was. I never anticipated the crash.”

‘The adoption date changed. Then the unthinkable happened. My darling husband collapsed from a seizure.’: Husband dies 2 weeks before twin adoption finalized to become ‘official family of 5’

“I knew from the moment I saw this tiny dynamic duo, they were mine – the love at first sight squeezed my heart as I looked into their squishy, brown faces. I was immediately a goner for these kids. We were a force to be reckoned with. I was a mom on a mission, and I was prepared to do anything to seal the deal for our family. Then yet another bomb detonated. My husband Peter fell ill with a vicious terminal disease.”

‘Meg it’s not good, Travis has been in a bad accident.’ A wave of heat flushed through my body. I should’ve never left.’: Wife recalls ‘total accident’ that took husband’s life after good Samaritan tried to help in blizzard

“I had gotten a cold and he told me, ‘I need you to take care of yourself sweetheart, I need you for this adventure.’ Shortly after we hung up I sent him a text, which I found out was moments before the accident. I asked him, ‘Do you know how much I love you?’ He never got to read it.”

‘My brother started the ‘naked man’ game when I was 6. I felt so empty I thought I might just float away.’: Woman overcomes sexual trauma, now uses kindness as an ‘act of rebellion’

“I walked home in a dress, but no underwear. I told my mom and dad I was staying with a friend, and then went into the operating room to have my right fallopian tube removed along with the baby that would never be. I went home the next day and said, ‘I feel like I have the flu’ and went straight to bed. My cry for help didn’t work. Nobody noticed. Nobody asked if I was okay. I knew if I didn’t start fighting for myself, I’d end up dead.”

‘Almost there, almost there.’ I watched him struggle. I knew something was going on in his heart.’: Adoptive mom reminds traumatized son he isn’t ‘alone’ anymore

“That first summer he came, all I can remember is the rash that covered my body for 6 months. It was my body’s way of telling me it was too much. I didn’t know how to be a mama to a then 7-year-old. As I walked beside him, I told him he never has to do that alone anymore. He looked up at me with his chocolate brown eyes. ‘Mommy, it sure is much easier to carry things together.’”

‘Yes, I was naive. I was married to a sex addict and had no idea. I felt like I was staring at a stranger.’: Wife realizes she isn’t ‘weak’ for staying in her marriage, husband has ‘completely owned his mistakes’

“I got a text from my husband. ‘Hey, I’m coming home. I need to tell you something. Cathy is going to meet me there.’ Cathy was a close friend and mentor to me. Why would she need to come also? I sat on my couch with my 4-month-old girl on my lap. My husband confessed he’d cheated with a woman he worked with. A woman who listened to me pour out my heart about my struggling relationship with my husband only one week before.”

‘I want to adopt them all.’ I’d just come home from a breast cancer scare, and thought it was the Valium talking.’: Couple adopts teen daughter, wife ‘floored’ when husband declares he wants to adopt her younger brothers too, now living happily with 7 kids

“I quickly realized I wasn’t in a drug-induced haze. We then had 7 children inside a 3-bedroom house with 2.5 bathrooms. Showering required a schedule, and toilet usage was always something to fight for. We were cramped, we were on top of each other, BUT we were having a freaking blast! Ya’ll, it gets better. Two weeks later, my husband tells me he wants to quit his job. Sure, Nathan. Let’s adopt of bunch of kids, and use my stay-at-home mom salary to feed them. Genius plan.”

‘Please Mom, I don’t want to leave. I promise I’ll be good. I don’t like myself very much.’: Sister’s heartbreaking tribute to her late big brother who society deemed ‘the bad kid’

“I’d watched life treat my brother Glen so unfairly. I wanted so badly for something to go right for him. One night, he was extremely upset. My father picked my mom and I up. Glen called us to see where we were, and I still remember her last words to him. ‘We’re giving you space for the night, but we want to help you, Glen.’ The next morning, we were greeted by my dog at the front door. She was crying.”

‘Divorce isn’t an option. 19-year-old bride, you begin slowly dying. You feel so trapped.’: Young woman feels ‘shame’ for wanting to end ‘picture perfect’ marriage, but had to ‘save’ herself

“‘I met the man I’m going to marry,’ you told your friends. You’re 19 when you first lay eyes on him. From the moment you learn he’s going to be a pastor, you know this is the life for you. Neither of you knew what you were signing up for. You thought if you found a Christian man, one willing to wait to have sex until marriage, life will be perfect. Now, you flinch when touched.”

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