Gloria's Story

Gloria Master’s is an author, advocate, speaker, and a survivor of child sexual abuse (CSA).

Before Gloria disclosed, she grew up feeling like everything was her fault. She repressed her memories for 16 years and it felt beyond challenging to carry so much shame and guilt.

Gloria first disclosed the abuse she experienced with a psychologist. When he uttered the words “It was never your fault” she felt the stirrings of relief.

Fast track to 2022, and Gloria wrote her second book: Flightpath to Healing: A Guide for Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) Survivors. She loves to write and finds the process cathartic and powerful. Gloria shares what prompted her to write this book, and how it evolved over time.

“I had always known that I would write a book like this because I had so much trauma that I lived through, and knew, through years of pain and anguish, what had helped my recovery and healing. I learned through lived experience and through listening to many survivors over time. I finally realized that when I spoke to survivors, they felt held and understood in that space, something that hadn’t been available to them before. I suspect it is because I am a healed CSA survivor myself. It was suggested I write this book, as I have often been asked what helped me to heal from this sixteen years of horrendous child sexual abuse and trafficking, I experienced. Simply put, this book is written from one survivor to another. I’m humbled and proud of what I have produced. I have had survivors and non-survivors reach out thanking me and reporting that it is helping them. Some non-survivors even mentioned they might start using the exercises in the book.”

Gloria was very intentional about her book and how it was divided.

“The book starts with a boarding pass which we all have as survivors. Some may ask; Why do we get the boarding pass before we have boarded the plane (started the journey)? The answer is, you have already survived what you went through, you’ve been traveling this path for years - you just didn’t realize it.”

You then traverse through the book which is in 4 sections. “What worked for me as a survivor, ways you can use these techniques, common symptoms CSA survivors experience, empowering resources, and healing modalities. The final part is your flightpath.

You are not required to use the book in a specific way. You can choose how you wish to work with it. You can follow it from beginning to end or focus on one chapter a week. It doesn’t have to be from A to B. You could even choose to work with one section, then leave it for a month. Whatever way you choose is the right way for you. Trust your instinct, it is never wrong.”

Towards the very end, you arrive at the purpose of the book, which is your flightpath. This is where you choose from the first 3 parts of the book that resonated with you, and these form your traveler destination details and itinerary.

As Gloria reflected on her book and explored the many ways survivors can heal, she also offered advice to survivors who are deciding whether or not to share what happened to them.

“Our mind is always leading us to healing. If the thought is there, it’s because there is a part of you ready to face and forward it. By that, I mean, share it with someone safe. You might journal it. You might do an art class where you just put it all on the canvas. You might join a hockey team where you smash the c##p out of that ball. Releasing it from you is a way of sharing. If you feel prompted to share with someone you trust 100 percent, start thinking about how and prepare your script. You could say something like; Look, I‘ve got something personal to share and I really need the space held. Can you sit with me, please, while I do this?

The main point to come back to is this; if it's in your head, there is a reason for it, maybe because you are ready to experience more healing through sharing it.”

Gloria has practiced healing in various ways and shares what has been most healing for her on her journey.

“There are three things. Meditation has changed my whole life because I couldn’t trust anyone in my life to look after me. I was never safe, so I learned to go within, (which is meditation) and that is where I found my hope. Meditation saved me and still does today.

The second thing was having someone I trusted, who was not a family member, or invested in what I disclosed. I lost my whole family through speaking out, but this person, Jackie, is a beautiful, close friend. She’s always been there for me. She has 100 percent believed me and stood by me. She never doubted me. Have someone you can share with.

The third is finding self-love because I never believed that self-love was available to someone like me.”

Gloria shares her final message to survivors.

“I see you. I stand beside you, and I believe you.”

Check out Gloria's YouTube channel here.

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