I bought my husband a full-length mirror for Christmas several years ago. He was the only one who understood the significance of that gift. When I moved in our house, I took every mirror down with the exception of the mirrors in the bathrooms. Mirrors have always been a source of shame and anxiety for me. I realize now that I have always been too ashamed to look at myself in the mirror.
Part of healing is working through all of the shame and guilt. Victims feel like we “did something to deserve it”. That’s what the abuser and Satan both want you to think; it’s not… Until we break through that wall, it can be crippling emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It’s not an easy road, and it’s a road with twists, turns, and roadblocks. Marilyn Van Derbur said: “There are many ways of dying. Dying a day at a time is agonizing. That is the way many survivors live: dying a day at a time”. I don’t want to live that way. I am learning to put true faith in God. I have always been a believer, but never trusted enough to let Him handle my problems. I always felt like I wasn’t good enough, or that I needed to get things straightened out before He would help me. That’s not the truth.
It’s a daily struggle. It was much easier to repress those memories and pretend it didn’t happen. When I feel threatened and immobilized, my survivor instincts kick in and I “act” like I think I should act and protect myself from further abuse. Each survivor has certain triggers; sound, smell, certain language, situations, threatening behavior, places, etc. I can get a faint whiff of certain things and I automatically go into “survivor mode”. I have been working fervently at desensitizing myself from triggers. I celebrate each victory.
Buying that mirror for my husband was a HUGE victory. One of my dearest friends gave me a small mirror for my birthday with my initial on it…I blinked back the tears and told her “thank you” and I told her what a meaningful gift it was. For the first time in my life, I carry a small mirror and use it from time to time to tell myself that it’s going to be okay.
Kriquette Davis is a 47-year-old living in Eureka, NC. When she was five years old she was sexually abused. For approximately 18months-2years, she endured the continued abuse without letting anyone else in her life know. Now as an adult and a leader for the Goldsboro Family YMCA, Kriquette works tirelessly to help adults identify children who are abused and when she discovers abuse, works to provide hope for the wounded. That’s why she is a facilitator for Darkness to Light, a national program that gives her structure and purpose as she works to prevent what happened to her…to happen to someone else. If you are touched by what Kriquette has to say, comment on this story or contact her at email@example.com.