That’s Her But Not Me – Deona’s Story

Name: Deona

Age: 28

Diagnosis/Mental Issue: Depression, PTSD

So what’s your story?:

I was born and raised in a small town in Henderson, Kentucky. Everyone was like family there and very friendly. I lived next door to this nice women who allowed me to come over to her house when I wanted to. When I was 5 my life changed. My mother and my neighbor would be drinking liquor and having a good time. When the liquor ran out her brother would go to the liquor store 5 minutes away to get more. I would ask sometimes could I go or he would ask and of course my mom said yes because she thought nothing of it. I was excited to go because I could drive. I had to sit on his lap in order to drive. While I drove he use to touch me inappropriately but I wasn’t paying much attention to that because I was driving. On one summer day I went next door to look for the nice neighbor (her door was always unlocked) she was nowhere to be found. I was going back home until the neighbors son told me to come here so I went. This man made me perform oral sex on him. I didn’t know what I was doing and what was going on I was 5!

Years went by it was a blur at age 11 I moved to Illinois and I was emotional from leaving my family. Suddenly these vivid images would just start popping up out of nowhere I couldn’t understand what was going on. This was also causing learning and behavioral issues. I finally told my mom what had happened she was hurt and called the neighbor and told her. The lady could only say sorry. During this time my mom felt bad but she wasn’t as supportive as I would’ve liked her to be instead I felt as if she thought it was my fault. As she’s said before I should’ve been in the house because I was known for roaming off. That was a smack in the face, and there was one time at my grandmother’s funeral where the nice neighbor was in her car and she saw my mom and she decided to call me over to say HI! These two things together really angers me. I love my mom to death but my forgiveness for her is not there yet, and quite frankly I don’t ever think it will be. I’ve had a close family member say I play the victim. I’ve never asked for sympathy but I want people not to try to act as if this not occur!! The support was not and still is not there, even after being diagnosed with PTSD and depression. I went to a psychiatrist and I also brought my mother one day so that she could understand my diagnosis because she couldn’t understand why I was always so negative and not happy. Let’s just say that visit didn’t go as planned. It was very frustrating to try to have someone explain something to someone who is still in denial.

How Are You Feeling Now?:

After having 2 kids I’m blessed, but I’m also so cautious of who my kids are with due to this situation. My recent pregnancy with my son brought a lot of negative emotions such as abandonment and guilt. I cried many days and nights. My dad who I’ve grown closer to, told me I will never have to worry about another man hurting me again. That was my closure to this situation. I don’t want this to be my future, so telling this story is a start to a new me! I feel empowered more than ever an undefeated.

How Do You Practice Self-Care?:

I try to stay as busy as possible. When I feel myself getting into a depressive mode or have flashbacks, I look at my kids or play gospel music for the encouragement. I do not take medication at all. I do not feel that it was helping, although I have tried marijuana before. I loved the effect but I had to stop, as I was becoming unfocused with my goals.

What Do You Hope To Accomplish By Sharing Your Experience?:


I hope to bring awareness to sexual abuse, since the support that we wish to have is not always there. I’m here to encourage anyone that has been through this, and to let them know that they are not alone. There are so many people that do not have the courage to tell their story, and I’m here to speak up for them.

I’m actually finding out who I really am and it feels good.