My Mighty Network of Support

By Kathy O’Connell

My support group is fewer than those of others. It consists of the Victim Assistance Coordinator of our diocese, a few dear priests, my therapist and my dear friends at The Healing Voices Magazine. However, although there are few people in my support system, they are mighty.

I know anytime I need someone, they are there to listen with empathy and understanding and encouragement. In the process of healing from abuse, I’ve come to realize that this experience is the most difficult thing I have to endure. It seems to take so long, yet my support team is there for the duration of my healing process. They never grow tired of me.

It’s never easy for me to reach out for help. My self-esteem is low. The depression on certain days gets the best of me. Keeping isolated often seems to be an easier solution. However, forcing myself to reach out becomes the logical solution because, when I do, I find these people in my support group. Some have suffered this abuse and struggled through the process to recovery themselves. They can relate to my feelings. Others in my support group work with victims and always know the exact thing I need to hear to get me through another difficult day.

Finding these people might seem like it would have been difficult. In fact, all it took from me was to let go and place trust in one person. That one person helped open the doors for me to invite the others into my personal and dreadful story of abuse.

I said “all it took,” but trust is far from easy. It was one of my biggest fears to be hurt once again. And yet, this trust is what led me to the people in my life who care and understand. Each day they encourage me further to trust one more person, to seek healing from this horrible event and to let my hurt evolve into peace and solidarity.

Honestly, at this moment in my life, I can’t imagine my life without them. They are my encouragement, they are my advisors, they are my friends!  I truly know I wouldn’t be as far as I am today without these wonderful, caring, spiritual people in my life. I thank God every day for sending each of them on this journey with me.

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