GO BEYONE SURVIVE--THRIVE!
This is what I offer audiences during speaking events.
I have experience from three different lenses when it comes to Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse, and Drug Addiction.
The first lens is the trauma the victim experiences DURING the abuse. The second lens is how the victim lives everyday life AFTER the abuse. The third lens is when the victim wants to get help in order to HEAL from the emotional scars left behind.
Victims of Domestic Violence and/or Sexual Abuse go about living their lives as best they can should the abuse stop. Unfortunately, we live in a society where if it looks good, it must be good.
"Mary's doing well in her life. She has a beautiful home, car, great husband, and kids." Only Mary knows her spirit is wounded, but she'll never tell because Mary was taught to keep secrets when she was being abused. Mary never told a living soul about the trauma she'd been through. "No sense in complaining."
Years after the physical and sexual abuse ended, my life was like Mary's. I had the house, car, wonderful husband, and great kids. I pushed the pain and suffering from the abuse so deep inside my soul, it was as if it never happen. It's called denial!
Emotional Pain will stay with you until you get help managing it.
When we least expect it, untreated masked pain from the trauma of our past can rise to the surface, starring us dead in our face like a double-barreled shotgun with both barrels fully loaded.
We may begin to indulge in unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, excessive shopping, unhealthy sexual activities, gambling, using drugs, (which includes alcohol) to falsely comfort ourselves from this pain. This type of relief is called 'instant gratification because when the false feeling of comfort is over, our emotional pain and suffering are still there.
I began using drugs to falsely numb my pain. Addiction, for many, is a symptom of other things that have happened in our life.
Drug Addiction ain't no joke! People become dependent on a mood and mind-altering substance and will do anything to get it so they won't feel emotional pain. Now you're dealing with two monsters, abuse, and addiction. (People can also become addicted to food, sex, gambling, shopping, and so on to mask internal pain.)
I'll compare using drugs to getting in the ring to fight the boxer, Mike Tyson. Unless you have the help and support of a whole lot of other people in the ring with you, I wouldn't recommend it. It's extremely difficult to recover from any addiction by yourself.
I'm going to cut to the chase.
Living through Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse or Drug Addiction is TRAUMA! Trauma can be treated. You can't make what happened, unhappen, but you don't have to let it rob you of the best life you can live. There are choices. You can sacrifice your birthright of living a life of fulfillment OR tell somebody what happened to you and get help.
You didn't do this to yourself, it was done to you.
At the age of 16, I tried to kill my abuser. When that didn't work, I tried to kill myself. I'm glad I didn't kill either of us. I'm grateful I got the help I needed to be able to call myself a HEALTHY SURVIVOR, because today, I'M LIVING A VERY PEACEFUL LIFE!