When I was a child, I used silence as a defense to feel safe. Anytime something upset or hurt me, I found it easier to say nothing and pretend it never happened. It was almost like if I said it aloud then the pain would be real.
At eighteen years old, I had a nightmare and sleep paralysis that shook me to my core. It caused my brain to flood with memories of sexual abuse from a family member. The weight of the world felt like it was crashing onto me with feelings of hopelessness and anxiety. I even questioned whether I wanted to be alive.
I decided to call my best friend and disclose one of my deepest, darkest secrets. A secret that I thought I would take to the grave. She listened, believed, and supported me throughout that disclosure and become my first supporter. Since then, while the road to healing has been rough and ongoing, I feel closer than ever to a life that I know is worth living.