Hi guys, my name is Christen Cowan.
While fundraising for my service dog, somewhere along the way God impressed on my heart a desire to share my story in hopes that it would provide hope to other women. Whoever this reaches, I hope what I share is encouraging to you.
A brief synopsis of my story is that I was sexual assaulted 5 times from being a little girl to 28. I won’t go into details about each incident except to say that each one brought me to a new understanding of what rape is. Many think that rape is strictly defined as forced sexual intercourse. My experiences have broaden that definition. Rape is any form of forced or coerced intercourse as well as unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate touching. I have experienced each of those things.
As a result, in October of 2014 I had a mental breakdown and became suicidal. I voluntarily admitted myself in a crisis center and began my road to recovery. I moved back home with my parents, began treatment with a psychiatrist and Christian Counselor. I had severe daily panic attacks and an inability to function at work. I was clinically diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, and Depression. I coped with my condition by shopping, eating, and sleeping.
It has been 2 years and 4 months since I came home and began getting cognitive therapy and regular behavioral health assessments. I have occasional panic attacks, daily anxiety, and mild depression. Things are a lot better now, but I still need a lot of healing.
I’m using this blog to share my story to encourage others to seek help, to come out of the shame, and choose to live instead of survive.