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Leaving a Deeply Troubled Past Behind

Ashley Abercrombie struggled with school and life after her parents' divorce, and she turned to bulimia to cope. But, after being raped at a dorm party, her pain became even worse. Read Transcript


WE THREW A PARTY EN MY

ROOM ON MY FLOOR, AND WE

WERE ALL DRINKING.

AND AT SOME POINT, THERE

WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN OUR

ROOM, AND THEN NOT A LOT OF

PEOPLE IN OUR ROOM.

Reporter: WHEN THE

PARTY ENDED, ASHLEY

ABERCROMBIE PASSED OUT FROM

DRINKING TOO MUCH.

BUT SHE WAS NOT ALONE.

A YEAR EARLIER, ASHLEY LEFT

HER SMALL TOWN TO ATTEND

COLLEGE.

SHE WAS ANXIOUS TO PURSUE A

CAREER IN FASHION AND

TEXTILE DESIGN.

I CAME FROM A 15,000

PERSON TOWN, AND STEPPED IN

A COLLEGE THAT WAS TWICE THE

SIZE OF MY HOME TOWN.

I THOUGHT I WOULD LEAVE MY

HOME TOWN AND JUST CHANGE

THE WORLD.

Reporter: SHE ATTENDED

COLLEGE ON A FULL-RIGHT

ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP AND

PLUGGED RIGHT INTO CAMPUS

LIFE.

I PURSUED THE SAME THINGS

I HAD IN HIGH SCHOOL.

I JOINED THE STUDENT

GOVERNMENT, AND I STARTED AS

AN ATHLETE.

Reporter: BUT THERE WAS

TROUBLE BACK AT HOME.

HER PARENTS DIVORCED DURING

HIS FRESHMAN YEAR.

ASHLEY WAS DEVASTATED.

IT WAS ACTUALLY HARD ON

ME.

I THOUGHT, WHERE IS THE

SOLID GROUND.

HERE I'M IN THIS BRAND NEW

PLACE, AND I'M NOT EVEN SURE

ABOUT HOME ANYMORE.

Reporter: ASHLEY DIDN'T

TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT THE

MOUNTING STRESS IN HER

LIFE.

I DEVELOPED AN EATING

DISORDER, CALLED BULEMIA.

THAT IS ONE WAY I DEALT WITH

THE PRESSURE.

THAT COULD MEAN I COULD HIDE

AND NOT HAVE TO SHARE WITH

PEOPLE.

I COULD BE BEHIND CLOSED

DOORS AND EXPRESS HIS

EMOTION, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS

IN AN UNHEALTHY WAY.

Reporter: IN FACT, SHE

WAS ABLE TO KEEP UP HER

GRADES AND ACTIVITIES FOR A

WHILE, BUT OVER TIME SHE

LOST HER GRIP ON WHO SHE

WAS.

SHE WENT FROM RESPECTED

STUDENT ATHLETE TO PARTY

GIRL.

I STARTED DRINKING ALL OF

THE TIME.

THE ONLY WAY TO COPE WITH

BEING IN A CAGE WAS JUST TO

DRINK MORE OR BINGE AND

PURGE OR DO A DRUG.

ANYTHING THAT WOULD KEEP ME

DISCONNECTED FROM, YOU KNOW,

WHO I WAS.

Reporter: HER GRADES

ALSO SUFFERED.

SHE WAS PLACED ON ACADEMIC

PROBATION AND QUICK THE

ROWING TEAM.

THERE WERE SOME DAYS

WHERE I COULDN'T EVEN GET

OUT OF BED.

I WOULD BE GOING TO CLASSES

AND DOING THINGS WITH MY

FRIENDS, BUT NOT REALLY

THERE, NOT REALLY PRESENT.

Reporter: ONE NIGHT

AFTER ASHLEY AND HER FRIENDS

PARTIED IN HER DORM ROOM,

SHE PASSED OUT FROM DRINKING

TOO MUCH.

