"Today's post comes from Author Gwendolen Wilder. Thank you Gwen for allowing God to use you to empower others who have and are enduring abuse. May your bravery give others the courage to come out of darkness and into His light!" -Brittany
After I became a highly sought-after Author, Business Strategist, Consulting Coach and Guest Speaker; I would get asked all the time, “How did you survive after the abuse” or “What steps did you take to re-gain your self-confidence and independence”. I would jokingly say, did you read my book, “It’s OK To Tell My Story, Surviving Common Law Domestic Violence?” And, as I laughed with them I’d reply with…a whole lot of prayer, a closet, pen and journal.
I love telling others that I feel as survivors of abuse, it’s our rite of passage to show those victims still suffering, “How” we overcame abuse and “How” they can become Kickass Survivors. It is our duty to lead victims into greater awareness and I consider it a great honor to do just that; until God sees otherwise.
"It’s time for those suffering to know, 'It’s OK To Tell My Story!' There is such a greater life waiting for them; a life full of success, laughter, love and peace."
Today, I want to share with you the two key points which helped me to become a Kickass Survivor. Towards the end of my domestic violence ordeal, I began Visualizing Becoming a Kickass Survivor and Setting Kickass Survivor SMART Goals. In recent local news, media has reported on at least 3 deaths caused by domestic violence…that’s three to many!
I believe that victims have lived in shame, fear, guilt and despair for way too long! It’s time for those suffering to know, “It’s OK To Tell My Story!” There is such a greater life waiting for them; a life full of success, laughter, love and peace.
As survivors, we are to encourage those struggling and let them know they can overcome the stereotypes, perceivably unfair justice system and minimal interactions of friends, family and co-workers. As survivors, we are to lead victims to success with appropriate advocate contacts, plans on how to leave safely, when to prepare and etc.
And, that’s exactly what I do inside of Kickass LEADS (Lady Entrepreneurs of Domestic Violence Surviving Successfully). After surviving domestic violence and a prior sexual assault, I had to re-learn self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, how to re-engage the business using assertiveness skills and how to trust others when seeking assistance. Learning to self-manage myself directly led to my success in my personal and professional lives.
Let me tell you, however, self-managing myself was not easy. But having the right combination of self-motivation, inspiration, faith and a solid support Team were key in my success and made all the difference.
"Having the right combination of self-motivation, inspiration, faith and a solid support Team were key in my success and made all the difference."
Here’s how I got started:
1. First, visualize becoming a Kickass Survivor. I’m a strong advocate of practicing visualization techniques for calming and stress relief. When I was going thru my ordeal with domestic violence, I literally would hide in my closest crying on the worst days and visualize my life without my abuser and what it looked like.
But, moreover than that; I learned to really connect with my source (God) and I began to feel the joy, peace and freedom of being a survivor. I was filled with so much peace and overwhelming love; I could feel God hugging me and saying, “It’s going to be alright”. And, the more I did this visualization practice; the more I wanted to become a survivor.
"I learned to really connect with my source (God) and I began to feel the joy, peace and freedom of being a survivor."
So, I took it a step further. During this one time, after crying it seemed like for an hour; I began writing down my visions of what I wanted my life to look like. And, this is what I encourage for victims to do. The more you focus on what can be; it will be. But, you must have a plan.
2. Second, set Kickass Survivor SMART Goals. I treated my escape from my abusive relationship like a business project, created a plan and used the concept of SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). Trust me when I tell you; I tried ending that relationship a lot of times over the years. Too many to count; but, I just didn’t have the strength and “right” support system to stay gone.
"I treated my escape from my abusive relationship like a business project, created a plan and used the concept of SMART Goals."
Victims who have a plan and use Kickass Survivor SMART Goals which includes a strong support system are more likely to succeed at not returning. My support system consisted of a select few family members, friends and my local domestic violence therapist from our local Family Violence Prevention Services shelter programs. I encourage victims to: identify Specifically how they plan to leave safely, how will they Measure success; in other words, what support system (trusted agent) will help review and track their preparation, identify if the plan is Realistic and ensure no one gets hurt and lastly, identify when will they be able to utilize Timely implementation of the plan.
Inside of my Kickass LEADS Members Club, I try my best to inspire and educate the ladies. I provide the basic overview of domestic violence, warning signs, resources, checklists, self-awareness training and I even bring in guest experts from shelter to continue the line of supportive education.
An example of that education is the FREE Masterclass which accompany this article, 3 Ways to Turn Out the Lights on Gaslighting. Inside this free masterclass and the handout, I share definitions, tips and strategies regarding Gaslighting; or as I refer to it, “The Killer of souls”.
But wait, I take helping to lead survivors even a step further because I remember what it was like when I didn’t have anyone motivating me. Oh how I longed for in the earlier days of my abuse to hear just one person say, “You deserve better, You can do this, You are not crazy and I’m here with you!”. But, I did have God.
So, that’s why I plan to start a weekly online bible study group which I plan to correlate God’s word with living a better, safer and more successful like as a Kickass Survivor.
I use the following motivation inside the group and let them know…You are not alone, God intended so much more for your life, I’m here with you and It’s OK To Tell Your Story.
Hi there! My name is Brittany...helpmeet to T.J. and homeschooling mom to 5 little blessings. Memoirs Of A Good Thing is a ministry that is cultivating encouragement, support, and faith through the testimonies of women! Read more about my journey and the Memoirs of a Good Thing ministry here!