Epiphany Toi Williams
My name is Epiphany Toi Williams and I am a Survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It has taken me many years to be able to say that, but now I can say it without fear. Writing my new book, Epiphany Rise, was an act of healing. It began as I was writing down my thoughts as part of my therapy. I now want to educate others and remove the stigma of getting help for survivors of abuse. In telling my story, I also hope to demonstrate the healing power of forgiveness. When you survive an abusive childhood, you can spend a great deal of your life running from the past before you are finally able to turn and confront it. I was very self-destructive most of my adult life. I had no control over my impulses. I was numb.
In order to understand my experience, I must go back to the very beginning. Everything innocent and pure was robbed from me at the age of 4 ½, when I was first abused, and it continued for the next seven years. I was molested by my mother and other, family members, and raped by my mother’s boyfriend when I was 12 years old.
I was born into a dysfunctional family. My family believes you don't discuss things like mental illness. You don’t see a psychologist or a counselor, or get therapy. That sort of thing is taboo. I was expected to just "deal" with it. However, I believe the issues that have affected my childhood and adult life have been part of a long family cycle that needed to be broken, so let it start with me.
My teen years were very turbulent. So many things happened that left me broken, and longing to be free. I had built walls around my pain, and just wanted to be able to be like everyone else. But that didn’t happen.
The result of that abuse was terrible shame. It also resulted in psychological problems throughout my life – great fear, panic attacks, sleeping problems, nightmares, irritability, and outbursts of anger. I experienced shocked reactions to being touched, especially by a male. Because of my trauma, I struggled with emotional demons for years. I knew the pain, the loneliness, the lack of trust, and all the other feelings that occurred from being abused.
For many years I thought I was okay. I thought I had made peace with it. I thought I could live my life like a normal person. For many years I put a smile on my face and pretended that I could forget it happened. I was not OK. Now I'm done being quiet, and I'm done pretending it didn’t happen. I know I've hit rock bottom on more than one occasion. I've cried myself to sleep and I know at times I have crumbled... but I did not fall. I set out to prove that I could heal. I am not a victim. I am a survivor.
The Truth is there are over 73 million children in the United States alone and of these thousands are abused every day. My book was written as a way to give a voice, my voice to some of the unspeakable things children suffer. There is nothing pretty about abuse, but there are ways to help those that are suffering now, or have suffered in the past.
There is healing in forgiveness. From Victim to Advocate, I have come full circle, but it has taken time. My story is not unique, but it is mine.
Excerpt page 210:
My newfound freedom came when I began to face my past and confront it head-on. I had to face the truth. I had no choice. I wanted to live. Instead of having pity parties and thinking my life was over, that I had failed and nothing good will ever happen to me, I begin to think like this: I’m hurt about my past, but I believe God will take care of me. And no matter what will happen, I will trust in God and be positive.
Start setting forth positive thoughts for your future and see yourself as you want to be. The universe will align for future events and circumstances to take place and please you. You don’t have to believe in God, but believe in a higher power greater than yourself that’s good, loving, and gentle. A power that will bring you peace of mind and set you free.~
Epiphany Rise * No More Secrets * There is healing in forgiveness. You can RISE…Just Let go. http://www.epiphanyrise.com