The wife of England and Leicester City football star, Jamie Vardy, attempted to take her own life after years of sexual abuse as a teenager.
Becky Vardy said being preyed upon in her youth wreaked havoc on her childhood and the psychological trauma continued into adult life.
But the mother-of-three’s life turned around when she sought help from a therapist and she now wants to help other abuse victims.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Mrs Vardy said: “Abuse makes you feel horrid, dirty, and lonely. One caring voice may make all the difference.
“I hope my story helps somebody else. Sadly, it’s not unique.”
The 34-year-old told the paper how the man first assaulted her when she was 13-years-old and continued his near-weekly attacks for three years.
Mrs Vardy described how she became isolated from those around her and began skipping school lessons. She showed promise as a runner, but her talents went unrealised.
Aged 15, she attempted suicide, because she “wanted to escape”.
“It was horrible. I became a scared, mixed-up kid, who struggled to cope living in my own skin,” she told the newspaper.
“I didn’t want to live any more, it was as simple as that. I felt as though I’d done something wrong.”
She continued to carry the psychological burden of her abuse into adulthood, without therapy, and, in a “cry for help”, made a second attempt at taking her life.
After suffering severe post-natal depression, following the birth of her second child, Mrs Vardy confided in a therapist.
“It was as if a black cloud started to lift from me,” she said.
“For years, I’d been traumatised, felt bad, horrid. I’d hated myself, thinking I’d done something bad. I realised I wasn’t in the wrong.
“It was an utterly amazing feeling. Like I was alive again.”
Mrs Vardy said she only recently revealed her experience to her husband, 29, whose Leicester City team enjoyed a historic rise to win the Premier League last season.
“He’s my soul mate. Someone I trust implicitly and who has my back constantly,” she said.
Mrs Vardy said she has begun to help young victims of abuse and plans to do more in the future.
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