This April is has been my goal to feature stories about post-traumatic growth as opposed to post-traumatic stress. Sometimes, the two happen simultaneously, one helping heal the other; this is such a story.
Cynthia Bland was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. Like many victims, she held onto this horrible secret for years, where it caused all sorts of chaos in her life and relationships. Finally, at 42 years old she revealed it to a therapist, and her recovery journey began. The pieces of her shattered life began to fall into place, and there was a name for what was happening to her: PTSD. As she worked in therapy, an idea began to form about how to help other survivors of childhood sexual abuse. What if there was a way to help society understand the effects of childhood sexual abuse on its adult survivors? she asked herself. What if people understood that the often the root cause of drug abuse, promiscuity, teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, perfectionism is a result of childhood sexual abuse? The more Cynthia looked at the problem, the more she realized that we need to be teaching adults how to prevent sexual abuse in the first place. One of the best ways to do this is through the Stewards of Children prevention workshop, created by the organization Darkness2Light. Putting all of this together, Cynthia created Voice Found, a national non-profit organization that is committed to the PREVENTION of Childhood Sexual Abuse and the support of adult survivors. Voice Found is an important way for Cynthia to deal with PTSD…it gives the ‘ugliness’ some positive purpose. She never wants to be seen as a victim – instead, she wants to be victorious over what happened to her.
I believe you are Cynthia!
Voice Found is now a registered non profit and their charitable status is pending. Cynthia’s blog is http://voicefound.wordpress.com/. Their new website is www.voicefound.ca and will be launching very soon!