One horrible night in June 1984 my life changed forever. My ambitious joy for life was taken away from me. As I walked away from the assault, the shame started. I felt tarnished and undesirable. Emotionally I was stunted. I knew I had to keep it a secret if I was to pursue my dream of becoming the first female conductor in the Canadian Armed Forces Band Branch.
Shame latched on like a leach. It sucked out my self worth. Two days later I travelled across the country. I was excited, not because I was going to start my music career, but because I was putting distance between me and my assault. My life was never the same. I found myself in situations that exacerbated more shame. I looked for love and acceptance in all the wrong places; I was moving further into the hole.
A person can heal by telling their story. The antidote to shame is empathy; Shame cannot survive empathy.
In 1986 I noticed I was having trouble getting out of bed, especially on the weekends when I didn’t have work to distract me. I was consumed with negative thoughts. I was depressed. I felt alone. In addition to trauma and low self esteem, I also faced workplace bullying and was ostracized. In the 1990’s, after my release from the CAF, I discovered self help workbooks that specializes in cognitive therapy. I eventually started seeing a therapist who specializes in trauma related PTSD. I am now on a good path. My life goal is to help others who are experiencing shame and to relay a message of hope.