At a very young age, I was sexually abused by my biological father. As a result of the abuse, I learned to hold my feelings in and keep them to myself. After my mother found out what was going on, she divorced my father. I began having a lot of stomach problems due to mostly stress and anxiety. After many attempts at counseling, I went to the Sullivan County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in Blountville, Tennessee.

The help and support hat I received at the CAC was tremendous and allowed me to express myself in many different ways. I was able to draw, paint or simply sit and talk one-on-one with a counselor. As I grew closer to my counselor, I began to open up about my past and reliving some of the events helped me see my future more clearly. My counselor spoke so kindly to me and was never forceful of imposing. I the warm inviting environment at the CAV made me feel safe and after many, many visits, I began to realize that my need to talk with someone on a weekly basis wasn’t necessary any longer.

Because of the help I received at the CAC, I am now able to share my story with anyone who asks. I know who I am, and i now what I stand for and I feel that my confidence is a direct result of finally overcoming my abuse. I have chosen to become a Christian counselor as my future career, and I want to give back to those who helped me. I want my life to be an testimony for young boys and girls who have been through similar things. I want to show them that you can overcome a terrifying past and live a normal, incredible future.

~ Bethany

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