Recently, I did a training course at work; the theme of which was, “Safeguarding”. We were told that there are seven types of what is considered to be “abuse”. As the facilitator went through the various types I realised that I’d experienced four of them first-hand. It read like a kind of check-list!
As a child I’d experienced psychological abuse over an extended period of time, but the perpetrator would not have realised that he was abusing me. Then as an eight year old I was sexually abused; thankfully, it was just a one-off. Then as an adult in my thirties I experienced domestic violence. Even though there was only two instances, they were accompanied by regular periods of psychological abuse. Finally, in this world of political correctness, we are told that there is a form of abuse called “organisational”; this is where the “victim” is abused by the organisation they work for. I almost felt quite proud that I could also add organisational abuse to my “abuse CV”; I experienced this in my forties.
You may or may not have noticed that I am saying that I “experienced” these forms of abuse, as opposed to I was a “victim” of them, and there is a reason for this. Even though I would not want to experience those situations again, and even though I would not wish them on anybody else, I would not swap one second of the experience for anything. Those experiences are part of who I am and make me the person I am today. They have helped to sculpt my character and have given me the tools to be able to help other people. When I experienced organisational abuse, for example, it took me to a new low in my life; a place of darkness that would not be high up on my list of favourite holiday destinations. However, once I was pushed over the edge I found strength I didn’t know I had, and in the long-term, that experience turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. It turned out to be the springboard for the most amazing transformation in my life and I’ve never looked back.
When we experience bad things in our lives the rawness is bound to make us feel a lot of negative emotions, such as anger, resentment, hatred and fear to name but a few, and these feelings will more often than not cause us to have a very low self-esteem and to feel very weak and vulnerable. So, under the circumstances it is quite normal to feel like a victim. But being a victim will have a very negative long-term effect; I have first-hand experience of this. Eventually the dust starts to settle, and in my case I was guided down a certain pathway that taught me there was only person who could change my life; and that was me. Once I realised I was the only one in control of my life I was able to go about changing things.
Remember, the world is a paradox, and out of the darkness there will always be the most amazing light. Who we really are is stronger than anything life can throw at us. If you are suffering now, don’t make the same mistakes that I made that prolonged my misery. Don’t be a victim, instead be someone who had/is having experiences that will enable you to turn adversity into advantage, and in doing so make yourself shine in greater glory than you already do. God bless!