I was reading through some things at Platform University earlier, and then my blog post about my abusive mother and her death six months ago, and in my mind, those things mingled with something posted by my friend Derek Wittman. He said who you are is not the same as what you do. His clarifying question was, “What would you tell people [about who you are] if you couldn’t mention what you do for a living, your marital status, or your kids?”
So my brain posed a question to me (not that it was directly from any of the sources I’d read that day; it wasn’t. None of them asked this): What would my message to the world be, if I had to say it in one sentence, and if I couldn’t mention what I do for a living?
Overcoming no matter what
The result was this thought: No matter what people do to you, and no matter how much you hurt (physically, emotionally, etc.), you can overcome. You can still be a good person. You can still be nice. You can still focus on the positive and get more of it in your life. You can still set and accomplish goals. You can still be successful. If you have chronic illness or pain, it might take you longer to do those things, and the pain might never go away, but you can still do those things.
No one’s pain has to be “worse than” anyone else’s, so when I share a glimpse of what I went through, it’s not to say that my pain is bigger than yours or that my wounds were worse. It’s not to in any way minimize your pain or your struggle. It’s to encourage and inspire, to spark the thought of, “Wow, if she can go through all of that and still be a nice, helpful, successful person, so can I!” Overcoming no matter what is an option.
Here are some things I survived:
- Repeated attempts to abort me
- Over 6,000 sexual assaults, beginning when I was six weeks old
- Being a child sex slave and child porn star
- Eleven years as Jenirella the house slave
- Near starvation, eating out of trash cans, stealing food
- Being shot at by my mother and her other obvious attempts to murder me
- Fibromyalgia from age 10
- Painful scar tissue between my ribs, and other physical damage from frequent beatings
- Clinical depression from age four on
Success after surviving abuse
It was an immense amount to overcome, and I still cope with the effects daily. I went on to make friends, to get married, to have and teach children, to coach authors and edit books, and now, in addition to the coaching and editing, I’m leading a team of disabled at-home moms to turn podcasts and other audio into content for books and other products.
I have good, strong, long-lasting relationships with mentally and emotionally healthy people. An expert therapist deemed me “the most emotionally-healthy person I’ve ever known,” despite having been “the victim of the worst abuse” she had ever seen, and while I will always have some of the damage, I am mostly healed and I’m able to help others on a regular basis. I’m also enthusiastic and happy and have constructed a life that’s almost exactly what I want and need it to be. You can do the same thing, if you choose and if you give it enough time. Overcoming no matter what and going on to help others has been my M.O. Will you make it yours, too?
Please share this post. We might never know how much others are struggling with something, and someone you know needs to read this.