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Cover Article


From the May 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I felt it was something that would stay with me forever. The scars from sexual abuse. The first incident happened when I was a young girl. Later, when I was in my 20s, it happened again. What disturbed me most was that both individuals were family members and people I'd trusted. And I struggled with the fact that it had happened twice—particularly the second time, when I was old enough to understand what was going on, but too naive to really know what to do about it.

I got to the point where I thought the only way to deal with what had occurred was to run away—to do whatever it took so that I'd never have to see the perpetrator again. Unfortunately, this didn't do anything to improve my rapidly decreasing sense of self-worth. Instead, I went through periods of depression, hopelessness, and despair. I cried a lot and felt my life was ruined. And although I'd been brought up to pray and to know the power of prayer, at the time, I didn't even do that because I felt too ashamed.

Purity had always been important to me. I had high moral standards, and as a teenager and young adult, I'd tried hard to live my life as purely as I could. So when this second instance of abuse happened, it really rocked me. During the periods of depression that followed, all I could think was that the purity I'd valued so much had been completely taken away from me.