Mama, life is full of choices.
We choose what to think, what to believe and by extension, what to feel on any give day at any given moment.
I have been the victim of abuse.
I do not condone the actions of the abuser.
However, if I am still held back by that abuse today then that means I still have some work to do. Me. No one else.
If I have to wait for the abuser to see the errors of their ways, I'm not going anywhere for a long, long time.
But, Mama. I get to decide what being abused in my past means to me today.
I get to decide it means, "I'm damaged." But, I don't choose that thought anymore.
I get to decide it means, "The world is a scary place." But, I don't choose to live in fear.
I get to decide it means, "I will keep getting abused because it is a pattern that has already happened in my life. The experts and social media psychologists have spoken. I'm doomed to never be able to trust myself to protect myself from abuse. I need to protect myself in a bubble with only good, kind, people because I'm not strong enough to stand up to a bully."
But, Mama, that's not me. I'm a lion. I'm a bear. I want to stand up for myself.
More importantly, I choose to believe in myself.
The fact that I was abused says nothing about me. Let me repeat that: THE FACT THAT I WAS ABUSED SAYS NOTHING ABOUT ME.
I believe I am strong. I believe I know more now than I did then. I believe I am capable of sniffing out bullshit and not choosing to digest it just because someone offers it to me on a shiny platter.
I believe the fact that I was abused is just one fact in my story. And that the abuse I endured is what has made me the powerhouse of compassion and empathy and encouragement I am today.
I don't condone it.
But, I have learned from it.
And you know what makes me realize I am truly whole and truly healed and truly no longer a victim? I can think of my abuser and no longer feel pain.
I can be in the room with my abuser and no longer feel fear.
I can even forgive my abuser and feel an abundance of strength because of my ability to do so.
I don't condone the abuse.
But, I don't need to keep revictimizing myself by giving it power today.
I'm wiser than I was. I will never be abused like that again. Those words and those actions will never make me quake in fear again.
It is never too late to become the author of your own story. Take back your narrative. Take back your wholeness. Take back your strength.
You are fierce love.
You are loving power.
You get to be whoever you decide to be.
No one gets to tell you what is true about you, about your nature, about your value, about your worth, except for you.
So tell yourself some damn good shit, Mama.
Tell yourself you are beautiful and strong and worthy and fierce and gentle and wise.
And, should you ever be in the same room as your abuser again, stand mighty and tall on the shoulders of the wisdom you have cultivated inside yourself.
There is no greater feeling than to look at what you once feared was an unbeatable monster and realize it is just a pathetic pile of dirty old clothes in the closet. Barely worth your notice. Powerless, now that you see it for what it is.