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!