The Day You Decided Not to Allow Your Trauma to Define You
Have you ever watched the 11 o’clock news? It is filled with travesties – natural disasters around the world, murders, social injustices, school shootings, kids gone missing and many more things that make you stay up at night and wonder, “What type of world are we living in?”
Well one day as I was speaking with a friend over cocktails, she revealed to me that she was raped. I was dumbfounded and speechless. I did not know what to say. As she told me about that tragic night, tears slowly rolled down her cheek and her eyes turned cold black. It was the night that changed her life, the night she fought for her life, the night someone did not respect her right to say NO and it was the night she did not allow the actions against her to define her self worth. My friend was raped and like so many other women it was by not a creepy stranger in the night but by someone she thought she could trust.
I recently read that 1 in 6 women will be survivors of attempted rape or rape and that 75% of women in domestic violence relationships leave that relationship through death. These numbers are startling. And while rape and intimate partner violence are epidemic to women’s health and overall well-being, these are not the only types of assaults against women. So many times women are passed up for promotions and positions because of their gender; so many times woman are left in poverty by an unjust system, so many times women are humiliated for their eccentric nature.
Whatever the case is, so many women have decided not to let these travesties to define who they are, yet instead incorporated these events into their larger stories. Instead of letting others reprehensible actions define who they are, they have decided to define themselves through their courage and ability to forgive. These women walk their life with their sight on the greatness of their future, not by the events of their past.
My friend did this by accepting that her rights were violated to no fault of her own. My friend did this by accepting that she was not wrong for being misled by an imposer. My friend did this by accepting that others will have to live with their own karma and their actions do not define who she is but who they are. This is her Survivor’s Day – the day she decided to embrace the adversity in her life and move forward with confidence, forgiveness and love.
Everyone has had unfortunate events happen to him or her. So do not compare yourself to others. Making comparisons of yourself to someone else is foolish, because we are all unique and created differently. Something that is devastating to you, another person can take in stride and vice versa. Do not get caught up in the checklist of experiences, instead uplift your friend, neighbor and sister. Celebrate each other and celebrate yourself for you are bigger than your circumstance.
What is Your Survivor’s Day?
How have you moved forward from that day without letting it define who you are?
What are you doing to celebrate yourself and your experiences?
What are you doing to celebrate other women around you?