In Part I of this article Linda wrote about how she lived in the grip of a rape she endured thirty-years before she realized what she reveals in Part 2. We pick up the story right after she finally reveal the truth.
It took some time for me to process what occurred in that moment of truth. Over time, I began to see how I had internalized that rape. Taken down to its core, I believed that I had caused it, deserved it, and I was so ashamed of myself for putting myself in that position. The truth that escaped me for years is that, yes, I was in that place at that time of my own volition. But that man chose to rape me. I didn’t ask him to. I had no clue he was a rapist.
As the writer’s block lifted, I recognized that, from the beginning of the event until he let me go, I was at his mercy. Once it was over, I failed to separate that evil, from who I am. Consequently, I became one with someone else’s evil deed and he may as well have kept me in his unrelenting grip for the next thirty years.
For thirty years, inner loathing almost drove me to destruction. Out of it came myriad wrong relationships and inevitable cyclical hurt. Each time I just sucked it up, put on my big girl pants, and moved on. There was no room to face up to or acknowledge the pain.
With any trauma, whether it is rape, domestic violence or any other victimization, we become survivors from the moment of that first blow. As long as we are living we are survivors. Any woman who has survived such wrong knows that survivorship, doesn’t ease the pain and mustering the courage to get free is no easy win. What I want you to know is that the same strength it takes to survive in the middle of the mess is what will guide you through to freedom. I made the mistake of not recognizing this about myself. It took me 30 years to see it. After my eyes were opened I caught the vision that propelled me into purpose and destiny.
This is your place of power. This is where you take control and reclaim your destiny. To strive means to achieve or obtain your goals. So, dust off those dreams. This is a place of empowerment. The place where you decide to no longer remain in the grip of victimization. This is where victim becomes victor. This is where you lean on that strength that has pulled you through the tough times.
You Are Here
Start my calibrating your compass. Set your GPS. Decide, without limit, where you want to be in five years. Break it down into yearly increments that lead you to the ultimate 5-year destination. But, before we set our GPS we have to tell it where we are right now. Take a realistic assessment of what your life is right now. Include all the details. That’s your starting point.
Set Your GPS
Set your goals, purpose and strategies. This will keep you grounded so that, no matter how many wrong turns you take, it will ensure you arrive at your desired destination. So, trust the process.
1) Goals – Where do you want to be in 1-year, 2-years, 3-years etc.
2) Purpose – Why do you want this change? Keeping this in front of you will keep you focused during challenging times. Remember the reasons. Remember what your life is like before the change and what you stand to gain because of the change.
3) Strategy – What stands to challenge or come against these goals? Make a game plan ahead of time to address these challenges.
To thrive means to prosper and flourish. As you are on your GPS journey, you might make take a few wrong turns. That’s the glory of GPS. No matter how many wrong turns you make, it’s goal and end is to get you to your destination; if you follow the prompts (your GPS plan). These are a few rules to keep in mind along the way:
- Enjoy the Journey – this is a process that makes you stronger and a force with which to reckon. Take deep breaths, reward yourself with each accomplishment, and remember that, “You can DO this!”
- Maintain Pitbull focus on the end-game. If you get off track, follow your GPS.
- Beware of Destiny Disruptors – whatever or whoever comes along that does not align with the plan should be considered an automatic deal breaker.
- Keep it Moving – do not wallow in mistakes or regret. Where necessary, make amends. When offended, dig deeper for the truth in the message and address it. Learn the lesson and use it going forward.
Finally, remember that the only revenge we get on a painful past is to make it count. We cannot change the past. Those who did us wrong cannot make it up to us. Be quick to forgive and submit to healing. Turn pain into purpose by helping others who are caught up in the cycle from which you just got free. A lifetime of change is empowered by a single act of courage. Be courageous. Be the change.
Linda F. Williams, MSW is a nationally recognized lifestyle expert, behaviorist, personal and professional Life Coach, and motivational speaker. She founded Whose Apple Dynamic Coaching & Consulting and created the GPS Road Map to Destiny™. Linda is author of Whose Apple is it, Anyway and Too True to Tell.
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