You Are Stronger Than Your Struggles
“We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.” - Isabel Allende
You Are a Survivor
There is something to be said for those of us who identify as survivors. Life happens; at any point, we can be victimized, not because of actions of our own accord, but because life is just that unpredictable and some people are that vicious. Somewhere along the way, many people, especially females, have bought into the idea that life is full of sugar, spice and everything nice; they think life will be full of rainbows and sunshine. The fairy tales lied, even worse, they left us ill-prepared.
Night after night, we were read stories of women being helpless until a man came along to save her, make her his wife and only then, could she live happily ever after. These stories taught women that finding a perfect mate was the key to life. Even if she kissed a frog, she was afraid to tell the world he wasn’t the prince he appeared to be. So many women suffered in silence at the hands of big bad wolves who they’d hope would be Prince Charming.
I’d identified as a victim my whole life. My earliest memories are of abuse; my own and my mothers, at the hands of my step-father. I wish I could say that his death ended my victimization, it didn’t. Hurt people hurt people and domestic violence in the home starts a domino effect of trauma, pain, and despair that is often ignored.
Healing is Possible
It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I sought therapy and medical treatment to deal with the stress, the pain and trauma I’d been hiding and trying to normalize for years. Once I did, I was able to rid myself of the shame I carried, shame that belonged to my abusers, and realize that while I had been victimized, I was no victim.
I tell my coaching clients, many who have suffered childhood trauma or abuse in relationships, that I’ve noticed one thing about tragic situations. Whenever there is a natural disaster or tragedy that is widely reported, there are two types of people they talk about; survivors and victims. Victims are the ones who have succumbed to whatever the tragedy was, yet, the reports are always highlighting the survivors. Survivors are the ones who made it through the tragic situation.
If you’re reading this, you’re a survivor, not a victim. The situation did not take you out. If you’re still in it, you’re in it to fight another day. Every day is a new chance to rediscover you and reclaim your life.
The reason I started Stronger Than My Struggles was to not only be an example of what it looks like to overcome the situations that tried to take you out, but to be a mentor and guide to others who were going through their own struggles. I wonder if there had been more initiatives that sought to break the silence and stigmas around mental illness and domestic violence, my mother and us kids would have had a better shot at life.
This isn’t the 80’s thankfully, today, there are valuable and viable resources to help victims and survivors, especially of domestic violence. This epidemic is running rampart and we must speak up, be advocates of change and sources of strength to those who have suffered.
If you’re currently being abused, misused, or mistreated, you deserve better. Please, seek help. If you need to talk, Stronger Than My Struggles is here to support you and so is Lady Blue; you are not alone.