Abuse. Hitting, screaming, bruises. Lying, manipulative threats and fear. Loneliness. Confusion. Sleepless nights filled with nightmares and pain.
Intense right? I usually don't talk about such dark things, but I guess it's because I don't always know how to word it. Abuse comes in so many forms and happens so often now.
On average, 20 people per minute are abused, 24 are raped, nearly 12 million men and women per year, are abused. That's just in the US too! It's so easy to say these things are horrible and they just shouldn't happen, and what a world we would live in if they didn't...but they do. These horrible things do happen and they leaves damage and scars behind on us. Just because we have this trauma though, doesn't mean it won't get better or that it shouldn't.
Too many nights I fell asleep to the television to drown out the fights. Years later I wondered why I wasn't good enough for boys who hurt me. Domestic abuse, rape, drugs, violence, bullies, self harm, clouded over my life for 16 years.
I know I'm not alone. I know everyone in their own perspective has gone though dark times. I know we all have our own stories and they can be quite painful. Even thinking about some of my trauma used to make me sick. For a long time I became quite bitter, hateful, angry. I hated everything and myself until I almost died. When I came back to my senses, I put fire under my life and changed it completely.
My first step was acknowledging what I had gone through. So what have you gone through? I've talked about this before in other blogs and youtube videos, but the biggest and most helpful thing in recovering from my trauma was to feel it all through. This process is long and very painful but really effective. I would go into panic attacks reliving what had happened for years, until I sat down and let myself think about it, and feel what had happened. I can't go back and change, fix or control anything. But I have the power to not let that trauma take over my life. Eventually, I would think and feel about my trauma, and the pain went away. This was of course after several months, and every trauma took a different amount of time. I did feel better though, and every day still gets better.
The next step in my journey was, and still is, self love. I can heal the wound and there will always be scars, but how can I love myself with the scars? That's where I really started to ask the question of who even am I? I'm definitely not the same person I was before the trauma. Who do I want to be?
Picking up the pieces of my life and fitting them together was really hard. I ended up going down three different career paths before I found that one I truly love. I got heart broken but then it mended by my true love. Admittedly I have also had several mental breakdowns. Healing and picking up the pieces doesn't equate not ever slipping up or being perfect. The trauma no longer haunts me or rules my life but some days it can be heavier than others. I just have to learn to forgive myself for not being perfect.
So how can you do that? Who are you? What do you want in life? What kind of person do you want to be?
You are a survivor. You can do anything you dream, you just have to go for it.