"IT IS FROM OUR DARKEST MOMENTS THAT WE GAIN THE MOST STRENGTH"
Notice where you stand, take a look at yourself, be completely open to your reality and ready to hear to your heart, stand in front of a mirror and see directly into your own eyes, that person in the mirror has many things to say to you, she/he has been waiting for your attention for so long.....it is time you see yourself, it is time you raise your own voice!
It was difficult for me to do that, I tried so many times, but as I stood there in front of my reflection, I had to lower my sight. Why was this happening to me? “Shame” .... And I recognize now that this shame was inside of me, and maybe it is inside of you too.
When I was nine years old I was sexually abused and I kept silent for many years, as a lot of us do, maybe because we think nobody is going to believe us, or because we feel guilty, were told to keep silent, or just don’t have the confidence to say anything. That traumatizing experience was something that disconnected me from who I was and created a sense of guilt, which I had been carrying ever since. It taught me to see love hand by hand with abuse, and therefore a cycle of abuse ran through my life until I decided to stop for a moment and recognize that I needed to heal those wounds, I just didn’t know where to begin. This is what usually happens, the abuse maims us so we disconnect ourselves to not feel all that pain.
Acceptance was the first step. I had to accept that that awful event happened to me, that I was abused and I had to stop fighting to find a reason (as humans we always try to find a logical explanation to everything that happens to us). In order to move forward with my healing path, I just needed to feel the pain and accept it, accept that even though I was an innocent girl at that time, that episode of my life had ruled my actions and attitudes ever since, I needed to face that episode and its consequences directly and stop trying to hide from them....
After that first abuse happened, I tried to continue my life as if nothing had happened. I went to school, had friends, hobbies, etc. I got married when I was 19, I have 3 sons who are what I love the most in this world and an enormous gift of a grandchild through whom I found the strength to get out of the dark.
My marriage had several good moments, but at some others it also had other types of abuse, and when the “shame” is inside of you, it makes you to feel defenseless and deepens the already existing wounds. I divorced 11 years ago.
Our self-love and self-value are damaged when we have been abused and we have to rebuild them in order to heal ourselves to become the best version of ourselves and become capable of naming things for what they are, and when we do, we heal…, believe me, it’s like magic! I hadn’t done so at this stage of my life, so my marriage did not go as planned….
But life was determined to heal me and the next chapter of my life began, and if I didn’t already know what abuse was, life was ready to teach me in the most grotesque way. Of course, I did not seek the abuse (no one does), but it usually comes our way disguised in the form of a handsome, funny, protective and lovely man… or so we think…
Infidelities, lies, alcohol, drugs, pushes, punishments, silence treatment, slaps, broken glasses, broken hand!... And again, I ignored it, I closed my eyes, blaming myself for everything and believed that I needed to prove myself to him, in order to be loved I was digging my emotional grave deeper and deeper. More violence, disrespect all the time, insults, shouts, devastation, being used, more infidelities, choking, a gun to my head. I just wanted to scream “I am a good woman! Look at me! STOP! Love me!
After years (yes.. years) I was completely devastated, I had lost the game and nothing of me was left... I lost almost everything and had no more strength, I had to surrender...
So, like many, I sank into hell, and to come back from there requires a lot of self-work, courage, truth, faith, and many friends and loved ones to lend their hands and hearts so we may remember how ours was supposed to beat, because our own hearts may have forgotten.
I am sharing my story to help your heart remember how strongly and powerfully it can beat!
If we don’t learn and heal, life will repeat the lesson until we do, and each time it will be more painful for you and your loved ones.
I will never, ever justify the abuse, I raise my voice against it, I lend my heart to all those women (and men) whose hearts have forgotten how to beat… I appeal to the world to act, to society to open its eyes and point directly at abuse so that no other girl or woman will have to endure this ever again. Abuse is a trip to the darkest hole in our souls and some women might not have the strength or the help that they deserve to crawl out of it. We need to be conscious that abuse could affect our daughters, sisters, mothers…. or maybe it’s affecting you, let’s do everything in our power to shield them and us from it.
I appeal to all the abused girls and women in the world to TAKE THE FIRST STEP to recognize and accept it as early as you can! Don’t get confused, recognize your value, don’t sell it for a caress or even a hug! Raise your voice at the first opportunity, shout, run as far as you can, don’t wait until you are totally burnt out like me, write it, denounce it, NAME IT, because the longer you take to accept it, the harder it will be to overcome it. Accept that you were a victim of abuse, recognize the fear you feel, fight against it and use it as a tool to remind yourself that you are strong and that you have the courage to find your own voice. It is not your fault, but it is your responsibility to take care of you!
