Realized My Worth

by Annie
(South Africa)

I want to write about how I healed. I was sexually abused from the age of 3 to 16 by my uncle and physically and emotionally abused by my mother. And wonder of wonders I got into a mentally, and sometime physically, abusive marriage. I was married to my abuser for 25 years because I felt I deserved the abuse. This I have found is very typical of abuse victims.

I first spoke about my abuse at the age of 23. It was difficult and I used to start crying and trembling violently whenever I spoke about it. The advise my mother-in-law, at the time, gave me was to talk about it often. Over time it became easier but the after effects of the abuse still lingered. I thought I had dealt with my abuse as talking helped and as a result of my experiences I could help others.

At age 41, I split from my husband and met a wonderful woman who became my counselor. It was while in session with her that I realized for the first time in my life that I WAS worth something. I was worthy of love, I was worthy of respect and admiration, I was worthy, period.

Another 3 years passed in my marriage but I was growing. I started standing up for myself. I started taking control of my financial situation (my salary had always been paid directly to my husband's account). I started fighting back. Yeah, I finally started realizing my worth.

At age 46, I had finally had enough. After being pushed to destruction and totally losing my mind I tried to kill my husband. This is when I realized he was changing me, he was changing my innermost being and I knew I had to get out. I asked for a divorce and walked out with no job, no money, no place to go.

I was scared, no! that isn't the word, I was petrified but I was determined to make my life worthwhile.

It wasn't easy, but I am 53 now and married to a wonderful man. My children and I have become closer than we ever were. Yeah, they too suffered at the hands of my ex-husband, their father, but we are growing together and have an exceptionally close bond. My children both have wonderful spouses and are both very successful in their respective careers.

I KNOW now, that the life I lived, was my destiny. It was a path I had to walk in order to become the caring, loving and giving individual I am today. I also KNOW that I have to help children that are in the same position I was and I will do anything and everything in my power to achieve this. And, last of all, I KNOW now, that each of my abusers were/are extremely sick people and because they are sick, I have to forgive them. I can never forget, but I have forgiven and only feel pity for them.

I have read so many of the stories on this site and it is heartrending. There is many a time that I read a story and find the tears rolling down my face. But, I want to thank you all because you, each one of you, has made me more determined than ever to stand up and fight for our children. YOU have given me the boost, the courage, I so desperately needed.

I will be giving my first talk on child abuse and the effects thereof in January 2016. And, I will keep each one of you in my prayers. I will pray that you have the courage, the love and the will to heal and succeed. God bless you all and may He forever hold you in the palm of His hand.

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Comments for Realized My Worth

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Feb 16, 2016
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

You ARE an inspiration on so many levels. You never gave up on your Self, even though there were times where you probably thought that you had. It often takes a very dramatic situation (like trying to kill your husband) to realize you don't recognize the person you've become because s/he is doing something or about to do something that is completely out of character. It's when we face the horror of what we're capable of in a horrible circumstance that we end up taking a stand, either by putting an end to what lead us up to that point or by actually doing something we regret for the rest of our lives. I had more than one of those moments within my own life. I couldn't believe what I had become.

But like you, it lead to significant changes and shaped who I am today. All of it did.

It is heartwarming that you have found the stories on this site helpful in your quest to stand up and fight for our children. And by now you've delivered your first speech on child abuse. Keep up the great work! The world needs people like you, people who have lived it, survived it, and now are thriving in spite and because of it.

I send you love, light and healing energy, Annie. Thank you for sharing your healing story with my visitors and me.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Feb 20, 2016
Thank you
by: Annie

Thank you for your kind remarks Darlene and thank you for your inspiration, love and guidance. You are an inspiration to all who visit your site. I know there are many, many people whom you have reached and helped. Thank you for your dedication and hard work. You are truly a wonderful person and I admire you tremendously.

May 18, 2016
Some feedback
by: Annie

In my story I said that I would give my first talk on child abuse in January. Unfortunately, this was postponed but I finally gave my talk on 14 April and again on the 21 April. I must say it was hard,. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. But with a very dry mouth and my determination I pushed through. Within a half an hour after my talk a gentleman approached me and asked for the helpline numbers that I had provided. This made everything worthwhile. I had reached at least one person that I know of. In the following few days, many people came to tell me that my talk had touched them and although no details were given, many admitted to experiencing some form of abuse as children. Once again I want to thank each and every person that has contributed to the site and especially you Darlene, for giving me the confidence to step up and do something. God bless you.

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