Trigger warning – article includes reference to childhood sexual trauma*
We have everything we need inside...
Do we? I hear you ask!
This is not something I believed to be true about myself until the age of around 30 and I’ve only just turned 35 to give you context. Until my early thirties I carried limiting beliefs about myself that I was to blame…I carried guilt, shame and grief…because aged 11/12 I was raped and sexually assaulted by two people I lived with. That’s the thing about sexual abuse, we as the survivor’s carry around those burdens as if they are ours to own and take responsibility for. Fortunately, through therapy and self-care I have learned to release those burdens and to really know deep within me that none of it was my fault – it was not my secret to hold and weigh me down.
We never start off feeling brave and courageous to speak up and disclose abuse (if only I knew about my Brave Superpower back then!) but fortunately for me I had a super hero younger sister who inspired me to speak my truth after she bravely went to the police about her own abuse experience (we lived in separate houses all our lives so it is incredible that we each independently had our own abuse experience). I remember being in awe of her bravery standing up for what was right and to speak her truth in a courageous way. She was my beacon of light that inspired me to speak my truth and to start my own healing journey.
So now I speak up loudly – I eventually was able to say the words ‘I was raped’. I took this truth through the court process aged 30. What a whirlwind of a year 2015 was! I was studying a full-time Master’s degree, I experienced a bereavement, my marriage broke down…and then I went to court to face my rapist. That year proved the level of emotional resilience we as human beings possess.
Here I am 9 years later, hoping to be a beacon of light for others to give hope and courage to speak their truth by writing a book about what healing from sexual abuse looks and feels like. I always had it within me but I needed someone to help me shift the bricks within my reality tunnel…the tunnel that was holding my limiting beliefs about myself. We all have our own versions of reality tunnels – our life experiences build the lens we see, hear and feel that filter our view of the world. Depending on our experiences the bricks in which build our tunnel can be limiting; letting little to no light in…this is where Ollie coaches come sweeping in with their red shirts! We help you challenge those bricks one by one to let the light back in.
I feel my healing process has led me to where I am now; training to be an Ollie coach – I feel very passionate about helping others connect to and understand their emotions. For most of my life my brain protected me by shutting off my memories and emotions from the trauma but with support and bravery I now recognise how important they are, not only to my healing but also to live a life I deserve. Now I want to use my empathy and (com)passion to help others see for themselves that they have everything they need inside, that they too have a Brave superpower and to ultimately break down those limiting reality tunnels to let the light back in. If I can do it, so can you.
So, this brings me back to where I began…we have everything we need inside – we just don’t always know it yet. This is a fundamental premise of the Ollie model – we help client’s see the limitless potential they hold inside and bring that out into the world.
You may not have all the resources you need at the moment, but you do have the potential to gain the resources you need.
“Promise me you will always remember:
You’re Braver than you believe, Stronger than you seem and Smarter than you think”
~ a a Milne (Winnie the Pooh) ~
Originally written for and posted on Psychologies Life Labs 15th September 2020