It’s Okay to Tell Your Story
Written by: Gwendolen Wilder
I refer to myself as a kickass survivor of abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. Experiencing those forms of abuse for years had a huge negative impact on my self-esteem, self-confidence, relationships, work productivity, etc. Especially, how I saw myself and my body.
I always knew I experienced abuse for a reason. But, I didn’t believe I was supposed to be living in fear, shame, guilt or poverty as a result of the abuse I experienced both in my job, in my home and I knew the bullying, name calling, sexual abuse, isolation, etc. would not lead to any type of happiness. In the final incidents of abuse, I can remember the day I thought my life was coming to an end at the hands of my abuser as he was choking me in our kitchen and I thought to myself, “This is it? This is how it’s going to end?”
I knew I was a good person and my life was meant for more, because I wanted more. I remember praying to God if he could help me to escape my negative situations I’d do my best to use my experiences to help others leave their traumatic, negative environments whether it was a result of work or home matters. So, I attended violence prevention therapy, went through recovery, found my self-worth and gained financial independence by becoming an entrepreneur.
Now, over three years later, I’ve created a successful business that motivates, inspires, supports and leads those suffering from abuse to become kickass survivors by learning strategies in business acumen and self-awareness so they can attain wilder success. Because I love business, I get to work with all types of amazing entrepreneurs and help them to tell their stories to turn their crisis into an opportunity.
Over the course of 20 years, between two different marriages experiencing domestic violence, workplace bullying and sexual assault I finally began my personal journey to accept myself and my curves. My abuse started much earlier when I was a child that was molested by family members. I did everything I could to escape the crisis which was my marriage only to find, when I finally left my abuser, my journey was just beginning.
During my marriages, I experienced psychological, financial, physical abuse i.e. choking, hitting, cheating, intimidation, isolation, etc. The abuse told me I was, “Too fat, not beautiful. You’re not good at exercising and no one would hire you.” Even though I physically left that abusive relationship, I quickly realized escaping my abuser wasn’t going to give me justice, happiness or “wholeness” that I needed to take care of myself and my child. Too much damage had been done. I had lost all my self-confidence, self-esteem and love for myself and was barely holding it together. I realized I had to work on my inner self as well as my outer self to heal appropriately, i.e. eating healthy, fitness, therapy, etc. That’s when my journey of becoming an author, certified business strategist and consulting coach. I realized I could do it and I wanted to show others how they could as well.
Everyone needs support. As human beings, we are social creatures and thrive on interactions, even virtual interactions. We thrive on looking up to the survivor; especially survivors from the same or similar situation. They motivate us to not quit, not give up and to resist old ways. They inspire us to say, “If they can, I can,” and “It’s okay to tell my story”. I try my best to be that person and show others how they can not only escape physically but mentally as well, and how they can learn to love themselves along the way.
It’s okay to tell your story! You have every right to strut your stuff in public or private; you are gorgeous. You are such a lovely worthy soul that is designed to give greatness on this planet. Don’t let anyone hold you back from your passion, destiny or the lifestyle you desire. You have a unique gift that can only be presented to this world in a way that only you can make happen. Don’t deny us that beautifulness. Learn to love, respect and admire yourself above all and know your success in life begins with you.
I’m currently accepting clients inside of my private and group coaching programs where I can work with them on self-management such as self-confidence, mindfulness, gratitude, stress, healthy living and more.