Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. – Harvey Fierstein
Attending the 2013 YWCA Survivors Celebration was truly a celebration and an honor—and a very real reminder as to the magnitude of women that are affected by domestic violence—and the journey that many women are still on.
One thing became evident in listening to survivors’ stories— we start to believe what we hear the most. Many times when domestic violence begins, it’s more subtle than physical violence, rather by way of mental violence through words. Abusers use demeaning names and hurtful language to make their victims begin to believe that they are no more than what they’re told. By the time the physical abuse starts, the victims have already started to believe things that they’ve been told like:
“I deserve this” or “I’m not worth anything” or
“He wouldn’t do this if he didn’t love me”
Oftentimes the breakthrough happens when the victim stops believing the definition written on their life by another and starts to redefine who they are based upon what they know themselves to be.
I pray that instead of believing the lies, you begin to speak the truth—you are worthy and you are worth it. Erase the past and write a new definition for you. You are not what anyone else says. Only you define who you are.
Speak it. Believe it. You were made for more.