Friday, 11 May 2012

More than a Survivor via @Celesteka

This week I would like to introduce you to a very special lady. A lady who has endured so much yet continues to do so much to help others. We have become firm friends and I am proud to call her my "adopted" sister.

Her name is Celeste Rousseau

You can read more of her healing journey at More than a Survivor

Say hi to Celeste on Twitter too! @Celesteka

This is Celeste in her own words.

I was born and raised in San Diego, California. I grew up at the beach and loved to swim in the ocean on a daily basis. I was a music major in college, focusing on piano and voice. I have three beautiful children ages 36, 38 and 40, and five lovely grandchildren ranging from ages 2 to 15.

Though I had careers in office management and purchasing, my love has always been around music and children. I played and sang professionally for many years, touching many souls with my heart. I also spent a few years in Russia and joined an organization to reach out to orphans. I was heartbroken to learn that hundreds of thousands of children are taken to institutions. I was a small drop in a huge sea of people who need to love these cast-off children. I once held an eighteen-month old baby named Masha. When I first met her, her eyes were unfocused. After I picked her up, held her on my lap, and sang to her, she opened up to me. When I left we both cried. I wrote a poem about her, entitled, “Broken-Winged Angel.” It was published in a local newspaper in Moscow. I will always remember her sweet angelic face. One day I plan to work with orphans again.

In the meantime, I am a nanologist, as one of my dearest friends likes to call me. I am blessed to watch my two youngest grandchildren full-time and be a loving presence in their lives. They are opening my eyes to the wondrous view of the world from the perspective of an innocent and well-loved child.

I am a survivor of incest, sexual abuse, rape and ritual abuse.

The first 18 years of my life were terrifying, painful and shaming, hence I completely repressed all memories of any incident of abuse until I was 30 years old. I began to awaken when I was raped by a family friend who was a doctor. I again closed the lid on my subconscious thoughts until one of my children was in crisis.

At 36 years of age, I began having flashbacks about being sexually abused by my father. After these first shocking memories, the rest of the abuses at the hands of family, friends, church members and strangers began to unfold like onion skins being pulled off layer by layer from an onion.

As a small child I was left unprotected, alone and vulnerable in my world. I had no sense of boundaries, self-respect or self-esteem.

Because of this, I was extremely self-destructive. As I began to remember my victimizations, nearly everything about my personality and my behaviors during my entire life began to make sense to me. As I walked through the darkest moments of my life I experienced the emotional and physical pain that was inflicted upon me. As I acknowledged and embraced all the wounded, shattered parts of myself and released the shame, guilt and unworthiness I bore, I began to experience peace in my life.

Prior to this evolvement, my life had been an enigma.

I felt dirty and ugly inside; yet outwardly I was pretty and popular.

I felt stupid; yet I was the top student in my classes.

I felt uncoordinated; yet I was a superior athlete.

I felt untalented; yet throughout my life I have performed vocally and at the piano, and have created custom clothing, slipcovers, jewelry, and furniture.

When I began to see what had been hidden within myself for decades I realized immediately why I had such negative feelings about myself. I had carried the shame and guilt of all the abuses against me and others that I experienced and witnessed.

With caring professional support I slowly crawled out of the darkness in which I had lived, into a softly lit room and began to experience self-esteem as I released the burdens that were not mine to carry.

Because my boundaries were repeatedly invaded as a small child, I believed that my purpose was to be available to anyone who wanted me. I was self-destructive for many years until I realized why I couldn’t say, “NO !” I am still learning to set healthy boundaries in my life by listening to my inner voice to hear how I am feeling when I am approached by anyone.

Because I was abused in a religious setting I changed God’s name to LOVE. LOVE became an essential force in my life as I followed the 12-Step Program, showing me a better path toward healing and hope.

Though the healing road is difficult and circular in its movement I continue to heal and experience hope, love and joy in my life.

Because I am healing from sexual abuse I have hope for many who are on the same path. My heart aches for all who have suffered and are suffering today. My prayer is that all children will be protected from harm, treated with respect, listened to and loved in the manner that they deserve.

Please be patient with yourself and don’t give up, wherever you may be on the road; this is a lifetime journey that is full of enlightening moments.

You deserve to experience healing and abundant life.

You are worthy of unconditional love !

Thank you.


Patricia Singleton said...

Thanks to both of you for sharing this story of abuse and healing.

Nikky44 said...

Thank you very much
As a victim of sexual and domestic abuse myself, this post has touched my heart. In fact, My post of today mentioned the sexual abuse


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