Webster's Dictionary defines Happiness as a state of well-being and contentment : joy.

I know for most of my life a state of well being and contentment has eluded me. I have learned many other victims also live in this state. I realize as I heal this state has been inflicted on me from the abuser, his ability to control and defile me. I have also learned I have allowed others to push me down because I felt worthless and loathed who I was. I learned people see this flaw in me and would use it to their advantage and I allowed their actions to further wound me. Why once again I come back to the abuser and how he groomed and controlled my mind, my ability to love and my inability to defend myself from the abuses of others.

During my healing journey I found people, here and everywhere, who could express compassion and love and gave me encouragement to heal. I no longer had fear to look at myself as worthless because they did not attack me verbally or physically, I was told I was valuable and not worthless, I was able to be free and not be locked in a room nor was I made to feel defiled like the abuser left me from his attacks that touched and penetrated my body to spit running down my face to control me followed by his words I would be taken away if I told. I was encouraged it was not a secret that I should hold within like he told me I needed to keep to preserve the love he told me we had.

I have learned healing allows one to find happiness-that sense of contentment and well being that eluded me for a lifetime. I have learned to think differently and accept the abuse is part of me but it does not need to define me or my life. It has helped me to face the parish and diocese and to do what I needed to do with the Hotline.

This weekend was full of laughter, love, support and joy. Walks, dinners and quiet evenings and hearing her words and words from others of encouragement and pride it what I have achieved. I guess I may have found a state of well being and contentment. So maybe I have finally found lasting happiness within myself. I now believe happiness comes from within.