As we heal, we heal our daughters and our sons, and that is the most precious gift we can give them. It’s time to call out the abuse, to name it, and to educate new generations from love and not from fear
HOW TO HEAL? SPEAK OUT! FOR AN ABUSER, YOUR SILENCE IS HIS POWER!
With my first abuser, I looked him at the eyes and said to him, “Do you remember? Because I do!” And what for you was momentary pleasure, for me was decades of suffering and battling against the demons created by you that day in the most horrifying life experience I could have!”
Jesus once said: “The truth will set you free...” and it does... if you carry a secret about abuse it is time to speak about it with your loved ones. When you talk about it, it exists, and once it exists you can transform all that pain into gain.
As for the second abuse, it took me years to take off his disguise and see him from what he really was, and believe me, after the disguise fell NOTHING was left, not his power over me nor the charming, lovable man, now I see him as he is: a pathological liar and a violent man. Not even a man if you think about it because real men do not abuse. Eventually, he must face his demons and walk down a very painful path, but it his responsibility to do it, not mine.
Looking back, it didn’t take years to see it, it took years to accept it, because even though our intuition is always talking to us sometimes we choose to silence it; please don’t accept any kind of abuse for any reason! Don’t justify it! Abuse is abuse! period!
During these tormenting stages of my life I was abused and actually blamed for the abuse. He told me that it was my fault because I did not give him his place, because I was not enough, because my family didn’t accept him, because I had other things in my life and not made him the priority, because I had friends, because I had other activities, because I complained about his infidelities, because I exposed him, because, because, because… At first it made me crazy, how dare he say that!!!! But then the it hit me!!! Yes, it was my fault, or more correctly stated, my responsibility; but not for the reasons he mentioned, but for not recognizing the abuse from the beginning, for not denouncing it, for keeping silent, for staying for so long, for believing the same lies a hundred times, for creating a fairy tale when it was really a nightmare, for making excuses for him, for believing in words and not actions, for not loving myself, for giving my power away, for feeling ashamed, for not taking care of me, for putting myself in a dangerous place, for not seeing him for who really is but for who I wanted him to be, for constructing a parallel love story, for believing my love was going to change him; and please, pay attention, because your story might also begin with him screaming at you and end with a gun to your head! Abuse always increases so set your boundaries and if those boundaries are not respected you need to leave.
Now I have gotten rid of the “shame” and I have used my fears to gain my voice and finally learn life’s lesson: to love myself. Self-love is the first love we must learn to build healthy relationship. Along the way, I also learned that someone who commits abuse neither loves nor respects him/herself.
I continue in the path of healing myself. Now, I am not a victim but a warrior that stands up in front of the mirror every day and can honestly say to my reflection: “I love you, I recognize you, I value you, I assume my responsibility and stand up to raise my voice against abuse! I am myself, nothing more nothing less, and I am awesome! As you are! In the Global globes, in the grammy's all women are making their voice to me heard!!!
So, I invite you. The time is now for men and women to make a commitment to stand together and make the world a better place, starting with getting rid of abuse! You too have a responsibility to speak out and to defend those that have. Stand with me so no other girl, nine or ninety-nine, will ever have to live through hell, and for those who already have, let’s help in providing them with the support they need!
What happens to one, happens to all! Let’s join together and raise our voices! Let’s not leave anyone behind, let’s be responsible for ourselves and for what we respond to our reflections in the mirror. Let’s unmask the abuse and point out the abusers, so that they lose that fake power that they have stolen from the abused person and from our silence.
I think that abuse is so painful that as a society we have been trying to hide it, to see it as "normal”, like holding a ball underwater; but the longer we keep it submerged, it will come out with more strength!
The time is NOW! NO MORE!
I am not weak if I say me too! I am not weak if I say I have been psychologically, emotionally and physically abused! I AM POWERFUL AS I TELL IT AND AS I MOVE FROM IT, no matter how much time (years), tears and fears it took you. YOU ARE POWERFUL, BELIEVE ME!
The power is yours! Respond to yourself, to your loved ones, to God, and to the world!
Loving yourself is the bravest action you can take if you have been abused. I am here to remind you that your heart beats, let’s create together a new community where we can hear all of our hearts beating at the same rhythm, LOVE.
"IT IS FROM OUR DARKEST MOMENTS THAT WE GAIN THE MOST STRENGTH"