Hope Heals’ Stories

Please note that some of the stories may contain graphic and sensitive material that may be disturbing for some readers. If you are feeling triggered please contact The Distress Centre: 613-238-3311 or Mental Health Crisis Line: 613-772-6914.



On March 4, 2018 at 10:22 a.m. I got on the bus. This was something I had done thousands of times. But little did I know this trip would be different…


The Monster and his Queen

As a child, you never imagine all of the horrible things you see in the news, or the scenes Hollywood portrays to gain your attention could be reality. Your innocence allows you to imagine falling in love at a young age, and living out your life in total bliss alongside someone you truly love. Your innocence did not allow room for the haunting thought of love being ripped away by an incurable disease…

The Ups and Downs of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

CBT taught me to question my negative thoughts and emotions and gave me the skills I needed to combat them.

When I was fourteen years old, I started feeling strange. About myself, about school, and about life in general. I did not know what these thoughts and feelings meant. All I knew was that I had horrible self-esteem and that I had started losing interest in things I loved most…

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Lasting harm, with no visible scars

I first heard the term “psychological abuse” when I started university. That’s when I finally got to put a name to what I had experienced

For weeks I’ve put off writing this story, even though I knew that eventually that I would have to do it. I even found myself pushing past the due date before having anything of considerable value down on paper. It’s not that I don’t want to write about my experience. I do…

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Inside the mind of every child abuse victim, sometimes buried deep, lies a story gasping for air: By hearing and acknowledging each other’s stories we can find the courage to break free…

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The “grey area” of consent persists despite #MeToo

Approximately four years ago, I was raped. But up until this year, I had never labelled my experience as rape. Unfortunately, the question of what constitutes consent is not as simple as “no means no.” There is still a grey area that seems to exist in some people’s minds when talking about a sexual experience that results in a person feeling harmed…

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Recovering from trauma with help from EMDR

After two months of sessions twice a week, I was no longer triggered by memories of my sexual assault and was able to move forward with my life.

On Sept. 4, 2012, I was sexually assaulted. The impact of that trauma drastically altered my life. I experienced panic attacks and nightmares and became immobilized by fear and anxiety each time I tried to leave the house. I lost months of my life this way. Finally, I reached the point where I could not carry the burden on my own anymore. I made an appointment with student health and was referred to a psychiatrist who specialized in the treatment of PTSD…


“I was sexually abused for three years of my life and I had somehow convinced myself that all of that was normal, that none of it was wrong.”

My name is Mitch Brule, I am a survivor of sexual abuse and childhood trauma. Growing up dealing with childhood trauma was no easy task. For the most part, you do not even recognize that trauma is what you’re dealing with. Trauma manifests itself within you as anxiety, depression, hurt and pain, which almost no one is equipped to deal with. I am sharing my story in hopes that others who have suffered through similar traumas hear of my experience and feel encouraged to come forward and share their stories as well. At the very least, I hope they will be able to say, “That was me, too.”

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Strength in Numbers

‘I found true healing at the Centre and will continue my journey with their help’

‘I found true healing at the Centre and will continue my journey with their help I would definitely say that being a victim of childhood sexual abuse is extremely difficult, lonely and confusing. There’s nowhere to turn, no way to get yourself to safety or understand that what is happening isn’t right – when the people you're supposed to trust the most, to keep you safe and have your best interests in mind, manipulate and lie….


Hope on the horizon
Through the darkness of PTSD, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan finds hope

When an aircraft enters a war zone, the flight crew turns off the regular lighting in the cabin, and the only illumination is a red light, much like a photographic darkroom. That red light still haunts my dreams...