A MAN WAITED FOR HER FRIENDS

TO LEAVE, INTENDING TO RAPE

HER.

WHEN I CAME TO AGAIN, THE

FIRST THING I REMEMBER

PICTURING IS MY UNDERWEAR ON

THE FLOOR.

AND THINKING, WHAT IS GOING

ON AND COMING TO AND

REALIZING, OH, MY

GOD,, LIKE, THIS IS REALLY

HAPPENING.

THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING TO

ME.

AND NOT BEING ABLE TO

FIGHT.

AND NOT BEING ABLE TO SAY

ANYTHING OTHER THAN NO,

STOP!

THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN

DO.

IT IS A HELPLESS MOMENT AND

COMPLETE LOSS OF CONTROL.

COMPLETE VIOLATION OF

EVERYTHING A PERSON IS.

Reporter: THE RAPIST

WAS A POPULAR STUDENT

ATHLETE.

AND ASHLEY NEVER PRESSED

CHARGES.

I WASN'T SURE ANYBODY

WOULD BELIEVE ME.

BEING THE PARTY GIRL I WAS,

I THINK THEY WOULD HAVE

THOUGHT I CHOSE TO SLEEP

WITH THIS ATHLETE.

Reporter: AFTER THE

ATTACK, ASHLEY LEFT SCHOOL.

IN A WEIRD WAY, IT SORT

OF SOBERED ME.

THAT THE LIFESTYLE I WAS

LIVING HAD TAKEN ME A PLACE

I NEVER WANTED TO GO.

Reporter: ASHLEY

EVENTUALLY MOVED TO

CALIFORNIA.

BUT SHE SOON REALIZED EVEN A

MOVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY

COULDN'T ERASE HER PAST.

WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE

YOU ARE.

I JUST WANTED BULEMIA TO BE

DONE.

I JUST WANTED THE MEMORIES

TO GO AWAY.

I JUST WANTED THE PAIN TO GO

AWAY.

THAT DIDN'T HELP ME ADDRESS

ANY OF THE REAL ISSUES.

Reporter: SHE STARTED

WORKING AT A RESTAURANT

WHERE SEVERAL OF THE WAIT

STAFF WERE CHRISTIANS.

SHE NOTICED A DIFFERENCE IN

THE WAY THEY LIVED.

THESE PEOPLE HAD THIS

LIFE ON THE INSIDE OF THEM.

AT THE TIME -- NOW I KNOW

WHAT IT IS, BUT AT THE TIME,

I JUST DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO

DESCRIBE IT.

I JUST KNEW I WANTED IT.

WE WOULD GO OUT FOR COFFEE

AND DINNERS.

IT WASN'T TOO OFTEN AFTER

THAT, I ASKED HIM, HEY, CAN

I COME TO CHURCH WITH YOU

GUYS.

Reporter: SHE HEARD A

WOMAN AT CHURCH SHARE A

STORY THAT WAS SIMILAR TO

HER OWN.

IT WAS THE POWER OF A

STORY THAT STARTED TO SET ME

FREE.

AND SO I GAVE MY LIFE TO

CHRIST THAT DAY.

Reporter: ASHLEY WAS

HEALED FROM BULEMIA.

AS SHE LEARNED MORE ABOUT

GOD, SHE UNDERSTOOD THAT SHE

NO LONGER HAD TO HIDE BEHIND

THE MASK OF SHAME.

AS I BEGAN TO RENEW MY

MIND IN

CRIEFTD,

CHRIST, AND

WHAT THAT SIMPLY MEANT TO ME

WAS LEARNING, AND SAWEDING

PALM 1: 39, WHERE GOD SAYS

I'M FEARFULLY AND LOVINGLY

MADE.

GOD FOUND A WAY TO REACH

ME.

GOD FOUND A WH WAY TO

RESTORE MY LIFE.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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