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In the recent years I have learned more from my past by acknowledging the impact it has had on me. I know now that by ignoring the past and burying it, all it does is hurt me more. I think of it like this, if you bury something living it does not die without putting up a fight. It will scratch and dig to try to uncover itself and the more you cover it up the angrier it gets. I learned that the best thing is to bring it out and address it by acknowledging how it impacts me today. The moment I started this process, my life has calmed so much and my future has actually been uncovered through it. Is that possible to uncover the past and actually find my future? I can only tell you that all the years I buried and tried to ignore the past that I was not proud of, were full of negative moments. The more I tried to “forget” the past the more it seemed to keep haunting me. Like an angry spirit that only wants to be set free and in the process it haunts others because it is not sure how else to be heard. Healing can only truly begin once you acknowledge those things that you are burying. It’s time for us all to achieve the positive future we were meant to be living. Not allowing the past to hold us down, while trying to drag us into that grave with it. It is time to LIVE and let the past move on.
So many of us build walls in order to protect us from our past. The problem is that this actually can do the opposite and it can prevent us from moving toward our future. These walls that are meant to be made temporary and not allowed to encompass us entirely. All too often those who built these walls get comfortable behind them. They end up becoming trapped behind that which they built to protect them. It is natural to want to never be hurt again after you survive, but by projecting on to the world the acts of specific people or events all you do is close yourself off from the love and good that you should be allowing yourself. Do not allow yourself to remain the victim forever. Allow yourself the time and then be sure to start healing. The longer you build that wall the thicker it will become and the more difficult to tear down.
I have written about my history and the fact that I was molested and then raped when I was young. I have not spoken about how that man stole my soul as it was as a young girl. That very first incident changed my life forever and this man stole that from me. Do we as a society think about this as much as we think about the acts themselves? Innocent souls are stolen by the predators and when they are caught they are given unimaginably short sentences after giving a life sentence to their victims. The victims are shamed and often, like myself, don’t speak out. In my case, I blocked my trauma out for 5 years and during that time had self-hate and harm. I thought about suicide many time and actually attempted, just wanting to go to sleep and stop the inner voice from continuing to tell me horrible things about myself. My inner voice hated that I didn’t get her justice and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting help or why I wasn’t making sure the man that stole our innocence got punished. When I finally allowed myself to remember the rape again 5 years after, I promised myself I would never be silent about this again.
As a society, we tell children that sex is bad and that it is not something we talk about. Even this is wrong. We need to stop stigmatizing the act of sex and put the focus on the fact that these people that do these acts to children are predators and need to be given as extreme of consequences as they impose on their victims. These predators steal the souls of their victims and need to be punished as such.
This journey from Survivor to Thriver and Then Beyond, is in no way easy but it is truly within reach of each of us. Myself, I am between the Survivor and Thriver Stages and I work every day to take the necessary steps to keep moving more forward that backward. This road is often bumpy and there are many days I just think "Maybe I am good with just being a survivor. Why do I need to thrive anyway and is the beyond really that amazing? I am happy as I am now. Why do I need to keep pushing myself?"
The simple answer to all this is: I am meant to do MORE! My journey hasn't ended so why should I just stop working to achieve the ultimate life I am meant to live? I survived sexual abuse! I survived suicide! I survived a life of negativity. Why? The only logical explaination I can come up with is that I am meant to THRIVE and even more importantly reach BEYOND! I am meant to share my story so that others can survive themselves and know that if I can do it they certainly can. If you have done the work to survive your past regardless of what it held, be sure you are working toward thriving and living this life you have, to it's fullness without regret.
Perpetrators don’t only make victims of those they violate. When another person hurts someone the carnage that is left effects the victim and anyone the victim comes in contact with for the rest of their lives. The victim will build walls that will keep others at a distance in order to protect themselves. They do this unconsciously but it does impact all future relationships until they are able to acknowledge it. Even after they acknowledge it they have to learn to accept their present state and teach themselves to see when they are throwing the obstacles in their path of potential happiness. With all this negativity bottled up they will create problems even when problems don’t exist. All this is due to their FEAR of being hurt again. Do you see now that the Perpetrators take more than just the victim they actually violate? This is something that needs to be taken very seriously by all parties involved and needs to be addressed immediately after the crime is committed. Society has to stop blaming the victims so that they aren’t afraid of talking out and getting themselves the immediate help!
What an amazing thing to be able to say is “I am a Survivor, Not the Victim,” of a horrible event or in some cases series of events. When we choose to be a survivor and not the victim we empower ourselves to overcome the shame or emotional pain that will prevent us from growing. Being a survivor indicates that regardless of what happen previously you will not be held back from what you believe you were meant to do in your future! Never allow your past to hold you back from your positive future just because at one time you were a victim. Remember that being a victim is meant to be a temporary state. A survivor is forever!