Since We Only Have One Heart
I was born in a small town on the west coast of South Korea where I grew up with a big family. I was first sexually abused at the age of four. Then, between the ages of 5 and 7, I was sexually abused by my eldest brother and one of my cousins.
As a result of this trauma, I had to face many issues throughout my life for decades, especially in communication and relationships. I chose to stay deep within my own world because I thought that if nobody in the world but me knew about the abuse, then someday I would also no longer remember anything about it. I was also pessimistic about seeking any consultation to help me heal. I could not trust anybody, and I was always so nervous and uncomfortable having people around me.
I became more vulnerable to sexual abuse and suffered institutional abuse at the hands of my teachers and colleagues. I was also abused by my friend’s boyfriend while he was helping me with babysitting.
In my own journey to healing and empowerment, I found that other approaches and programs did not meet my needs. It was during my prayer in the spring of 2010 when God helped me connect the dots and recognize that many of my issues stemmed from the impact of being abused.
As a survivor, I have longed to find a way to help other victims of sexual abuse. In 2014, I formed a nonprofit called One Life One Heart (OLOH) International, in Ames, Iowa. I chose the name One Life One Heart to portray that one’s life goes with one heart, which carries all of our stories whether happy or tragic. Since we only have this one heart, it is important to take care of it and keep it functioning properly to enjoy a healthy life.
– Michelle, survivor