surviving sexual abuse

Rachel Grant is the owner and founder of Rachel Grant Coaching and is a Sexual Abuse Recovery Coach. She is also the author of Beyond Surviving: The Final Stage in Recovery from Sexual Abuse. She brings to the table a passionate belief that her clients do not have to remain trapped or confronted daily by the thoughts or behaviors that result from abuse.

Rachel’s story started when she was a young girl when she was sexually abused by her grandfather. As she grew into an adult, she was convinced there was no way out of the pain and feelings of worthlessness and endured an excruciating life for more than twenty years. One day, she had enough and embarked on a journey of education and self-discovery. She now provides a 7-Step Toolkit to take victims beyond surviving sexual abuse to living a joyful life they never thought possible.

Listen to Rachel’s story!

Here are a few highlights from our interview. To get the full story please join us on the podcast now!

Rachel’s Story

Rachel grew up in Oklahoma and was the youngest of two much older siblings. She had the run of the house and liked it that way. When her grandfather came to live with them, she was excited about it. She had someone there to pay attention to her all the time. After school she would go straight to his room to spend time with him. He was always a comfort and friend.

Fast forward to when Rachel was ten years old. One day she and her grandfather were on the front porch swing watching people in the park. She always snuggled to him against his wooly sweater. Then she felt his hand reach around and grab her breast.

She remembered thinking that her grandfather must not have realized what he was doing. She tried to wiggle and move away, but he grabbed her tighter and wouldn’t let her move. Immediately, she disassociated. She froze and tuned out. 

I still till this day always find it so fascinating how fast the mind turns on us and how quickly we turn things on ourselves.

She ran to the house crying. Before an hour had passed, she was convinced she was bad and it was all her fault. She already labeled herself as worthless and unlovable. Her entire sense of who she was and what ‘home’ meant changed.

Rachel has scattered memories over the years, but the abuse happened again and again. One day her mom happened to be walking by and saw what he was doing. She yelled at Rachel to get in the house. Within the day her grandfather was gone.

Rachel was between eleven and twelve at the time, but she refused to talk about it. Her parents sent her to a male therapist and she was too scared and embarrassed. This added to her isolation and kept her from healing and moving on.

She was confused about sex and relationships. Her first love was abusive, and she admits, she was abusive too.

I was like a feral cat.

In college she became involved with a very physically aggressive man. She woke up dreading every day and attempted suicide many times. Her life was full of pain and chaos.

By the age of twenty-six, Rachel found herself going through a divorce. All she owned was a sleeping bag and a lamp. Then she perceived a crystal-clear voice. If she didn’t get it together, she’d be hurting for the rest of her life.

It wasn’t easy to find a support. One therapist even told Rachel that she would never be normal. She wouldn’t take that for an answer. She was determined to find out.

How do you heal from sexual abuse?

She got her master’s in counseling psychology and neuroscience. She wanted to combine her experiences of sexual abuse with her knowledge to have a practical way to heal. Then her mission evolved into supporting others in that journey.

Talking about and understanding trauma is not healing trauma.

What kept Rachel from healing?

There was such an ingrained belief that I didn’t ‘deserve’ … period. You could put anything after that sentence.

It stopped her again and again from reaching out for support or taking any help she was offered.

That aha moment

A year after Rachel’s divorce, she was out dating. Her boyfriend at the time reminded her that she could have better standards. He opened the door for her and she didn’t realize that was the standard. She was overjoyed.

The next person she dated wrapped her up in fun and play. It helped her reconnected with that part of herself that laughed. Her Mom told her once she didn’t laugh anymore. Now she was laughing again.

This person that I am was never gone. She just got covered up by a whole bunch of bullshit. 

Best suggestion

When she was eight years old, she saw one of those ‘feed the children’ commercials of famine in Africa. She was in tears and wanted to send everything in the house to the poor people. Then her mom asked her what was the matter. When Rachel told her why she was crying, this is what her mother said.

There are a lot of big problems, and there are a lot of people who are hurt, but you cannot save them all.

But you can help the person who is in front of you all the time. 

Suggestion for the Newcomer

Eat peanut-butter ice cream.

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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.