Elise I. Antoine
Sexual Abuse Survivor
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and it's important to understand from the perspective of a survivor.
My name is Elise I Antoine and I am a survivor of sexual abuse and it has been one of the biggest stresses and secret of my life. It started when I was 7 years old and I kept it a secret from my family until I was 27 years old. It completely messed me up but my mission was to make everyone think that I was happy.
Keeping it a secret was very painful and it still is. I was living a double life by trying to pretend everything was okay. I felt numb, confused and left with a lot of unanswered questions.
Something that truly angers me that I hear people often say about survivors is "why would you wait so long before you told anyone?" My abuser asked me to keep it a secret and I was a little girl. There is no time limit when you choose to speak up.
It was scary and it's like what do you do if there's so much shame and self-blame and you feel totally violated and disgusted you're not thinking about everybody you're thinking about punishing yourself for what happened. At least I did!
Self mutilation was one of the ways I dealt with my pain. To see the blood, feel the pain and to pour rubbing alcohol on my wounds as I felt my whole body on fire was what I enjoyed. Cigarettes was another way of suppressing my pain and it use to be my best friend.
A friend once told me something that will always stick with me. She said there are times when you have family members that lives in a different country that are not use to you but may like you more than a family member should. (Think about it)
I think the worst part of my story is that my abuser still has access to me so it's very traumatic. 😥 (you will learn more about my story when I finish my book)
Things that have helped me cope with my trauma:
1 My relationship with God- my faith, prayers and going to church!
2 Therapy- I go to therapy every week and it's the best gift to myself!
3. My tribe- when family and friends love all of you free from judgements!
4. Speaking up and s
haring what I am comfortable with has been therapeutic!
Your story will always be your truth and it's never your fault. Continue to #ripthestigma off sexual abuse survivors!