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  • Advocates Unwrapped

Advocates Unwrapped: Holding It All In

(Editor's Note: The "Advocates Unwrapped" series will feature posts from WRAP staff to share stories of their work with others, as well as their own personal stories of resilience. Due to the nature of the subject matter, some advocates may wish to remain anonymous.)

Have you ever noticed that feeling of unconsciously holding your breath? It's like a hidden weight you carry until you finally take that deep inhale and exhale, realizing just how much you've been holding in.

Isn't it strange how something that occurred so long ago can still cast a shadow over your present? Back then, I was just a child, grappling with experiences that I couldn't even put into words. But those experiences left behind more than memories; they left me with a heavy blanket of shame. It's as if I must have done something to deserve it, as if I were marked as different, as someone who invited such things.

That sense of shame stayed with me, almost like a loyal companion. It clung to me like a cherished childhood toy, invisible to others yet suffocatingly visible to me. The eyes of judgment, real or imagined, seemed to follow me. I was convinced that they could see my secret, that they knew the story I couldn't utter. It's funny how shame can distort the way you perceive yourself, how it can make you believe that the world sees you through its tainted lens.

But why do I still carry this burden? I've questioned the validity of my memories, doubting my recollection, almost gaslighting myself into believing that maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought. Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe what happened was normal. Yet, even in my confusion, the weight of my feelings remained steadfast. I couldn't dismiss the overwhelming sense of shame that was imprinted upon me, even when I lacked the language to articulate it.

Through my journey working at WRAP, I found a haven among compassionate souls who understood without judgment. I discovered people who listened, who didn't gloss over my experiences or rush to minimize them. Instead, I encountered individuals who offered insights, support, and most importantly, hope. Hope not just for me as a fellow co-worker, but for anyone on a path to healing. Hope for a future unburdened by shame.

WRAP isn't just a lifeline for those currently enduring domestic or sexual abuse; it's a sanctuary for those grappling with the aftermath of trauma that occurred long ago. Your well-being matters, whether your pain is fresh or buried under the layers of time. WRAP advocates are here to provide encouragement, validation, and a safe space where you can explore the steps toward healing. Where you can redefine what freedom means to you.

Trust me, the journey isn't a walk in the park, and I'm still navigating my own path. But that first step toward liberation is invigorating. Remember, you're not alone. Your past doesn't define you today, and you don't have to carry that shame like an anchor. It's okay to breathe freely, to let go of what's been weighing you down. WRAP is here, ready to embrace you with open arms, offering the support you need, all in the safe cocoon of confidentiality.


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