When we let people in, whether it be with family, friends or physical partners we drop the barriers, giving them a glimpse inside us. It’s when we let down our guard, that we are at our most vulnerable, giving our trust to another. Most times, what we gain are positive experiences, like the sharing of loving expressions, mutual energy, and an unlimited potential of positive growth.
But like those few gems that we have met in our lifetimes, so too exist those unsavory characters that when we interact with them, betray our trust and we fall, victim.
Over the years I have met so many people who have been physically assaulted, sexually violated, mentally abused and others being taken financially. I can relate to each one of them because during my life, I have also been victim to physical assault, sexual and mental abuse and have been taken financially by people that I had given my trust.
I’ve put my fingers to keyboard to write this article many times, never quite ready to complete and publish it. I felt ashamed. I didn’t want people to discover that I was a victim, almost as if that were a crime.
I spent more time analyzing the fact that the shame, an emotion at the opposite end of the spectrum of what a victim should feel stayed with me 10 times longer than any other emotion I had about the situation. I discovered that it was a belief solidified decades ago. After releasing this false belief, I just shake my head that I spent even 1 minute living in shame based on what someone else did to me!
So What’s Next
What should we do when we have been mistreated? Close down? Shut out the world? Never trust again?
Over the decades, I think I’ve tried all the above, no one better than another. What I gleaned is like with all things, every experience while we are here helps us gain perspective and allows us to grow, even the ones we view as horrendous. Although we are oblivious to it while enduring the ordeal, what I have taken away from every one of these unpleasant encounters, especially in adulthood, is that they always came at points in my life when I was ready for that next big growth spurt, each situation driving me onward with more courage, strength and resilience than I ever thought I had.
And what about forgiveness? How does one forgive the unforgivable?
Whether it be fear that he or she will break down the door and attack you, take you against your will, use tactics to disorient and belittle you, or outright steal funds that you worked so very hard to obtain, you cannot live until you forgive, the pain in whatever fear based emotion eating away at your insides until they are raw. Never forget that forgiveness always includes both your abuser as well as yourself.
Today, I share with other victims, admitting that I trusted, that trust was betrayed, I rose above shame, forgave and am open to trust again. I am strong and stand tall. I am a voice to others out there who have been mistreated, my head held high.
Wishing you a day filled with Love,
Website: Leeza Donatella
Author of The State of Being Love