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Second Chances: Starting from Within

Joined: 2/29/2016
Posts: 1
Since we were born we have been taught to apologize when we have hurt someone, and to accept the apology of someone who has hurt us. As we have grown, we have ultimately experienced second chances that make or break us. As a young adult, one of the most important second chances I was given, was from myself.
The summer before seventh grade I was a victim of Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse. The incident was reported and I was not physically harmed, but this event had a large toll on my emotions as a developing adolescent. Initially, I felt as though it was my fault, that I had caused this to happen. On top of the blame, I felt as though there was no one I could talk to. I was thirteen years old, boys still had “cooties” and I thought my friends just wouldn’t understand.
I remember spending days curled up on the couch trying to turn back time to before. Through the tears and the blame, I began to wonder if I had done the right thing. I thought that maybe if I just hadn't told anybody what happened that I wouldn't feel like this. My mom saw me struggling and provided the support system I needed. She let me talk things through with her, she advised me to talk to my close friends about the incident, and most importantly she continually reminded me that nothing that happened had been my fault.
It took a while, but some wounds can only be healed by time. I realized that I was the only one letting myself mope around. I was the one letting him control me. I just needed to forgive myself, and things would drastically improve. Slowly I began to find myself again. I stopped fantasizing about running away, and I started to laugh and joke again.
I talked about the incident with my family members and my friends. When people asked me what had happened I was no longer embarrassed. Looking back, being sexually abused is something that happened to me, but it is not something that I let define me. I know now that reporting the incident was the best thing that I could have done, in order to prevent others from falling victim as well. Although it is definitely not a nice memory, I think it is important that I talk about what happened to show others that being a victim is not the end, and that to overcome abuse, you must first give yourself a second chance.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Be the Change essay being chosen as one of our finalists in the running for 1st place for our Feb./ March 2016 teen writing competition. Be proud of your accomplishment!

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners, and naming the 1st place winner from the narrowed field.

We will post all winning essay results by April 30th. You can check this page for the results after April 30th:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2016 10:42:36 PM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Feb./ March 2016 Second Chances essay being selected as one of our runners up.

You can check this page after April 30th for all the writing contest results::

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 9:20:59 PM
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