Madelene Sagstrom: If I contact one life it will likely be value it

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(Editor’s notice: This can be a first-hand story from LPGA Tour winner and European Solheim Cup group member Madelene Sagstrom, during which she discusses being sexually abused at age 7 and her want to encourage and encourage others along with her story. This story first appeared on LPGA.com as a part of its Drive On marketing campaign.)
I’m sitting in a resort room in Greenwood, South Carolina. And I can’t cease crying.
It’s March 2016 and I’m right here to arrange for a Symetra Tour occasion later within the season.
I need to give myself the very best likelihood to succeed. However I can’t preserve this inside me anymore. I would like to inform somebody in regards to the secret that I’ve saved bottled up inside me for 16 years …
Rising up in Sweden, I used to be so naïve. I believed I might belief everyone. I believed everyone was presupposed to be my pal. I hung round rather a lot with my brother after we have been youngsters and lots of of our shut pals have been older individuals who lived close to us within the countryside about an hour from Stockholm.
At some point, I used to be on my own going over to see my pal, a person I used to be actually near however who was not a relative.
I went inside. We frolicked. And he sexually abused me.
I used to be 7 years outdated.

Afterward, I went dwelling. And for 16 years, I acted like nothing ever occurred.
For years, I immersed myself in golf. Golf turned my savior; I might lose myself within the sport. And once I performed effectively, I used to be okay.
That turned a sample. If I might simply play somewhat higher, I believed I’d be happier. Then I carried it a step additional. If I might simply be somewhat skinnier, somewhat nicer, somewhat extra likable …
What I didn’t understand is that I merely didn’t like who I used to be. I felt insecure–by no means pondering that I used to be worthy sufficient or ok. I didn’t like who I noticed within the mirror. I couldn’t even put physique lotion on my legs due to how a lot I hated my physique, hated myself, all due to what another person did to me.

BY Amy Rogers

 — February 22, 2021 at 10:00 AM
The story of how Madelene Sagstrom got here to inform her story of sexual abuse and the way she desires to assist others.

I by no means needed to acknowledge the assault, to myself or anybody else. Even after I turned an grownup and will perceive that what occurred to me was not my fault – that the emotions I had about myself have been rooted within the trauma from way back – it didn’t assist. Someway, I believed I’d be okay not speaking about it.
However I used to be flawed.
I had a giant awakening in 2016 once I joined the Symetra Tour. Robert Karlsson, a former Ryder Cup participant who I met by the Swedish Nationwide group was my mentor again then. On the time, I used to be combating my feelings on the course. He actually pushed me to dig deeper and perceive the the reason why I reacted the best way I did. I had this factor come up in my thoughts. At first I didn’t assume it was necessary. Nevertheless it saved coming again time and again. I believed, ‘Possibly there’s something there. Possibly I ought to inform Robert.’
At some point, in that resort room in Greenwood, South Carolina, I informed him that I had been sexually abused as a baby. As he checked out me, with a combination of shock and empathy on his face, my whole world broke down. I wept uncontrollably. Sixteen years of secrets and techniques poured out with every tear and each heaving gasp.
I had no concept how being sexually abused by a person I trusted affected me. All these years, I blamed myself. I hated myself. I despised my physique and damage myself each mentally and bodily. That day haunted me. I had nightmares about it and did all the pieces I might to flee.
Telling Robert was the largest launch I’ve ever had. It made me be happy. It’s a giant motive why I received thrice in 2016 and earned my LPGA Tour card. I didn’t really feel like I used to be hiding anymore. I felt like I might do no matter I needed. I felt like I’d be okay.
Robert understood the ache that I’d been carrying for therefore a few years. On the golf course, we skilled so lots of the identical ideas. He knew the place I used to be coming from as a participant, so I felt actually free to talk to him. He was my ally. He was somebody I might belief 100% and supply the counsel and assist I wanted.
Collectively, we determined that I wanted to inform my dad and mom. That was one of many worst days of my life.

BY Golf Channel Digital

 — February 22, 2021 at 10:00 AM
Coach and mentor Robert Karlsson shares first-hand to the LPGA about when Madelene Sagstrom revealed her long-held secret.

I knew telling them could be overwhelming and emotional so I wrote a script and made a voice recording. I sat in my residence, with Robert on FaceTime and my dad and mom on Skype. They have been like, ‘Why is Robert right here?’ And I used to be like, ‘You’ll determine it out.’ Then I performed the recording for them. As I listened, I spotted that that is the worst factor that oldsters can ever hear from their youngster. I can’t do something worse to them. They took it actually arduous. I imply, how do you ever take that information? However telling them introduced us nearer. I really feel far more open with them, and far more comfy telling them how I really feel. I believe they recognize that openness and see a unique facet of me, too.
Once I was 7 years outdated, one thing horrible occurred to me. It was an occasion that scared me and formed my shallowness for much too lengthy. The perfect resolution I ever made was to share my secret with my mentor and pal, Robert Karlsson, in that resort room. After which to maintain telling the folks round me.
It was the beginning of a brand new chapter in my life, of me feeling okay simply being me. The day I shared my secret, all my partitions broke down. All the pieces I had constructed up for therefore a few years fell to the bottom.
For therefore lengthy, I by no means thought I’d inform anybody. It was going to be my secret endlessly. I’m so glad it’s not.
Discovering my voice and braveness to share my expertise has taken time. Survivorship is a steady course of. As an expert athlete, I’ve the visibility to make a distinction and join with others who might have skilled sexual abuse. If I contact one life by telling my story, it’ll all be value it.
To speak with somebody about sexual abuse, name the Nationwide Sexual Assault Hotline within the U.S. at (800) 656-HOPE (4673).

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