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Madelene Sagstrom’s story of sexual abuse will help others


LPGA Tour participant Madelene Sagstrom is opening as much as the bigger public for the primary time about being sexually abused as a baby.

Sagstrom, 28, had shared it beforehand in Facebook posts and credits sharing her story with someone else as part of the explanation she’s had success up to now few years. Her story is a component of the LPGA’s Drive On initiative and led the tour to start conversations about assets in place for present and future gamers who’ve skilled comparable issues. The 2020 Gainbridge LPGA winner sat down for a video produced by the LPGA and wrote a first-person story to accompany it.

Sagstrom shares story of sexual abuse

Sagstrom stated she was sexually abused on the age of 7 by an grownup male buddy in her native Sweden. She stated she went residence afterward and by no means informed anybody what occurred for 16 years. But the key, and never coping with it, let her assume she wasn’t adequate in myriad methods.

“What I didn’t realize is that I simply did not like who I was,” she wrote within the piece. “I felt insecure — never thinking that I was worthy enough or good enough. I didn’t like who I saw in the mirror. I couldn’t even put body lotion on my legs because of how much I hated my body, hated myself, all because of what someone else did to me.”

She stated she thought she could be OK by no means speaking about it. And then in 2016, after becoming a member of the Symetra Tour, she was struggling along with her feelings on the course. Her mentor, former Ryder Cup participant Robert Karlsson, pushed her to “dig deeper and understand the reasons why I reacted the way I did.” She stored coming again to the abuse in her thoughts, however stated she would push it apart, considering it did not matter.

Sagstrom: Keeping secret was holding me again

Madelene Sagstrom.

Madelene Sagstrom stated she did not notice how being sexually abused by a trusted grownup impacted her till just a few years in the past. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

In a lodge room in Greenwood, South Carolina, she determined there is perhaps one thing there and informed Karlsson she had been sexually abused. She stated she started crying uncontrollably and “16 years of secrets poured out with each tear and every heaving gasp.”

“I had no idea how being sexually abused by a man I trusted affected me,” she wrote. “All those years, I blamed myself. I hated myself. I despised my body and hurt myself both mentally and physically. That day haunted me. I had nightmares about it and did everything I could to escape.”

Karlsson, who met Sagstrom by way of Sweden’s nationwide group, wrote his own short piece for the LPGA about helping someone you care about get by way of a disaster. The present PGA Tour Champions participant noticed a change in her on the golf course after that.

“After that, I think she relaxed a lot more in herself and became a lot more comfortable in her own skin,” he wrote. “She became less sensitive to what happened around her, especially when she played poorly.

“And by speaking in regards to the abuse she suffered as a baby, she proved to herself that she had nothing to concern. She didn’t have something in herself to keep away from, really feel ashamed of or that she wanted to cover. And it positively took her on a special path the place she was extra secure in herself and extra accepting of herself.”

She credits sharing her story with someone else for being able to win three times in 2016 and earn her LPGA Tour card. It started a “new chapter” in her life, she said, and hopes her story can help others find the same page.

“Finding 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 could have skilled sexual abuse. If I contact one life by telling my story, it will all be value it.”

What the LPGA is doing about sexual assault

Sagstrom’s story sparked conversations inside the LPGA about how the group may help gamers who’ve skilled sexual assault, tour officials told ESPN. They hope her story creates an impression.

“There are so many layers of this explicit story,” Roberta Bowman, the LPGA’s chief model and communications officer, said via ESPN. “If your life is touched with trauma, to have that dialog and attain out to others. If you’re fortunate sufficient that you’ve got been spared that, perhaps you will end up within the function of Robert Karlsson and having to have that judgment on the very second, and to create that dialog round how can we respect and help folks going by way of their very own modifications.”

The LPGA/USA Girls Golf is making certain its leaders have the mandatory assets to take care of younger gamers who may need skilled sexual abuse. They labored carefully with RAINN, the National Sexual Assault Hotline, to share Sagstrom’s story and have the hotline listed on all media.

The group will even be sharing RAINN assets with USGA Girls Golf Leaders this week, per ESPN. It will embrace data and ideas for adults on methods to shield youngsters from sexual abuse, methods to see warning indicators of grooming and methods to preserve youngsters protected on social media websites.

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