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There is a moment in our healing journey when our denial crumbles and we realize our experience and its continued effects on us won’t “just go away”. That’s our breakthrough moment. It’s the sun coming out to warm the seeds of hope so they can grow our personal garden of empowerment.

Though our childhood sexual abuse affects every moment of every day, we postpone or ignore our truth for many good reasons. Embracing it threatens change and asks us to make ourselves as important as others. To honor our truth, we have to quiet our lives so we can travel inward where our memories can be comprehended. Accepting it means trusting our feelings though we have learned to suppress them and our perceptions to protect ourselves. Exploring our truth challenges us to recognize we can find our way when we feel so lost.

Denial comes in all shapes and sizes. Holding the past on the other side of awareness, it becomes our ally in building our lives. Avoiding the deep, dark holes of abuse memories helped us get to here and now. Acknowledging them opens the door to healing. Choosing to look into those holes allows us to find new paths into our future.

Our abuse doesn’t ‘just go away’. It’s recorded in every cell of our body. Every choice we make is shaped by our experience. What we believe about the world and how we fit in its possibilities came from those moments when we felt powerless. And when we are ready to reach for days that honor our spirit and celebrate our dreams, we can turn and face our denial, knowing it doesn’t define us. It’s simply the tired and worn defense we used to help us get by.