Surviving Being Molested (part 2)

By Antonio Gonzales

Continuing from my last article, I must share an experience that helped me heal rapidly.  A few years ago, I was hosting a workshop for fellow abuse survivors who were also mothers, at an out-patient clinic in New York.  As I was sharing my experience of being molested as a child, I saw eyes fill with water and faces quiver as the mothers tried to hold back their tears.  Before they even opened their mouths, I knew what they were feeling in their stomachs, their throats, and I saw something very familiar: pain.

The thing about pain is that it leaves its victims bruised in their hearts.

So there we were, our painful memories alive in the air, all surviving a very unfortunate experience.  Although we were reliving a difficult experience, it was very comforting to be doing it together.  Just knowing that we could talk about it (without the details) was extremely healing, especially for me.  That moment made me realize that when you think you are in a situation to help others, you may be getting badly-needed help for yourself.

Then, one woman raised her hand and asked, “how do you forgive the people who have hurt you and what I don’t want to forgive”?

Now that is a really powerful question, a familiar one to us victims of molestation.  I shared that, from my experience, there is no instant remedy to forgive.  My experience has been that whenever I seeked help, answers were uncovered.  As I tried to make positive changes in my life, like getting sober, it brought more emotions to the surface that were buried for many years.  But, instead of covering them up with unhealthy relationships, alcohol or pretending they did not exist, I had to be honest with myself and continue down the equally painful road to freedom.

At the end, we all hugged each other and felt so relieved, so comforted.  We even giggled at ourselves.

If there is anything I want readers to walk away with, it is the knowledge that the more you help others, the more you heal.  In trying to help others by sharing your own painful experiences, the more the miracle of healing will happen for you.

If you are in pain today from a similar experience, I send love out to you and commend you on your strength.  You are not alone.

I hope this article was helpful, and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write me.

About the contributor…

A successful hairstylist at Orl’o Salon in the Meatpacking District of NYC and the introspective mind behind Comesse blog, Antonio has been featured in world-class magazines for his skills and vision.  Allure magazine named him as one of the “Best Hair Cuts in NYC,” Vogue labeled him “…a rising star,” and Gotham magazine called him a “shear genius.”  Since 2009, Antonio has enjoyed taking part in NYC’s Fashion Week, together with his boss and mentor Orlando Pita.  Antonio’s second passion is his volunteer work for hospices, transitional homes for girls, women’s shelters and homeless shelters for families.  Antonio has created one platform with one voice, to inspire and educate people on the beauty of fashion and the beauty of helping those experiencing life’s difficulties.  He believes that a makeover has to start with the inside…that the first step to transformation and real happiness starts by becoming aware of your inner beauty.