Brenda: My Story


I was sexually abused by two family members before my teen years. I always felt that it was my fault, that I did something to cause it to happen to me. I went to counseling for a very short period. They felt that I would be just fine, that there was no need for their services, but they were wrong. As I grew up, it was always at the back of my mind. I could not make any relationship last, and the guys that I did pick were very abusive physically and mentally, just like my dad. I have been married three times. Two ended in divorce, and the last marriage is still holding in there, for three years now.

I got myself involved in mental health services after I tried to beat an ex-boyfriend with a wooden 2×4. I was in the women’s group at River House for abuse, in three different groups. With each group I was able to tell my story a little more. I finally realized I did nothing to cause the sexual abuse as a child.

I’ve had a very bad last year – first I lost my mother, then a good friend’s son, then an ex-boyfriend, then my therapist – and I have been taking it one day at a time to help myself heal from the losses.

I love to work on crafts, knitting, crocheting, reading, and doing jigsaw puzzles, and I enjoy walking. I go to the Pathways To Recovery Group, the Women’s Group, and the Recovery Learning Community, and these have been the best medicine to help with my recovery. I don’t feel like I am alone anymore. I have a support group of family and friends. I have three children of my own and five stepchildren. My first son is in his thirties and is married with four children: three boys and a daughter. Then I had a set of twins, a boy and a girl. My daughter has a set of twins herself – both are boys, and two stepdaughters with her husband. My youngest boy is married with two children, a boy and a girl. I still have trouble telling people “no,” when they ask me to give up my time to help them.

I have recovered some of a balance in my everyday life but I still have a long way to go in my recovery. I know that what happened earlier in life was not my fault. I have learned to start living my life without fear or looking over my shoulders. I enjoy the recovery groups and I have learned a lot. I am getting stronger, and getting to a happy place. I have a more secure feeling. I have a support group and family and I am able to talk things over with them.