From Victim to Survivor- The Power of Self-love and Healing
Today I share with you how my journey from being a victim of domestic violence led me to a path of finding myself and understanding the power of self-love and healing. Before you read on, I must warn you the content can be triggering and may be distressing for some. If this post is distressing, please access a professional confidential service in your area that can support you with this. This could be a domestic violence or trauma service or speak with your GP for support and to be signposted. This story is to share with you how the power of self-love can transform your life in the most empowering way and how my experience of opening and embracing the laws of attraction, mindfulness practices and my spiritual journey made me recognise I was not a victim, but I am a survivor, I am a warrior!
The story I share is for you to know that the past can only stop you if you resist change and working on yourself, I am very aware from my own experiences that past trauma is not here one day and gone the next, past trauma is an experience that can reoccur in your life uninvited at any time but I am also very aware from my own experiences that trauma can only control you and create blockages if you turn away from your self and resist healing and self-love.
2015 I was not who I was 5 years before that, and I am not who I am now, the 5 years prior to 2015 were the most life changing years of my life. I met a man and fell in love, but this love story was far from the fairy tale romance and the happy ever after, it was a horrific nightmare being lived while I am awake. Domestic Violence was something I was aware of, the one thing I still struggle with until today is the shame of being aware of how to assess risk when it comes to an abusive relationship but not recognising it when it was happening to me. I did not recognise that for almost 4 years I was being emotionally abused, that the person I loved was grooming me, when I think back to the length and depths this person went to, to try and brainwash my mind was scary but in that moment I did not recognise it as that, and then the violence began. By this point my confidence was already affected, I started to think that I was boring and no one wanted to socialise with me after being told this over and over again by him, I started to think I could not trust my family and friends and he was the only person I could trust after him drilling this in to my head, I started to question if I was going mad after him telling me over and over again that I misunderstood something, or I do not remember saying something, twisting my words making me question everything I spoke. I was being controlled without me realising I was, I was already behaving differently according to what he said was the right way to behave, I was already struggling to speak up, my throat chakra was not blocked it was shut down, locked with the key hidden. The violence started from a slap one day to me being locked in his house for 4-6 hours (I honestly had no awareness of time on this day) being beaten over and over again. By the last time I saw him I had already experienced violence to different extremes. From being slapped, punched to being whipped by a belt and in-between each time he cried, he apologised, he said he was afraid due to his mental health, he said it would never happen again. The last time I saw him I believed it to be the last time I was going to be alive, that I was not going to see my family again and my death would be due to me being murdered. I tried to escape, The last time I saw him I tried to run when he got angry because I answered back and he dug his teeth in to my hands and dragged me from one end of the kitchen to the other, I tried to run because whilst washing the dishes a drop of water landed on his boots, he was so angry, he got my coat and shoes poured beans and ketchup over it and then put in the rubbish, I ran to the front door and as I opened it he grabbed me by my hair and pulled me back, locking the front door shut with the key, putting it in his pocket, I ran to the bathroom but I did not manage to shut the door on time and he put his hands around my neck and started strangling me, I thought about escaping two more times after this when I felt I had the opportunity but by this point the fear was so great that I just stopped running. What happened from the first moment when I was dragged back from the front door to the moment I left that flat injured from head to toe was an experience I will never forget. I was punched, whipped with a leather belt, he tried to strangle me, covered my mouth so I could not breath, held a knife to me and had the tip of the blade against my hand calmly explaining how this will only hurt for a minute, whipping my legs with a metal pole, biting me on my hands and nose, with timberland boots on stamping my feet, kicking me over and over again, spitting on me, pouring water over me, pouring liquid food over me, this went on for hours there were moments he would sit down on a chair and watch me as I was lying on the floor, I was not allowed to cry, if I cried I would be beaten harder. My main thought throughout was for me to prepare my self for the next hit, to control my crying, to make sure I try and make as little noise as possible no matter how much it hurt to avoid it being harder. This was him resting before he got up again and started beating me