Natasha’s Story: ”My personal 9/11” People always ask “do you remember where you were when 9/11 happened, or where you were when we repealed the 8th. Those significant days that changed the course of history, and how we live our lives. Sometimes they can bring great joy and renewed hope, and sometimes irreversible damage. Not many remember the 26th June 1998 or the 17th October 2019. Let’s start with the 26th of June. My personal 9/11. The day the towers of my childhood came crumbling down. A war started inside of me and darkness took over me that loomed over my friendships, relationships, and my studies. I’m not sure what I would be like, what my life would have been like if on the 26th June when I was 9 years old, my teacher hadn’t sexually abused me. I remember the day in minute detail. It was the last day of school, a trip to a fun park. It led to a summer of guilt, and dread of the full academic year ahead. From that moment up until my Junior Cert most things are a blur. I was too young to drop out, I just switched off. I dropped out later. My husband always said he knew something but I hadn’t told him. It didn’t stop his empathy and kindness helping to soften the fear and loathing I felt for myself on a daily basis. He was there on the 17th October, the day I phoned One in Four. The day I started to bring the light back into my life. I walked into therapy like that 9 year old child, but through time my therapist helped me rebuild the towers of my life, creating structures to cope, ways to give back the shame, the guilt and replace it with trust and hope, and be the 32 year old mum I am today. Therapy helped me get my power back, and find my voice. I reported him to the Gardaí. One in Four helped me with that. It’s coming up to my anniversary, the 17th October, so I thought I would tell my story, to give something back. If it even helps one person know how much the charity can help them, it will be worth it. Because that one person has a family and they all deserve a home free from the trauma abuse brings.