Stories of Resilience: Debbiesue Young

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Don’t ever stop believing that you deserve love, safety, belonging and wholeness without changing one thing about you.

I was 5 when the confusing touch started. I wasn’t supposed to like it, but I did. 

“Close your eyes. Let’s play a game. It’s our secret.” 

That’s when the shame started. It was like wearing a target. The males in my home, creepers on the internet, teachers and religious leaders and “friends” were invited over to fondle me while watching porn. Eventually, the rape resulted in a miscarriage while hiding in a closet at school. I continued to be an easy target of sexual assault through college. 

I believe we’re only as sick as our secrets. Shame became a secret life of numbing. Alcohol, smoking, self-harm and disordered eating. The subconscious sense of control. The slow disappearance. Even at my worst, I was told frequently how good thin looked on me. Such words are fuel and poison for someone battling an eating disorder.

I spiralled until unprocessed grief and anger triggered life-threatening chronic pains, illness, and mental suffering. My first breakdown led me into counselling in 2006. My creative lifeline was meaningful movement, performing arts, soulful songwriting. I’m so grateful for these recovery tools for nearly 15 years.

All people carry secrets and need to feel less alone. There’s hope. That’s why I share the real story. Because we can’t begin to break stigmas around mental illness until we understand what people carry. People who seem as ‘normal’ as can be on Instagram.

Don’t ever stop believing that you deserve love, safety, belonging and wholeness without changing one thing about you.

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.

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