This was written by a member of our community, Danielle Willette. If you want to send her a message, respond to the post below. I think she is so brave for sharing this and if you want to share anything, you can fill out my form here: Share Your Story Form.
One thing to note, I personally may have a different take on my abuse but, I feel it is so important to share other viewpoints and I think Danielle’s is so very valid and I feel that many of you will be able to relate and respond.
I am a victim. I suffered from ongoing trauma throughout my life and I find no shame in that. I identify as one who suffers from C-PTSD and I am not ashamed of this. I do identify as a survivor. What I am hoping is that someday I just identify as Jessica. Not as my disorder or my symptoms.
I love Danielle’s message and am happy to be allowed to share it.
“I am not a survivor or a victim. I am me.”
I will not identify as a survivor or a victim as I will not own either as my identity.
I get to declare who I am, and what I am and neither of those words, or feelings, evoked by those words appeal to me.
You may see a survivor or a victim and that is fine, but I am who I am today, despite how I got here, this is me, and a better version of me is who I want to be.
I am beautifully broken. Sounds of “I am not good enough” echo through my mind on a daily basis. It’s as if it has its own language that I couldn’t understand or recognize until recently. A silent whisper constantly communicating the same message that I am not good enough, I am not worthy, all through different words.
What are they thinking? They definitely hate me. Did I hurt their feelings? If I say this, what will happen? Did I sound stupid saying that? Who do I even think I am? Why did I sign up for this, I can’t do this! OMG. How did I make this mistake, I’m so dumb. I’m a horrible mom and fiance. I can’t get my stuff together. How am I still struggling with this, whats wrong with me? Everyone is doing better than me and has it together. Why do they like me? What do they even see in me? They do not like me. They were definitely talking about me, there is no way they really like me. Why cant I slow down? I cant slow down. I hate that I’m always so busy.
As much as I want to pretend it’s not there, I have this light inside of me that shines so incredibly bright, but I’m scared of it. I’m scared if I let that light shine, they’ll see me. Scared I’d really shine. Scared they’ll realize that I’m just a phony because that’s what I feel like some days. Scared I’d feel. I go to extreme lengths to not feel, to not be seen, to not be heard. My whole being is constantly undermining itself trying to make itself smaller, trying to hide my own power from the part of myself that seeks to deny that power. You see, even though I despise this part of myself…if I move quick enough, if I stay busy enough I don’t have to feel. I don’t have to think, and I don’t have to deal. A quick smile and a “I’m fine, thanks” here and there and all is well. Just. Keep. Smiling.
Well I’m done pretending.
I’m glad to say, I. AM. NOT. FINE.
Not being fine is OK
Not being fine is good
Not being fine is acceptable
I am growing and learning in a way I couldn’t before because pretending to be ok was top priority.
You see, there is beauty in realizing how broken one is. If so much of who I am is a lie, and has been shaped by circumstances outside of my control… it’s my turn.
It’s my turn to take control and redefine who I am. Create who I will be.
I am beautiful. On the inside and out, I have a tremendously bright light that can’t help but shine, and I let it. I am happy. I am curious. I am growing. I am kind, compassionate, understanding, worthy. W-O-R-T-H-Y. I am worthy. I. am. Worthy! I am beautiful. All of what makes me uniquely me is gorgeous. I am a joy to know and to be around. I bring warmth everywhere I go. I am useful. I am smart. I am witty. I am kind. I am courageous. I am brave. I am a great mother. I’m a good fiancée. I’m an awesome friend and student. I work hard. I have fun. I socialize and enjoy others company. I am an inspiration to myself and others. I am always lending a hand, but I know the limits too. Your feelings are not mine to own. I take care of myself. Taking care of myself can sometimes hurt others, and I’m okay with that today. I have balance in my life. I am present. I live a blissful, present life. A life I get to show up for 100% every day and be fully attentive and alive the entire day.
This is me. This is the me I will be. This is the me I already am, I just need to see her. Feel her. Own her, because I am THIS girl. Not a victim. Not a survivor. I am me, the me I want to be.