I Sacrificed Myself to Survive

What sacrifices have you made in life?

As a survivor of childhood abuse I sacrificed everything, my very being – to stay safe.

No Boundaries

As a child I was not afforded any boundaries.

Physically, my body was not my own and I was treated as an object of gratification by my grandfather. Emotionally, the neglect of my childhood made little room for any of my emotions to be expressed else I face consequence for causing a scene. Psychologically, my very reality was continuously denied and I was silenced into solitude as I protected myself as best I could as a child.

I didn’t have a voice, I didn’t have a choice, and there was no escape.

Not a Priority

I wore dirty clothes, I slept in unclean bed linens, my hair was often unwashed, and I never learned proper dental hygiene. I went to the doctor for yearly vaccines, and my memory of the dentist as a child was when teeth were extracted due to pain.

At times I didn’t even have my basic necessities met. The message was clear that I was too big a burden to be cared for.

I abandoned myself as a child before I even knew who I was or what I was doing, because everyone in my life who was supposed to care for me had already done so.


Abused Without Regard

My grandfather took a liking to me at an early age.

I was simply his next pursuit in a line of victims over the decades of his life to that point, by no means the first in my family. I call him a generational pedophile. My father silenced me, gaslit me, and punished me for speaking up for myself.

I never knew what type of punishment was coming: a paddling, my room turned upside down, or 24 hours of silent treatment.

I cried myself to sleep as a child, soothed my own fears from nightmares, and I processed my own shallow understanding of my emotions and of the reality of my life, alone in my head.

But I learned ways to survive … I turned myself completely off.

Life Altering Betrayal

I made adult decisions for myself as a child, one that eventually removed me from my environment of abuse and landed me thousands of miles away to live with my good grandparents at age 14. It didn’t take long for my father to estrange himself from me completely.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that when I disclosed and pressed charges against my grandfather for molesting me, my father would become a sworn witness for his defense. He called me a habitual liar and a vivid storyteller in his deposition.

All the same, it shattered my heart into pieces and changed the way I viewed the world and the people in it.

The Cross Over Into Adulthood

All of those early childhood experiences created deeply held beliefs in me about myself and the world around me. I learned that in order to stay safe and ahead of the curve I needed to compromise my boundaries, suppress my emotions, disconnect from my body, and trust no one.

That manifested in my becoming a work-a-holic, a people pleaser, codependent, and fearful of being vulnerable with people. I craved connection, but nothing too close. It was difficult to be myself because I didn’t know who I was and it was challenging to care for myself properly because I lacked the lessons I should have received as a child.

In other words, I completely sacrificed myself in order to survive. Before I knew when it meant to abandon myself. I sacrificed my truth, my authentic emotions, my boundaries, and my needs (physical, mental, and emotional).


Reclaiming Myself

The last six years of my healing journey have been about reclaiming my voice, my choice, my connection to myself, and the sovereignty of my own body. It is heartbreaking to reflect on what I have sacrificed in my life to survive, I grieve everything I should have had – but it is an empowering testament to my healing to see how far I have come in discovering and embodying who I truly am.

On goes the journey 💪🔥

Looking for Ways to Connect With Other Survivors and/or Receive Support as You Heal?

Survivor’s Circle Peer Support Groups might be just what you need. 

These small groups meet on alternating days of the week via Zoom. In these groups, survivors connect, share, and support each other through the ebbs and flows of healing. Attend a session and experience the magical healing that happens when survivors connect and support each other through shit only we can understand.

You can also book individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon for private support in a closed space. You deserve support as you heal, and I am here to help. You don’t have to heal alone.

On the Journey Peer Support Monthly Package

As a part of this monthly support program you will gain access to all Survivor’s Circle Peer Support group support sessions every month as well as individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon each month. 

Hi, I am Shanon 

I am a trauma informed, trained, and Certified Peer Support Specialist in the state of Wisconsin. I am also a survivor with years committed to my own trauma healing after being diagnosed with (C) PTSD due to childhood abuse. Additionally, I have a professional and personal history of community facilitation and peer work.

I specialize in helping survivors like you make connections between real time experiences and past trauma wounds, identify and communicate boundaries, create self-care plans that work, navigate big emotions and trauma responses, reparent your inner child, and embody your own self-worth through the healing process with confidence and personal empowerment.

These support groups and 1:1 peer support sessions should not replace professional therapy; they will however provide additional support and information.

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