Student overcomes childhood trauma

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

During her fourth, fifth and sixth grade years, junior nursing major Jillian Murphy was sexually assaulted by someone close to her family.

“I don’t even know how many times over the three years it happened,” she said.

She said she was scared to go forward and tell anyone because he was close to her family, and she didn’t know how people would react.

“I would never scream,” she said. “I was scared, so I would just sit, and I would just lay. I wouldn’t move.”

Murphy said she started feeling like it was her fault because she let it go on so long without telling anyone. In middle school, she said she finally came forward and told her mom, but the pain didn’t stop.

“My mom told me it was like everybody was walking on eggshells around me because they didn’t want me to break,” she said.

Murphy said after she came forward she didn’t want anyone to touch her or talk to her. She said she went through several phases after she came forward. In the first one, she didn’t want to feel anything.

“It hurt too much,” she said.

In the second phase, she didn’t care what she did.

“Hurt people hurt people,” she said. “I was really hurt, so I was hurting everyone around me.”

In the last phase, she tried to be a good person on the outside.

“I tried to get the best grades,” she said. “I wanted to be the best person.”

Then, she said, she broke.

“Nothing I was trying was working,” Murphy said.

At a Disciple Now conference with her church during her freshman year of high school, Murphy heard a sermon about the parable of the lost sheep, how the shepherd left the 99 sheep just to find the lost one.

“So, You’re going after me,” Murphy said she thought about God. “I’m not alone.”

This is when Murphy said she became a Christian, and this experience became the subject of her book “This is Why” published June 2017. Murphy said she knew she was supposed to write about her being sexually assaulted, but she didn’t want to.

“I was thinking, ‘You can’t use this for good,’” she said.“I get it now. I would’ve never wanted this to happen, but if this is what You’re going to put in my hand to bring You glory, I’ll use it.”

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