Penny’s Story: Afraid to Heal after Sexual Abuse

Purposefully Scarred

“Yes, my first instinct was to go running towards freedom, but then I looked at all the coping mechanisms I’d used to make my life bearable, to survive what I’d had no control over. These were what I perceived myself to be and I was afraid to leave them behind. I felt a sense of control over my life because I had learned to cope.

That’s all I was doing—coping. I wasn’t dealing with the effects. I wasn’t getting to the bottom of how I felt and why I felt that way. I wasn’t dealing with anything—I was simply shoving it under the rug—coping.”

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