I met Sarah Morrison through twitter and for some strange reason, I was really drawn to her. We both connected and she blew me away with her story of abuse and healing. She is only 19 and lives in Southwest Minnesota. When I was 19, I had no idea that my life was driven by abuse and here she is – aware, responsible and taking charge of her own healing.
Here is her story of healing. If you resonate with Sarah, her website and twitter details are below as well.
Ruby: What are some of your hobbies?
Sarah: Watching Netflix (Greys Anatomy, Scandal, my favs), sleeping between classes, camping with my family, swimming, and shopping.
Ruby: What are some of the things that have helped you heal?
Sarah: Some of the things I have learned that have helped me cope with the abuse from my biological father are as follows:
- Focusing on the breathing
I know, therapists tell us this all the time and you’re probably sick of hearing about it but they’re right. For me, focusing on something helps a lot when my anxiety is high or I have a panic attack. The breathing also helps me slow down.
So here is what I have done and recommend:
Lay on your back, putting one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe out and make sure your stomach rises and your chest stays in place, so not rising or falling. When you breathe out, make sure your stomach is falling.
- Find a support system
If I didn’t have my adoptive family, I honestly don’t know how I would get through some of the situations I have faced. They have always been extremely helpful and compassionate even when they don’t know what I am going through. When my biological father was released from prison, I did not handle that well but they came right away and supported me through that difficult time.
- Share your story
I met a girl, who was my age at a school I transferred to. She was physically and sexually abused by her uncle. Knowing I wasn’t alone, helped me immensely. I was grateful for her and the reason I created my blog site is for the same reason. I want victims to know that they truly are not alone and there is support out there
- See a therapist
This isn’t for everybody and at first, it wasn’t for me either. However, getting out there, and working through what was bothering me, has really helped. Just expressing your feelings, fears, and emotions can help you in the short term and long term.
Ruby: Is it easy for you to trust others?
Sarah: to this day, I struggle trusting others, but I have come a long way. Especially in deciding whether to share my story. Growing up, I was unable to trust both my biological parents. The first person I ever opened up to was my best friend Lilly; she is the reason I went to the counselor at school. With her help, I spilled my guts. It wasn’t easy, but I am thankful every day for her.
I still trust very few people, but that’s not because of my past. A lot of people have let me down and as a result, I don’t trust them. I take trust very seriously, so if you go against that once, don’t expect to get it back. If you have trust issues, there’s nothing wrong with that, everyone has their issues. However, if you’re struggling with coming out about abuse, you need to put that aside for a day. I know, it’s easier said than
I also believe that if you have trust issues, there’s nothing wrong with that, everyone has their issues. However, if you’re struggling with coming out about abuse, you need to put that aside for a day. I know, it’s easier said than done but think about it this way. You have dealt with so much crap and that has made you a stronger person. You can do this. It won’t be easy, but think about your future, do you really want to continue going through this for the rest of your life? Thinking that way is how I survived.
Ruby: How has the therapy helped?
Sarah: I have seen a therapist since I was 14 years old, I am now 19 and it was determined I no longer need to attend. Moving around in foster care took a large toll on me and as a result, I have seen four different therapists. Opening up to someone was hard enough but doing it four times was even harder. I decided after my second therapist I no longer wanted to rehash history and spill every grueling detail to someone I knew. Instead, we focused on how the abuse is affecting me today and what we can do to change that. We also focused on my role as a family member because that was hard for me to adjust to. I strongly, strongly
I strongly, strongly advise readers to go to therapy. If you’re embarrassed about it (which you shouldn’t be), it’s okay to keep it to yourself.
I also know that jus because I completed therapy does not mean that things from my past will not come up. I have learned that I need to live my life and if something comes up from my past I need to use my coping skills and deal with it. That may not sound easy, but your past is a part of who you are and nothing is going to change that, not even therapy. You’re there to work on yourself, help you heal and become a better person. Something else that helped me heal is letting those that I got close to that I am sensitive and certain things will set me off because of my past. Some don’t understand, but they have always been very understanding. When I reflect on who I’ve become, I do notice that those triggers for me, no longer exist. Some do, but the majority have vanished. I use to be deadly afraid of basements, so much I would go into
When I reflect on who I’ve become, I do notice that those triggers for me, no longer exist. Some do, but the majority have vanished. I used to be deadly afraid of basements, so much so that I would go into panic mode just thinking about one. (I was locked in a basement for a week with limited food and water as a punishment by my biological father for telling my counselor what my father did to me. I was also sexually and physically abused to extreme levels). I still to this day will not go into a basement, however, I don’t set into anxiety attack mode right off the bat. Sometimes, I sit at the top of the steps waiting for my mom to come up from the basement after she grabs whatever she needs from the basement. I have accepted that basements are just not for me and hopefully someday I can get over that fear. Your past is not just going to disappear; I still have things I need to deal with on my own. You always will, you are a part of your story and trying to detach yourself from that can lead to major mental illnesses.
Ruby: Any last words?
Sarah: The last bit of advice I can give to readers that have been through any kind of abuse is to never forget to love yourself. Accept your FULL selves (DO NOT detach any part of yourself. You have complete control over your body and you can do whatever you want. It belongs to YOU and no one else). Never give up, and know there is always support out there.
Stay Strong, Sarah!