again. I believed on this day I was going to die, I will never forget the moment I thought to myself ‘if I am going to die today I do not want this to be in the hands of him, if my life is going to end I want control over this’ and I thought of running to the balcony and jumping of it, I thought there could be a chance I would make it, I would likely break some bones and at worst not make it at all but at least I would have control. I did not run to the balcony, I was afraid, I believed he would drag me back in to the house, there was a moment early hours of the morning, he opened the front door, he went down stairs to the back of the block of flats, front door left wide open and he was smoking, I could have ran, I could have banged on the neighbours door, I could have escaped but I was still, I was so frightened he would catch me I was just still. How did I escape? He let me walk out the door, after hours and hours of being beaten over and over again he sat down on the chair his back turned to me, and after some silence he said to me ‘order a cab and go’ I was confused, I did not understand if he was testing me, if this was a trick, I got up, I limped to the kitchen quickly got my things out of the bin and I walked out that door, I do not know what happened in that moment but he let me walk out the door and I went straight to the hospital. I approached the counter in accident and emergency and asked for a pen and paper ashamed to say out loud ‘the reason I am here is because I have been assaulted’ despite me being covered in bruises I wrote it down and handed it to the lady behind the counter, I was seen by a male doctor, as he reached for my neck to examine it I jumped back and he apologised I then was seen by a female doctor who wrote down how I got each injury from head to toe, she then hugged me, as she did she said ‘ I beg you please do not go back to him’ I will never forget this doctor, the memory of her saying those words and hugging me always makes me tearful, in that moment I felt understood, I felt safe, I felt loved, I felt someone was protecting me. she said she has a detailed discharge form, and the police and solicitors can ask for this if I need it. I had a tetanus jab due to him biting me and it piercing my skin was x-rayed for fractures or broken bones and I left to go home. This was not the last time I was being abused by him though, for almost a year after this I was being harassed, He was threatening to turn up at my house and hurt everyone, he was blackmailing me for money, he would call me and if I did not answer the threatening messages would start, one day he kept me on the phone for 4 hours, I was not allowed to speak if I did he said he was going to turn up at my front door, he spent those 4 hours doing household chores and in-between threatening me and I was just silent throughout. I had left him but was still being controlled by him, was still scared, would look out my front window every night to see if I could see him standing on my street preparing to come and hurt me, would panic with every knock on the door, would be looking over my shoulder every time I left the house scared he would be waiting somewhere ready to grab me, 6 months later I built enough courage to approach a domestic violence advisor, to put together a safety plan, she helped me access counselling, as the months went on I became more brave in not being afraid to stand up to him, I became brave to change my number and block him with out the fear that this would trigger him and he would kill me, I took that control away from him. I was low, I did not recognise myself, my confidence was shattered, I had anxiety, I struggled to socialise even with people I knew, I needed to find myself. It was from this I started to rebuild; it was from here I started my spiritual journey. I came across information on the laws of attraction, I did not believe it but I was also being pulled to it, the more I started to understand it the more I started to open up to working on understanding how my mind and emotions can impact my wellbeing and influence me repeating or breaking a cycle, from this I started to understand the importance of surrounding myself with positive methods such as affirmations that would help me to start building my confidence and loving my self more, I started reading self-help books, listening to motivational video’s which helped me to build my confidence back up and recognise I was not flawed or not good enough but I was a victim of a traumatic situation and was healing from this, I started to focus on my physical appearance taking on a more healthy and physically active lifestyle and started feeling good about myself, I started to practice gratitude which helped me to move from a place of ‘I am a victim’ and ‘life is unfair’ to seeing all the love and blessings I have in me and around me. This was the start of me starting to rediscover myself, but I was not rediscovering an old me I was discovering a new me, someone who was evolving in a hugely different way before I met him. This all led me to resonating with teachings in Buddhism and posts on social media on energies, self-love, healing, and the universe, I was not even aware I had psychic abilities, yes, I was on a journey where I was learning about another dimension, a source that we connect to, manifesting etc but I did not even consider I would find my self at a point where I can connect to guides and channel