My first encounter with JCW was at an event in my hometown. I had long suppressed my sexual abuse, which had been perpetrated by a family member. I struggled to cope and go about living my life normally. It was hard. I was affected daily, but I couldn’t risk sharing what I was going through, for fear of judgement or tarnishing my reputation. So I told no one and attempted to manage on my own, with my symptoms, including nightmares, memories and issues with touch and trust among others. Carrying the burden of my secret was hard and emotionally draining, causing me great anguish. I wished I could ask for help but I didn’t know who I could trust. I was too scared.
Then I attended the JCW event. My tears flowed throughout the speeches because so much of what was said spoke to me and I related to many of the speakers’ stories. For the first time, I felt like I was not alone and that these people would understand my experience without judging me.
When Meyer spoke, I felt as though he was speaking directly to me. It was then that I decided to ask for help.
I reached out to JCW and shortly thereafter I was contacted by a therapist. At first it felt awkward for me to share this part of my life, which I had kept hidden for so long. However, the therapist made me feel safe, enabling me to speak about what I had gone through. It wasn’t easy but I remember feeling light and free after the conversation. She reassured me, and helped me feel normal and understood. This therapist has been there for me ever since and has been the greatest source of support, helping me in many ways. She provides me with tools and resources to help me cope in healthier ways than I had been doing. She gives me hope when I feel like there is none. I know she is there for me when I am struggling, letting me know that I am not alone. My life has improved tremendously since she came into my life. I don’t even know how to begin to thank her and I don’t know where I would be without JCW, who hooked me up with this most amazing therapist. Life has become easier now that I am learning to express myself and trying to learn to trust other people. The services offered by JCW are so necessary, as I know I am not the only one suffering in silence. Many people benefit from what JCW has to offer. But there are still many who are yet to reach out. People need to know that help is possible.