Content warning: This story includes descriptions of child sexual abuse that may be distressing to some readers.
Julia refuses to be a victim. Despite suffering a horrific trauma as a seven-year-old child, Julia doesn't want that moment to define who she is. Her story is one of triumph over extreme adversity - and she wants other survivors to know, there is a way through and that healing is possible.
When Julia became a child protection counsellor, she didn't realise how confronting the stories she would hear would be. And eventually, it took a toll.
For decades, Julia had disassociated from something she had experienced as a young girl.
She pushed down the memories, the thoughts and emotions to the very back of her mind, determined to "not be a victim".
"I lived behind a mask for so long, like I was trying to convince myself and everyone around me that I was okay and a success. And often I was doing well. I had to always look good, always live in a nice place and nice area," Julia told Mamamia. "But you can't stay in that state forever. It's finite."
On one ordinary day, Julia realised there was in fact strength in showing vulnerability. The facade had broken, the years of buried trauma seeping through the cracks.
"After my father died, I started to unravel. I was in my 30s and all the emotion came to the surface. I called my brother one day and said 'I want to talk to you about something.' And he immediately replied: 'Do you mean that night in the hotel room when we were kids?' He validated everything I had been through. 'Yes - it happened', he said."