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Cover 05/22/2013

The Survivors Project

Excerpts from ebook that gives sexual-abuse survivors a chance to tell their stories

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If this never happened, I believe I would’ve had a shot at life. I have always made good grades getting scholarships and honors— even last semester at CCP, and I expect to continue. My friends from school that I grew up with are mostly professionals already, and I am 10 years behind due to my drug addiction. I have faked a lot of days as I’m sure most people do, putting on that mask to get through the day, like everything is OK. Now, however, I have grown. I have a new love for life, and myself. I am going to school to become either a radiologist technician or, if I can get in because of my background, an addiction specialist.

After 10 years wasted, I believe I am more and want more out of life. Writing this now I feel stronger. I think the clean time I had during jail gave me a new appreciation, even though I would carve myself with razor blades to get some type of relief. All I had was time to think about everything I did wrong and everything that was done to me. There was a girl who was in the cell next to me that I would talk to through the vent, whose story is far worse than mine. She would tell me stories of tricking in Camden, where she was tied up and beaten and somehow escaped. She was released about two weeks before me at 22 and had a son that she wanted to get back to but was found dead in Virginia. I don’t know what was different between us that she didn’t change her way of thinking and I have. She wasn’t ready, and nobody can stop you until you are so tired of how you’re living. I now feel after all of this there is a reason for me because there have been many times where I should have overdosed and situations I was in and escaped. If everything happens for a reason, the only reason for experiencing sexual abuse is to reach out and help others in the same situation. I am grateful for the strength that I found and know there’s more to life. I have H.O.P.E. – hold on, the pain ends.
 

The Survivors Project: Telling the Truth About Life After Sexual Abuse is the first in a new line of original ebooks published by Philadelphia Weekly. To purchase the book in either ebook or print format, visit Amazon.com or philadelphiaweekly.com/books

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