Anonymous: I was sexually abused growing up and I would like to tell my family but I’m not sure what to say. Do you have any advice on how one might go about bringing this sort of thing up?

I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve experienced that. This is a really big step you are taking, and I am so proud of you for taking it. The courage it takes to open up about this experience is immense. And it is okay to be fearful of how they will react, that is normal. You telling your family about this experience is you speaking your truth and owning your truth.

Now when it comes to telling your family, what exactly are you afraid of? Are you afraid that they will not believe you? Are you afraid that they will pity you? Are you afraid they would see you as lesser than? Once again, it is okay to be fearful. And no matter how you tell them there will be an array of emotions and reactions.

And be prepared for questions, some may wonder and ask questions about the abuse. It is up to you whether or not you wish to divulge everything. Do not feel cornered into speaking on topics that you still have not worked through or topics that still make you feel very uncomfortable.

And just know that you may be triggered when telling your family because it may feel as if you are experiencing the abuse all over again. That is okay and completely normal. Now when it comes to how to tell your family you could reach out to your loved ones and tell them you have something serious to tell them. You could ask for everyone to meet you at your place or your parent’s place.

And tell them what you just told me, that you were sexually abused growing up. But just know that the way they respond or react has nothing to do with you. They may be in shock, and some may not believe you but as long as you know your truth and you are being your authentic self you will be okay.

Once again, I am so very proud of you for owning your experiences and for taking control of your life. Instead of letting the past define you or hold you back you are deciding to look it in the face. I am so proud of you! I wish you the best and I believe that everything will go well. Wishing you luck, but I know you won’t need it!

“I was sexually abused growing up…”