This is a very difficult Blog for me to post but one I have been thinking about for quite some time. I believe it is time for me to share my story. My hope is people will be able to relate to me and feel heard and understood through my story. This in part, is what has lead me to help others by becoming an IIN Nutrition Health Coach. Becoming a Nutrition Health Coach is so much more than food on the plate. Our physiological health is directly connected to our emotional health. Everything we do and experience is connected as a wholeness of being happy, healthy, and free. Our relationships, our vocation, physical exercise, spirituality, finances, nutrition, water intake, and sleep quality are all connected.
Here it is: I am a survivor (I refuse to call myself a victim) of childhood sexual abuse. There, I said it! I was 6 years old when it began and the best I can remember, about 8 years old when it ceased. The experience affected me in numerous areas of my life. Two areas I feel it has impacted me the greatest centers around food and relationships.
During times of emotional stress, I have fallen into EMOTIONAL EATING. I find it important to capitalize these words because it is a big deal and something very real. It is my comfort as well as my enemy. I know how to eat healthy but when I make my healthy treats, I tend to over eat them when I am struggling. Anyone else experience this? Come on people, I know I am not alone! As for relationships, well that’s an entirely different post for another time.
Listen, I am tired of hiding. I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of allowing this trauma to define who I am because I am not defined by my abuse! Yes, it’s a part of me and always will be but IT DOES NOT DEFINE ME! For those of you who can relate, it does not define you either! I have many talents and skills to offer others. I believe that trauma, no matter what it is, can be used for good. If sharing my story resonates with someone else and I can help them with their struggles and I believe that this is a good thing.
Unfortunate events happen to people all the time. Everyone has their own story. Mine is childhood sexual abuse. Someone else’s might be physical abuse, emotional abuse, witnessing something traumatic or some other life changing event.
Here is what I needed to do in order to start my journey of healing:
- Allow for the feelings and emotions to surface (not easy).
- Genuinely feel those feelings and emotions (even harder).
- Rest in them for a time (the hardest). This included much prayer.
- Take action by receiving help and support in order to move on.
This process will most likely look different for different people because we are all bio-individuals. Everyone needs to discover what works best for them. What I do know is the answer IS NOT to do nothing! I am not saying that the trauma won’t re-surface. It undoubtedly will. For me, each time it has, I have been able to recognize the triggers and acknowledge them. I then tell myself, “Ok, this has re-surfaced but I am not going to stay stuck here.” There will be times that are easier than others to deal with the trauma but the main thing is to recognize it when it surfaces.
Prayer has been an integral part of my healing journey. I would not be where I am today without God. This journey has enabled me to not only be closer to God, but merely to just BE with God. For that, I am forever grateful.
If I can be of any support to any person who has read this and has been moved, please do not hesitate to reach out. It can be life changing!