I am sitting in front of my parents in my sister’s apartment on a hot summer day. My body is shaking and I’m trying to breathe as I’m about to tell them the biggest secret of my life, a secret I kept away from them.  What happens next changed my perception and I realized that fear can create false stories in my head, and I’m now capable of overcoming  any fearful thought.

As a child, I was sexually molested and sadly I was  unable to speak my truth due to other issues in my family.  I remember, when I was about 5 years old, telling myself that I  would never tell my mother or anyone what was happening to me back then.  

When I became a young adult, I broke the promise and surrendered to the Universe and told this story to a priest and a friend who was the coolest Catholic nun.  It took me another 3 years to talk about this in public. I spoke my truth in front of an audience in college, and 13 years later, I overcame the fear of telling my parents.

I remembered a psychotherapist telling me once that I didn’t  have to tell my trauma to my parents, so I had buried the hope of  expressing my truth to them. In the summer of 2014, I found myself at a mindfulness retreat for young adults at Blue Cliff Monastery.  Going there was my last resource to heal from a breakup .

My sister had gone there before and I remember how she had come back glowing and looking very zen.  So I picked up the phone while I was sobbing about my breakup and asked her to tell me the name of this place. I was ready to do something different for myself.

During this retreat, the  tools I needed to deal with my suffering were finally given to me.  I’m learning mindful living and the art of self-compassion . I’m starting to feel alive again.  

Self-compassion is not something they teach us at school.  How to love ourselves was a radical lesson for me during this healing process.  I left the retreat not really thinking much about the breakup and the issues in my present life, but rather with the intention of telling my parents my history of past sexual abuse as a child.

Let’s go back to what happened after I told my parents.  Despite my fear that something terrible was going to happen to them, I remembered to offer compassion to my inner child.  My inner child needed her voice back. She needed to speak her truth. So I told them, and they didn’t die; neither did my mother suffer a nervous breakdown as I thought she would.  My mother apologized for not having been there for me when I needed her.

I felt like a big weight was taken out of my whole body.  I felt light and empowered. I am now a women’s empowerment coach and teach how to master the practice of self-compassion  and self-love .

I’ll never know why it happened to me, but I utilize my story to help other survivors of sexual abuse speak their truth so they too can live their life to the fullest.  

When thoughts of fear come  into my head, I remember how far I have come. My love for a life with freedom is much bigger than any fearful thought.

If you are a survivor of sexual abuse and you have not yet spoken your truth to anyone, I want you to know that you are already courageous for been able to strive in life.  It takes time, support, and a healing process to speak your truth. Take baby steps by sharing it with someone that you can trust and is supportive of you. Releasing that story can liberate you from keeping the pain all by yourself and the heart of your inner child. I believe you can do it, too.  

Practice self-compassion  by remembering how deserving you are of expressing your hurt.  From there, you’ll learn to allow yourself to receive help. Perhaps you can start processing your story with a professional and/or empower yourself and others by sharing your story with many.  


  • Freedom Rivera

    Women's Empowerment Coach & Mindfulness Consultant

    Freedom Rivera is a women's empowerment coach and mindfulness instructor. She is also the founder and facilitator of "Mindful She" a women's circle in New York city.

    Freedom helps the modern woman master the practice of self-love and connect to her divine guidance so she can create a life she loves.

    She teaches how to improve the sense of self-compassion, how to deal with life challenges, how to tap into one's own spiritual power, and everything in between.

    Despite a traumatic childhood, her core belief is that everyone is capable of making their dreams into a reality through self-compassion.

    Freedom holds a masters degree in counseling for mental health and wellness from New York University.  She also has a background as a yoga instructor and practices mindful living.

    When she’s not working, you can find her spending time at the beach, socializing with other high vibe souls or making papaya smoothies. To watch her inspirational videos visit: freedomrivera.com