This is Amber's Story.

I am a 22 year old female still struggling with the repercussions of a recurring childhood abuse from a family member. I was about 5 or 6 when I realised that what had been happening to me probably all my life was not okay and that it made me uncomfortable.

I didn't know how to communicate my feelings properly but I told my parents what was happening and that I didn't like it, they talked to the abuser on the phone and said to stop it but the next time I visited them it happened again.

I never told my parents anything about it again.

For years and years I must have repressed what had happened to me and although I recognised that this family member was irritating to me and I didn't like them, I didn't know what they had done until one day when I was 17. I was in a psychology lesson in sixth form and we had just started a topic that day on "the psychology of rape". I got about ten minutes into the lesson when all these memories and experiences hit me like a train, as if it had all only just happened.

I ran out of the class without warning and didn't return that lesson.

Since then I have struggled with anorexia, social anxiety, depression, extreme anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse and several counts of suicide attempts or at the least thoughts. I have been in and out of different therapies ever since.

Recently I have found a counsellor who I feel I can really connect with, who practices EMDR therapy. I have only had a couple of sessions of EMDR as I find it quite emotionally draining. However even these few sessions have hugely helped me and turned me from a victim into a survivor. I no longer attribute my negative behaviour to what happened to me, but rather see it as right ok, something terrible happened, but that's in the past and I am not that person anymore. I am in charge of my own emotions and reactions to something, and that person doesn't control me anymore.

I am in a whole different world to when I was 17 and even up until the back end of last year when I was at rock bottom.


Turn the energy you put into self destruction and turn it into self acceptance and love.