Before we began the work of healing – especially healing after violence at the hands of someone we trusted or loved (or both) we often stood in the shadows – meek, unsure of ourselves, feeling “not as good as” those around us. We didn’t dare “aspire” to good or better jobs, an office with our name on the door, or a better apartment, let alone a house of our own. We didn’t know exactly why, but put another way, we just didn’t seem to “deserve” those things.
And then we began to heal. We told our story, started therapy, and guess what? All those suppositions, all those feelings of inadequacy began ever so slowly to get kicked to the curb – and good riddance! The harder we worked, the more kicking we did.
In my case, as is true for most sexual assault or domestic violence victims, it didn’t happen overnight. But as sure as I’m writing this blog, it did happen. With healing comes strength, and with strength comes courage – in all its forms. It’s like a snowball. Once you are courageous in taking one step, even if you fall down, you get up and want to take the next. Suddenly, as you move forward, one step at a time, one day at a time, you begin to see the world differently. So differently, in fact you are gradually morphing into the person you always wanted to be. But you have to take that first step.
And you know what? Everybody’s first step is different. Maybe you start to take better care of yourself physically so you have more energy. Maybe you take that computer class to brush up on what’s new, or to learn all the things you never needed to know before. Maybe you realize you’re smarter than you ever got credit for, and you start to expand your horizons. Why shouldn’t you be as successful as other people in the job you really think you can do? Why shouldn’t you start that hobby you always wanted to try?
And as this takes place, you feel something you haven’t felt in a long time – passion. You are glad to be alive again because there is so much yet to do. And in your heart, you know. You know that you have survived the worst trauma of your life and you’re still standing.
Don’t let anyone “naysay” to you at that point. Sometimes people do. But never mind it. Believe that you got where you are through hard work, strength, and courage, and keep moving forward. The alternative is standing still, afraid to move, stuck where you are. And if you’ve learned anything, it’s that you’ve done enough of that. Onward! And knock ‘em dead.
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know what first step you took and what it did for you. Be proud of yourself and I will share your joy. And if you need a partner on the way forward, don’t forget that’s what I do, in this blog and in person. Good luck and God bless.
Coretta Dixon is a highly regarded businesswoman and sexual assault survivor. Her own traumatic experiences and exemplary work done through the healing process, along with her Master’s Degree and business experience in Change Management, equip her well to act as a coach to those who have done the work of healing and now wish to “thrive.” She can be reached at email@example.com.