From a young child I was always told I was a strong person; I didn’t understand this because inside I felt like I was dying. I didn’t feel strong, I felt weak, vulnerable, lost and alone. I was forced to suppress feelings, emotions from a traumatic experience as a child. The topic of the trauma was to never be mentioned again. So, as a child of just 9 I buried the feelings, emotions, the pain and the suffering. The abuse I had endured from years prior was not to be spoken of. So I buried them and smiled instead. At 9 I wrote a letter of apology to my abuser as I felt bad they had gotten them in trouble. I never received an apology back.

Looking back this one act showed me where my strength was and why I was able to accept the experience and love the person despite their actions. It is now my story, a part of my life and why I’m the person I am today. I could hate the person, however that would mean I would be hating myself also. I am not proud of what I endured however, I am proud of the person I have become, a mother, a wife, friend, relative and business owner. I made the choice to accept, forgive and learn lessons from the experience instead of letting it hold me back from living the life I dreamed of.

It was not always like this though. I did let the experience hold me back. For a long time, I didn’t feel worthy, deserving I was just a scared, young girl who didn’t know what to do or where to go in life. I got myself into a bad relationship, I abused my body with alcohol, drugs and was very unhealthy. I didn’t honour myself; my self-worth and confidence were non-existent.

Until I made the decision to wanted more, then I worked hard and still am every single day on continuously improving myself in the hope that one day I will be able to help and serve others who are stuck in their stories – unable to see their beauty, strength and value.

I see many, many stories of women that have endured abuse in many forms. One thing I always recognise is they say ‘I still remember the smell, or the touch or sight’ I get it, but recognise this is a sign you are still attached to that moment, the pain and you are going to stay a ‘victim’ until you acknowledge and make peace with it. When you can accept the experience and dedicate yourself becoming a better person BECAUSE of the experience not in spite of it; freedom and happiness follows.

Yes, there will still be hard and difficult times, this is when you use your true strength and reach out to others. Feel the emotions; don’t stay hidden, don’t drown in shame, and doubt yourself and your incredible ability. Find the things that help you; walk, write, talk, share, draw whatever it takes, do the things that make you happy. The moments will become less, the pain easier to bare and the benefits abundant. 

Sending you strength, love and support

Cathryn xoxo