messages. Being honest I do not remember why I started to look in to how to connect more with my psychic abilities. By this point I lived every day by the laws of attraction, I practiced all of the methods mentioned above daily and I trusted the universe with no doubt, I was learning to explore opportunities that were being put in front of me recognising them as the universe guidance and plan and I saw a offer for a psychic development course which I took part in, what I was not expecting is being able to accurately channel from the practises provided, this helped me to start having more confidence in my abilities but again I was not expecting to get to a point where I have my own business. What followed following this psychic development course is me wanting to open up to my spiritual abilities more, this presented me with an opportunity to take part in a certified spiritual life coaching course, again I was not expecting to start this until 6 months after I enrolled due to this being the start day for new applications but someone dropped out and I was offered a place earlier, I was not expecting to then wake up one day and feel this strong urge to quit my job and start offering readings but I did and I was not expecting this to then turn in to a business but a year on and this is exactly what I have. It was the first time I felt in control after leaving the abuse, it was the first time I felt I was living my life by my terms and not by the terms someone else has decided for me, it was one of the very few times I had that feeling of freedom since leaving the abuse. When I started offering readings, I did not have a plan of where I was going with this, I know I wanted to help people, Help women to feel empowered but I was not sure how, but with no doubt in the universe I knew they had a plan, and I would be shown.
Today 95% of the people I work with are female, 80% of women I have connected with were seeking support in being able to empower themselves, 95% of the women I worked with felt they were in a toxic pattern and wanted guidance of how they can work through this. That experience allowed me to help others. I do not wish my experience on anyone, If I could go back in time I would not want to relive it, but that experience gave me this passion to help others to love themselves, to find courage, to empower themselves and to feel free. My journey to self is not over, I still am healing, I still access therapeutic support such as counselling to help me to process the past, I still am learning about my abilities and finding new versions of myself, I am still exploring how to nurture and empower myself, but I do not do this from fear anymore, I do it because I love my self-enough. The one thing I do know now is I am not a victim, I am a survivor, I am a divine feminine who stepped into her power and transformed her life.
Each and Everyone of us has the ability to create the changes which I did, we all have a story and we all have experiences which impacted us in a hurtful way and shaped who we are today or who we are becoming, we all have a say in the change we want , we have a say in what direction we want to go, we have a say to take charge of our inner and outer life, we all have a right to be safe, happy and free. Trauma can throw you in a deep dark hole, but you can always build the ladder to start taking one step at a time to climb out of that hole and see the light. Creating change does not always need a detailed elaborate plan, however you do have to have the willingness and are committed and consistent. When I decided I wanted change I did not have a plan of where I would end up, I did not know what the future looked like I just knew I wanted to be in a better place and feel empowered and free, I moved at my pace and I did not punish myself with disappointment if I had an off day. Opening to change and taking part in healing methods and self-love practices does not mean you will never have moments you remember the past trauma or feel triggered. I wish this were the outcome, but it is not, however from my experience when you do start the Journey to change it will provide you with the strength and tools to work with those triggers in a way that is healthier and more helpful.
I have 3 very special women in my life, my cousin Reena, my sister-in-law Rohini and my best friend Leanne, All three women helped me through this, helped me find strength and never left my side, Having healthy strong people around you is powerful in itself and I thank and love them deeply. However not everyone has the support of loved ones, if this is the case there are services that can provide this support, services such as domestic violence service and health and social care professionals. If you are someone who has no support, I encourage you to explore this.
My wish for anyone who reads this is for you to know that you are a warrior and the only thing that can stop you from rising is yourself. I will not say past trauma leaves you forever but from my experience you can move to a place where it no longer owns you.
My Affirmation for you all today is.
I have the power to create change.
Lots of Love
The Pictures below remind me of how far I have come, when I need to remind myself that I can overcome anything. I look at those pictures to remind me of where I was in 2015 to where I am today. These pictures remind me that with embracing self love and healing I did not allow Past Trauma to control me.