For many, the first week of summer is met with much anticipation and relief. But for Emily, the first week of summer will always be a reminder of when she told her mother about the abuse. Three years ago, Emily was molested by her half-brother when she was seven years old and for two years he tormented her about the abuse and threatened to harm her if she ever told anyone. During those two years, the weight of her trauma became too much to bear. One afternoon, she walked into the living room where her mother was watching television and with tears streaming down her face, told her mother everything that she had been holding in.
Her mother contacted Children’s Protective Services while her father removed his son from the home. One week later, Emily had a forensic interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Kent County. She was introduced to her therapist and began her journey to healing.
There were many ups and downs that Emily experienced on her healing journey at the Children’s Advocacy Center. There were many sleepless nights full of nightmares. Certain things would trigger anxiety. She would feel uneasiness being around people who identify as male and fear seeing her half-brother at family functions. All of these, which seemed at the time like obstacles, became the catalyst for her healing which she worked every week to overcome.
At her therapy graduation, one year after her first visit to the Children’s Advocacy Center, Emily shared that “it feels like I’m as light as a cloud!” The weight of her trauma had been lifted. Her mother shared, “I didn’t want what happened to her to ruin the rest of her life. In spite of all of this, I hope that she knows that this does not define her future.”