GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (WOOD)– In light of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a Grand Rapids woman is hoping her story will help others working through their own traumatic experiences.
Portia Mosby is one of 12 contributing authors of a book called “The Day She Left Survivor’s Diary.” Tamara Gooch, the visionary author, features stories from 12 women overcoming a variety of different traumas, to show how they were able to triumph over negative experiences in life.
Mosby’s chapter, titled “Wounded but not Defeated,” focuses on the sexual abuse she experienced as a young child.
“When I was a young child about 8 years old, I was sexually assaulted. This person… I looked up to him as my own father because at the time I didn’t know my dad,” Mosby said. “I was comfortable with this individual. He was always there for me. He treated me as his own. He loved me, he cared for me,” Mosby said.
That’s why when he asked her to come sit with him on the couch after school, she assumed it was to console her because she was upset at the time. That wasn’t the case.
“He told me to do some things that you should not have a child do or want a child to engage in. You have to be a really sick individual to want to have a child engage in any sexual activity with you and you’re an adult, like, that’s just not normal behavior,” she continued.
Mosby said she followed his instruction, because as a young girl, she didn’t know better.
“I’m thinking, you know, this must be something that is okay or he would not be telling me to do this because in my mind, this is dad,” she said.
Eventually, she started feeling uncomfortable and noticed that the look in his eyes wasn’t normal.
“In my 8-year-old mind I’m like, ‘This is definitely not right. I don’t feel good,’ I started getting sick on my stomach and then pretty much I just backed off and I just stood there, and he continued on doing what he was doing,” Mosby explained.
She then went to her room, locked the door and called her mom at work. Mosby dealt with the aftermath of that experience for years and opening up about her story and healing journey hasn’t been easy, but she believes the book is what helped her find her voice.
“I definitely hope that me speaking out about my trauma helps somebody because I feel like when you talk about things, when you face things head-on, you free yourself,” Mosby said. “It’s not healthy keeping things bottled up it’s not healthy keeping things hidden and covered. That’s not a proper way to your journey for healing.”
Mosby said for a long time she felt shameful, guilty, and believed it was her fault. She now knows that isn’t true and she wants anyone who has been through a similar trauma to know it isn’t their fault and that they’re not alone. She’s leaned on God to get her to where she is today, and she also still talks to a counselor. Even though it can be painful, talking to someone you trust, she said, is the key to moving forward.
“It’s okay to talk about your trauma. That’s one of the key factors to starting the healing process is to open up about it,” she said. “When I say I’m set free, I’m set free.”
Mosby shares more details about what happened that day and what her healing journey was like in the book, which she hopes will help others find their own path to freedom.
“The Day She Left Survivor’s Diary” covers several different traumatic topics, but Mosby’s wish is that it helps people realize they’re not alone and encourages them to work on healing from their own experiences. The book can be purchased through Mosby’s website.