I remember being relieved when the Me Too Movement became widely recognized in 2017. I remember thinking how awesome it was that OTHER women were able to publicly share their stories.
But for me? No way would I share my story.
I remember thinking to myself, “Why would I share MY story… It doesn’t matter.”
I had just graduated from college and heard so many of these women’s stories online. At the time I was also working with girls who were lured into sex trafficking. All of their stories always struck me as shocking – so traumatic and resulting wounds so deep.
Inevitably, my own self-talk began to tell me that my abuse wasn’t “that bad” in comparison.
Until one day my boyfriend, came to me and said, “Alisha I know you love these girls, but you have never even helped yourself how can you help these girls!?” I was offended. My first impulse was to just say, “No, I am fine and have been for 23 years!” But deep down I knew he was right. I carried my abuse around with me everywhere I went. It was at every party fueling me to drink away the pain. It was there when I was with a new man far more often than I’d like to admit. It was there when I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. It was there at every job interview, my self-talk convincing me that I was not worthy of any position.
My abuse was with me EVERY DAY, ALL THE TIME.
In hindsight, I realize it was there because I allowed it to be. I had mustered up the courage to drunkenly share with a few close friends, but I hadn’t found the courage to publicly share and seek the help I knew I needed.
I remember the day it all changed. Someone stood up for me and told me exactly what I needed to hear, that “I don’t have to be OK, I can get help!”. I realized at that moment that I needed to take a step back and figure out who Alisha Gee was!
So, ladies let me publicly share with you about my journey to healing.
First, I acknowledged and changed my self-talk. Then, I admitted my fear OUT LOUD – “I was scared!”. Even though the reality was that my abuse had ended 13 years earlier, it was still as present as ever. By admitting my fear, I realized that I continued to abuse myself because I felt intense shame and guilt, which led to self-blame and destruction. I realized what I had been doing wasn’t defeating my fear or helping me find and love myself. So, I finally found the courage to say the words, “I want to love myself again after sexual abuse.”
When I finally admitted and shared my stories and confessions out loud, I realized the truth and to this day, recall telling myself “Hey, this was never my fault!”, then following that up with, “Now what? How am I going to stop telling myself these lies?”
I was fortunate to have a personal coach and mentor at the time who helped me change the way I thought and spoke to myself and about my abuse.
I knew I needed a DAILY ROUTINE that would support my journey to finding the love for myself that I so desperately needed. Waking up with a daily routine gave me purpose each day and looking back, I realize that was just the beginning of my journey.
The 3 most important things in my daily routine are simple, yet make a world of difference:
- Drinking a big bottle of water first thing in the morning
- Physically moving my body
- Writing out 5 things I am grateful for about myself
Drinking water and physically moving were the easier routines because fitness was the one healthy coping mechanism I had engaged in up to this point. Fitness always made me feel physically and mentally strong and gave me an escape.
Writing 5 things I was grateful for about myself though, that was far from easy. I remember thinking, “Forget it…What was there to be grateful for? I was overweight, had low self-confidence, and was preoccupied with confusion most of my waking hours.”
Regardless, I forced myself to write out at least a few things. I would write, “I am grateful for my face, I am grateful for my feet, etc.”
This went on for several weeks – looking back, 21 days to be exact. Then, something magical happened…I ACTUALLY STARTED BELIEVING WHAT I WAS WRITING ABOUT!
So here’s the deal, healing doesn’t happen overnight!
You have to stay consistent and TAKE ACTION to start loving yourself again after abuse. You have to keep going! Trust me, I get it. Some days are so, so much harder than others, but I promise you that you have already OVERCOME so much and you will overcome this time of pain too!
You are an OVERCOMER. Don’t forget that! You are full of courage, you are strong, you are powerful, and you are a sympathetic leader! If you need to borrow my belief in your capability for a while, I’ll lend it to you for as long as you need to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AGAIN.
You are not alone in this healing journey and remember, no one is meant to do life alone.
I know from experience that there are so much healing and freedom just waiting for you to reach out and pursue it because of my experiences.
Now, I have helped countless other women:
- Release their past
- Reclaim their life
- Rise up to create the life they have always dreamed of.
Now, ask yourself this – are you ready to take the next step to heal?
- Alisha Gee is a sexual abuse survivor and this is her story of how she's turned her painful past experiences into her biggest strength! Between the ages of 11 and 13, a family member consistently molested her. She now coaches people to learn how to love your body after abuse. She is also the creator of "Abused Is Not My Name". Join her movement here