Continuing from the post earlier this month, we are [...]
Holiday Seasons can be difficult. When you hear, “Secrets [...]
February is the month of love, or at least it holds the thought of Valentine’s Day. My hope for you is that you can show one of the most important people in your life that you love them: YOU! So many times, we have ourselves at the bottom of the list when we seek to support and nurture people. I encourage you this month to do some things that are self-nurturing.
To encourage this, we pick up from last month’s blog with our exploration of unhealthy mindsets. In some ways they can become walls of thinking we build up that limit us until we look at them and challenge them.
I never thought my family would be a part of a statistic. The Center for Disease Control reports that 1 in 5 women have experienced completed or attempted rape in their lifetime. 1 in 3 female victims have experienced it between 11-17 years old. (1) I just didn’t think it would happen to my daughter. As the parent of a teenager who was raped, I thought I had taken all the precautions to safeguard her from sexual assault. Understanding the statistics, taking an active interest in her friends, and creating a safe space for important conversations, we discussed sex, intimacy, and safety. My daughter was encouraged to come to me with any concern. I was vigilant! I monitored relationships, supervised time with friends, all to protect her. Hell, I was the poster child for the helicopter mom.... and yet it happened. Right under my nose! She was silent about it for months, and the assault kept happening. When she finally worked up the courage to tell me about the ongoing rape and abuse from her church youth group boyfriend, I was shocked. Not only did it bring back vivid memories from my past, but as a sexual assault survivor myself, I was floored that I had failed to shield her from this horrific trauma. All my carefully crafted protective parenting didn’t shelter her from this terrible assault.
“I feel like I have hit a plateau in my life and I can’t reach that next level of living.”
This is a common statement for many survivors of sexual abuse and other traumatic experiences. Does this resonate with you? If so, you might be in need of creating that bridge from Survivor to Thriver. Survivor-Mindset entails a focus on understanding your experience, discovering what matters to you and healing. Thriver-Mindset is the courage to accept the trauma and finding a place where one can coexist with both the darkness and enlightenment you gained from the experience.
A thriver realizes they aren’t the same person they were before the trauma. Instead they have become a stronger and more inspirational individual who can steadfastly traverse a shifting environment guided by peace and light. It can feel easier said than done. Start small and speak kindly to yourself.
It only takes a moment for something treasured to break. Once it’s broken the item will never be the same again. You possess a special gift, choice. You get to choose what to do with this broken item. Do you throw it away and replace it, or do you attempt to piece it back together? If you opt to reassemble the object, do you showcase, use, or hide it? This is similar to people who face trauma like sexual abuse. We have made the choice to continuing existing, but are we really able to live in our new skin? How do you interact with this new you? Are you showcasing your strength, interacting with the world with various masks on, or are you trying to keep in the background still feeling broken?
One term associated with the transition from Survivor to Thriver is Resiliency. Merriam-Webster defines resiliency as the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress. This speaks to the ability to adjust after trauma. Continuing the transformation from Victim to Survivor to Thriver one is able to reclaim direction and strength.