She looked into the mirror, but found no reason to smile back at her reflection. She didn’t see a woman worthy of being heard or loved. Sometimes thoughts of suicide came, anxiety took control and depression always seemed to weigh down her days.
She wasn’t even five when it all began. “I have to explain how my initial trauma impacted my life,” Kathy stated. “It made me fear being loved. It made me hate myself and my own body. It made me unable to trust anyone and yet tricked me into putting myself into harmful, unhealthy relationships over and over throughout my entire adult life. I was convinced that was what I deserved.”
Lotus (formerly Purchase Area Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Center) became a safe space to work through what had happened to her at such a young age. She began to face the impact of her trauma head-on. “I began to understand that what happened was a part of who I am, but didn’t have to control what I do or how I feel,” Kathy said.
She started to take back her own body and the power to make her own healthy decisions.
One of the hardest things for Kathy to swallow were these three words:
“I am worthy.”
“It took me two years of working with Lotus to even begin to whisper this phrase,” she said.
Abuse, no matter the form, eats away at the belief of victims that they are worthy of better. “I began to realize that I am worth so much more than I ever believed possible. It became a gauge for me. When it began to feel real and true I knew I was getting better,” Kathy said.
Her hard work in private and group therapy sessions showed her resilience. It allowed her to finally see that she is worthy of being heard.
“I am worthy of saying no when I don’t want to do something. I am worthy of asking for help when I need it,” Kathy said.
Cutting out unhealthy relationships and forming a new support system was just the beginning. She was able to develop healthy ways to deal with her stress, emotions, and past experiences. Finding courage in herself brought her to a place where she was able to truly believe she was worthy of having her needs met.
She’s not always convinced of the truth of those statements, but it’s more than a whisper now. After working with Lotus, for the first time, in a long time, she was able to look at herself in the mirror and smile back at her reflection. A reflection showing a woman who is worthy of love.
She wanted to make clear that Lotus did not “fix” her. “I carry shadows and fallout from my trauma with me and always will,” she explained. “But, now I have healthy tools with which to deal with those issues when they arise. I’m able to face my fears instead of avoiding them with unhealthy behaviors.”
Since her initial trauma, Kathy believes she is now in the healthiest emotional place she’s ever been.
Discovering self-worth and new courage within herself, she took a leap. She opened her own business. She faced her trauma. She discovered hope. She chose to grow, facing the seemingly impossible to create a positive future.
Kathy is a survivor. She. Is. Called. Worthy.