Abuse, in any form, leaves an indelible mark on your heart, your soul and your psyche. Being on the receiving end of abuse as a child leaves a scar that runs so deep that only another person who has experienced it can truly understand. I, unfortunately, understand.
We either become a victim, or a warrior. (I don't like the word survivor ...yep I survived it. So what? So does a victim that still lives in it. I'm a warrior. I fight every single god damn day to be better then where I came from.)
A victim is someone who continually blames every thing that has gone wrong in their life on someone else, their abuser, anyone but them, never taking responsibility for any of their behavior, stuck in an endless loop of 'it's not my fault', allowing the abuse to be the excuse for, and be excused from, anything that they do as a grown up. Well in my opinion that's a cop out. That's the easy road.
A warrior, recognizes and acknowledges the things that happened that were beyond their control at the time, and in spite of those things, fights to become a better person. A warrior takes responsibility for the things they do as an adult, and owns their behavior. A warrior feels in a state of exhaustion a lot of the time. They are fighting a war after all - a war within.
I use my experiences to educate. I can recognize someone that has or is being abused, be it a child or an adult, without them telling me. I use my experiences to illustrate that you don't have to be a victim to them. You can be a warrior instead.
When I'm feeling exhausted, from fighting the war within, I look for words for inspiration, for soothing my soul, or to champion me on to fight another day. Ralph Waldo Emerson (leader of the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century and champion of individualism) is someone whose words speak often to my very core.
'Be not the slave of your own past ... plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience, that shall explain and overlook the old.'
My past will always be there. It just doesn't shackle me. Instead it empowers me to be bold, forthright, passionate, and not to be afraid to fly my freak flag!!
I have another Emerson quote tattooed down my side...
|What lies behinds us and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us|
It's a visual reminder that I'm doing OK.... In spite of.... Because of.
If you have been abused, as a child, or as an adult, or as both, to stop the cycle from perpetuating, you have to stop being a victim, dig deep, and become a warrior. Look for inspiration, seek assistance, use your experiences to educate, fly your own freak flag! It can be done.
If you have, or are experiencing abuse of any kind here are some links to help you on the road to becoming a warrior:
If you are a warrior, and know of an organisation, or information that can help someone, please share it.