A Client in Her Own Words

The day I walked into St. Mary’s I was a shell of a human being. I was existing in this world feeling hollow, and indifferent about my life.

After suffering a lifetime of sexual and physical abuse, my sense of who I was, and what I had to offer was very broken. I was terrified, and I felt completely alone. I had been convinced that if I shared my experiences with anyone, I would be disliked, thought to be disgusting and found guilty of causing the situations in which I was suffering.

My very first session, I couldn’t speak, when I tried to say why I needed to be there the words got stuck in my throat. I was so afraid that my secrets would get away from me, that I would lose control over who would find out about the traumas I had gone through and that I would be judged and even criticized for “allowing” the abuse to continue into my adulthood.

My experience with the staff at St. Mary’s has given me the strength to grow, to explore my worth, to learn self-care, and to stop blaming myself for the crimes that were committed against me. It has been through my telling that I have been shown how strong I am, how resilient I have been all along, and that I don’t have to be alone to deal with all of the feelings that emerge while healing. 

Being believed and having my emotions validated through my disclosure, have empowered me to live a safer, more fulfilling life. I have learned to set boundaries that protect me and to stand up for myself when I am being disrespected. I have been taught and encouraged to keep using my voice to speak my truth, and not to allow anyone to take what is mine ever again.

I know I am not done walking this journey through healing, but I am most grateful for the loving guidance I have been shown by the staff at St. Mary’s – who continue to walk by my side.