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.
When we are born we have no reason to believe anyone or anything is going to hurt us. We trust with everything we know until the time comes when that trust is broken. Once this happens we begin questioning the intentions of things and ultimately others around us. Once trust is lost it is not easy to regain and tough to not project on even those who have never done anything to not trust them. It must be a conscious decision to put our past experiences behind us and to make a conscious effort to not make others pay for the actions of a few. It has to be as though after trust is lost with one person you are “re-born” in a sense and you can’t continue to hold everyone around you responsible for actions of a few. When you realize that once trust is lost it is not only the person who broke that trust you no longer believe it but you ultimately have lost trust for yourself in your judgement. Trust is freeing and as long as you are careful and you listen to your instincts so that you aren’t putting yourself in situations where those who have bad intentions have to access to take advantage, being able to trust is so much healthier than hold on to that negativity of not trusting and thinking everyone is out to harm you.
What is Independence exactly? The act of being free of outside control, self-government, separation, sovereignty, freedom and so much more, right?! To become independent we gain control of ourselves and our own actions. We become strength within ourselves and then are able to combine our independence with others and become an even stronger power. It is when we are dependent on others that we are weak and allow ourselves to be taken advantage of and at times abused. Becoming independent does not mean you are shutting out those around you, but are taking control of your own actions and choosing to not blame others for your choices when they do not go as planned. With independence comes ultimate freedom from allowing the action of others to dictate the outcome of our own lives. Things will happen in our lives that we are not able to control but with independence we are able to analyze those moments and determine how we are going to allow them to impact our future. It is within our control and when you are able to stop being the victim of other people’s mistakes and truly become self-aware and in control of your own destiny only then we can gain our true Independence and be Free.
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!