My First Story

I am a survivor of child sexual abuse, rape, harassment, attempted rape, gang violence, mental abuse with threats of physical abuse, and I have chronic health issues. I have shared slivers of my experiences here and there, but with the current state of our society, I felt it was time to start a blog to share my experiences, and how I cope daily with PTSD.

In addition to sharing my own experiences, I welcome your personal stories, both anonymous and public. I welcome stories of abuse; sexual abuse, Sexual harassment, domestic violence, mental abuse, and day to day coping with PTSD. All survivors are welcome; men, women, trans, and non binary. This is a safe place to share to not only help others cope, but also to release our stories to help with the healing process.

Trigger Warning (talk of childhood sexual abuse):

I was molested starting at the age of six by a close extended family member. I do not remember all of the details, which I feel is a blessing. What I do remember is him performing oral sex on me, and me to him. Later in life I found out another family member was abused by him for 16 years. He also was very cruel to animals (torturing and killing them), and sometimes in front of the other family member. There was also another side to him, which I feel is so important to share. We were taught to avoid strangers, and still are. The invisible monster hiding in the bushes waiting to pounce on us, but not everyone learns that the closest people to us and our families are the ones to watch out for. They don’t look like monsters, they are excellent at wearing the masks of admirable people. The person who abused me was also loving, and made me feel special (outside of the abuse). These people are coaches, ministers, teachers, parents, grandparents, siblings. They are very good at grooming and slowly sneaking the abuse in. Think of a boiling pot of water, and dropping a frog in–he would feel the heat immediately and jump out. However, if you put it in cool water and slowly turn it up, it wouldn’t notice the water was hot until it was too late. This is what most of them do, they sneak the abuse in gradually.

The abuse has long-term affects that last a lifetime. It makes it hard to trust yourself and others. When you are sexually abused as a child it completely changes the course of your life. It changes the way you love, and when you are older it changes how you look at sex. I will save that for another post.

If this happened to you or a loved one, I am so sorry. You and your story matter. I wish you much love and healing.

Trish

**Feature Image by Danny Lines**

**Second Image by Richard James**

Trish Eklund’s first book, Abandoned Nebraska: Echoes of Our Past, was released in November of 2018. Her second photography book, Abandoned Farmhouses and Homesteads of Nebraska: Decaying in the Heartland will be released on February 22, 2021. She is finishing up her third book; Abandoned Farmhouses and Homesteads of Kansas: Home is Where the Heart is. Trish’s photography has been featured on Only in Nebraska, Raw Abandoned, ListVerse, Nature Takes Over, Grime Scene Investigators, and Pocket Abandoned. She has a photo on the cover of: Fine Lines Summer 2020: Volume 29 Issue 2. She is the owner and creator of the photography website, Abandoned, Forgotten, & Decayed. Trish has an essay in the anthology, Hey, Who’s In My House? Stepkids Speak Out by Erin Mantz, and another essay in another anthology: Voices of the Plains Volume III by Nebraska Writer’s Guild and Julie Haase. Her writing has been featured on The Mighty, Huffington Post Plus, Making Midlife Matter, and Her View From Home. She owns, moderates, and writes for the blog: Trigger Warning: Surviving Abuse. She has written four young adult novels and is hard at work on her first adult novel.

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