I am a daughter, an awful dancer, sister, wife, mother, advocate...

WARNING, this can be a hard read. Our hope in sharing it, is to give you voice and to let you know, you are not alone. You can and will overcome any hardship that you are facing.

My proudest moment is overcoming my childhood tragedy and not letting it define me, but instead shape me into the person that I am today.

My name is Sarah and I am a 14 year molestation survivor.

From as young as I can remember until age 14, I was molested by my biological father. At the time, that was my life.. and in a sad way I almost felt my life was "normal" if that makes sense. Once I got older however, I realized my life was anything but normal. It was wrong, way wrong. One morning before school started I pulled my best friend aside, told her I needed help and she held my hand all the way to the counselors office. All in one day, I let 14 years of tragedy spill on the table for someone to finally see. 14 years of weight I carried around was finally being taken off my back. Or so I had thought at that time.

At age 16, one year after many court dates and a guilty verdict for my abuser, my world started crashing down. I blamed the entire world and everyone in it for my tragic childhood. I took my pain out on family, friends and my loved ones. I only shared my story with a few people and out of the handful that knew almost all were total strangers who I had to tell during the court process. I hated sharing my story with those closest to me. Mostly because I didn't want those people to feel sorry for me, look at me different, treat me like I was frail, family to think I had hurt them by turning in their relation. So at age 16, I decided I had enough of this world. I wanted out. Thankfully my mom saw the signs and before I could self harm, took me for the help I needed.

Fast forward to today. The past few years have brought me many, many things to be grateful for. Ten years of marriage to my high school sweetheart, two amazing and total opposite children, a career I pour my heart and soul into, friendships I would be lost without and sharing my story for others out there like me. But in order for me to have all those things, I had to learn some things along the way.

One.- Love yourself. All of yourself. The bad just as much as the good.

Two- YOU are the controller of your happiness. That darkness will sneak up from time to time, but you have to remain strong and you have to fight. You have to fight hard.

Three- Talk to someone. Trust me on this. Keeping darkness inside of you and carrying that weight is too much for one to bare. But always only talk to someone when you are ready!

Four- YOU are worthy. SO worthy. Don't ever let another's actions tell you or make you feel different.

Not every day is easy. I still have those times when I constantly question "Why me? What did I do to deserve this?". There is never an answer. It's just something that I have to remind myself and others, they did nothing wrong and did nothing to deserve such a darkness to live through.

A quote that helps me through rough days is "Wear your tragedies as armor, not shackles." and every time I say those words to myself I feel a little better and I feel the chains start to lift a little more.

So, like I started off my story.

I am a 14 year molestation survivor.

But...I am many more things in these 29 years of life also. A daughter. A sister. A Wife. A mother. A friend. A creative. A neighbor. A book nerd. A Netflix binger. A pizza lover. An awful dancer. A helping hand. An advocate for those who share my pain. I am me and 100% proud to be me.