Joseph’s Story

I was only six years old when I was first sexually abused. I was visiting relatives when my older cousins stole my innocence. I didn’t tell anyone because they threatened to kill my family. More abuse happened throughout my childhood, but I didn’t tell anyone that horrible secret until I was18 years old when I told my mom. For awhile I blamed her for not protecting me. I didn’t tell my father until I was 24 because I knew he wouldn’t believe me.
The abuse affected much of my life and put me in a very dark place. It affected how I interacted with others; I was mean. I hated myself and attempted suicide. It was then that I was referred to the Bellflower Center- now DVCAC. I have been seeing my counselor for the past four years and she has helped me gain the confidence I needed to move on and live my life. I am more content and happy with myself and my future.

One special gift that came out of my therapy is the desire to pursue my love of singing. I have been singing since I was six to cope with the bad things that happened to me. I developed a love of opera and expressed my dream to get vocal training to my therapist. She helped me fulfill my dream by introducing me to the Music Settlement where I have been training and performing for 3 years. The support I have received at DVCAC has also pushed me to pursue other dreams like writing poetry and I am even working on a few books. My life hasn’t been easy, and I have more work to do to be the best me, but you can still have a great life after abuse.

My message to other victims is that you will never get over it, but you can find a way to cope and move on with life. Dreams can happen, if you go after them.