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       I never really gave a lot of thought to how mental health care that revolves around sexual abuse victims, if not treated properly, can be detrimental.
      After having written and published eight poetry books about my victim to survivor journey. A few weeks ago I decided to revise, edit and re-release my poetry books as second editions. This required me to read them which I had never done. I had no idea how much this action was going to impact me.
      My life began to loop before my eyes like an old celuloid film reel. All of the old traumatic feelings arose and nipped at my heels like the hounds from hell. Old demons came to life and took my breath away. I began to look at my past life like some surreal chain of events. I began to question how much of it was reality. I actually believed that the memories I was having were a figment of my imagination. The idea that all of the abuse was due to something I had lacked as a daughter, wife, and girlfriend surrounded my better judgment like a wet blanket. It was heavy, foreboding, and terrifying.
      Oh hell, I had no idea what to do with all of this.
      It was at this point I decided to reach out for help. Though I’d overcome many bad experiences and come out on the other side, this was different. A friend of mine told me about an organization, Suncoast. that provides trauma care for sexual assault victims. I felt it might be time to come to terms with a lifetime of abuse. The idea of living through all of those memories again was not appealing, however, I knew that things were about to come to a head and I needed to face them with the support of someone that would be there to help me if I caved in on myself.
      Realizing I couldn’t afford private counseling services, I was grateful to have an organization that is dedicated to helping trauma victims at no cost.
      Sitting poolside, gazing out at the ocean, I made the call. The lady on the phone was pleasant enough. Questions were asked and answered. Services were explained and embraced. I felt a small sliver of peace and a heap of gratitude that I was about to have the opportunity to lay my past to rest and hopefully come out on the other side with not so much a sense of under-standing, but more a sense of closure. We made the appointment for my intake, I signed off, smiled and took a deep breath. This could be nothing but fantastic…

To be continued.

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