Don’t Let the Trauma Define You

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At some point in life, some people stop being self-conscious talking about themselves and speak more publicly in hopes of helping others. I have reached that point.

I realized this after recording an interview for Darlene Corbett’s wonderful podcast, Tap Into the Power of U. One reason I chose PR as my initial career was that it let me stay behind the scenes, putting others out front and helping them look good.

Darlene’s message, on the other hand, is all about putting yourself out there, as the description of her podcast says: “Women and Men 40+, are you stuck? This lively podcast will help you Tap Into The Power of YOU, get UnStuck and then Stop Depriving The World of You.”

Darlene is a therapist, motivational speaker and success coach, and I’ve decided she is really good at what she does, because she got me talking freely about my life and what I’ve learned, and embracing the idea that my words might help others. Now I wrote Horseshoes and Hand Grenades specifically to help victims of “less severe” sexual abuse and harassment acknowledge that their experiences matter. But that doesn’t mean I saw myself as a mentor of any kind.

So the interview with Darlene, Tenacious Author: S.M. Stevens, was an eye-opener. More important, maybe it will help someone. Here’s an excerpt from the podcast that might be helpful to women struggling with the fall-out from being sexually abused or harassed. I know the situation is waayyyyy more complicated than this suggests and healing can’t be achieved with a few lines of advice. But it’s an important sentiment that may hit a chord with some victims.

Darlene Corbett: I’ve had clients over the years who have dealt with this heinous crime, and they can overcome it and live a successful life.

S.M. Stevens: I don’t think people should push these things away. You have to deal with them. Even if it didn’t seem severe, it may have affected you. But at the same time, we are so much more than our traumas. We do move on and we are a lot more than these incidents.

Darlene Corbett: This is a piece of your life. It’s not all of your life. It’s a piece of who you are and it defined you maybe at that time, but it doesn’t have to define you your whole life. These things have to be dealt with. Eventually what’s going to lift them is to take those strengths that helped them get through it in the first place, and develop themselves in ways they may not even realize they could do.

I encourage you to listen to the podcast if you need a prod in a new direction, a shift in your life. This applies whether you are a sexual crime victim or not. And please post a comment below or contact me directly to let me know if the podcast helped you in any way.

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