This is a beautiful note we received from Sara, one of our clients at our Revive Domestic & Sexual Violence Counseling Program, where we serve more than 400 adults, youth and children each year:
“No matter how hopeless or scared you may feel, it is never too late to pursue healing. Even if it is just one small step at a time. Your experiences matter. You matter. And there is hope.”
Your donation today ensures survivors coming forward in our community have a safe, transformational place where they can move forward from adversity. The brave, resilient survivors we serve remain our inspiration, and their stories reinforce our commitment to help even more of our neighbors in need. Read more of Sara’s story in Arlington Magazine.
For me, the services I received at Doorways were the missing piece in my journey to restore my soul and rebuild my life.
From my childhood years onward, I experienced a series of sexual traumas that made me feel like I was living with a target on my back. That somehow my early trauma and my dysfunctional upbringing made me the weakest link in the chain, the easiest prey in the herd. I carried a paralyzing sense of shame deep within my soul.
I spent many years trying to get a handle on the truth about my life and about myself, but much of the time I felt lost. In order to cope, I abused alcohol, engaged in risky behaviors, and struggled to have healthy relationships with friends and family. By the time I turned 35, I felt there was no hope for me – I would be traumatized and dysfunctional forever.
I am profoundly grateful that a close friend and mentor pointed me in the direction of the Revive Sexual and Domestic Violence Counseling Center at Doorways. My counselor immediately helped me feel safe, which was necessary for me to begin opening up about the experiences I had never truly dealt with, traumas that had happened 10, 20, 30 years in the past but were still affecting me – and my choices – today.
For the first time, I was able to name the traumas I had explained away for so long and begin to release the shame that was never mine to carry. I finally realized that these adults never deserved the excuses I made for them for doing things to me that I would never do to another human. This process wasn’t easy, but [my counselor] assured me that she would stick with me for as long as it took to gain the coping strategies I needed to move forward. And she did!
I am hopeful that as I continue to tell my truth, I will become freer and freer.
I always sensed, even at a young age and despite my circumstances, that I was created for a meaningful purpose. And while my meaningful purpose doesn’t show up in stereotypical ways, like a fancy job title or hefty bank account, I have realized that being able to confront my trauma, learn healthy coping strategies, and ultimately overcome the hopelessness I once felt is something incredibly meaningful in itself. If becoming free is possible for someone like me, I know it is possible for others.
Your support of Doorways has helped to empower the lives of so many coming forward, ready for the help they deserve. Please donate today in honor to support people like Sara who are working to overcome the impacts of abuse. Your generosity ensures that the safety and support Doorways offers can continue to provide healing, empowerment, and hope.