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Defining Moments, Insights and Affirmations that Help Us Survive Abuse

For those who have grown up in less than ideal families subjected to one or more forms of abuse, some describe a defining moment that lifts them up and out of what feels like living hell.

An intuitive insight or an amazing event creates a breakthrough clearing an emotional escape route towards the light of a healthier life. Have you had such a moment?

Last week Tyler Perry, renowned playwright, director, and actor spoke publicly for the first time on the Oprah Winfrey show about his tormented childhood. He thanked Oprah personally and, speaking on behalf of millions of us, described a defining moment in his life some twenty years ago. Oprah encouraged viewers who were victims of abuse to write and come forward about their experiences. She said writing and speaking acts as a catharsis for healing to reclaim power and control of the lost self. I concur.

I recently spoke with a woman who asked what my thoughts are about why some of us make it through the dark shadows of childhood and some of us don’t. She is in a loving successful marriage of fifteen years working in partnership with her husband and her brother is a drug addict who is slowly and surely destroying himself and has been for the last thirty years. Is it luck, something in our constitution, or our connection to a higher power, that keeps us standing in the ring fighting, refusing to throw in the towel?

She shared an amazing event, her defining moment, when on the brink of suicide she literally made a bargain with God. “If there is some reason for me to stay alive, if you have some plan for me to fulfill, then let the phone ring this evening at 8:00 pm sharp,” she proclaimed. “I thought how audacious of me to challenge the Almighty”, but I was in such pain that I needed a sign. I was truly prepared to die. As the designated time approached she became increasing more resigned to ending her life, consoling herself with blissful images of heaven and the afterlife.  At 8:00 pm, for some reason, she decided to pick up the phone. There was no dial tone. “Hello” Dee said. “Dee, this is your mother. What happened, the phone never rang”? “Why are you calling,  mom”? “I just had this feeling to call you and tell you I love you. Your dad and I are on our way to Bingo so I can’t stay on very long”, she explained…

Tyler Perry described memories of disassociating and the frightening sensation of leaving his physical body to separate from the physical and mental abuse he endured. Disassociation wasn’t scary for me. Somehow shifting my attention away from how I was feeling made it easier to sense the thoughts and feelings around me. My intuition became a self defense mechanism that warded off the sickness in my home. And the defining moment in my life was the first confirmation that my insights were accurate. Knowing I could rely on a part of me that no one could touch or invade, preserved my integrity and sanity.

“Intuition is the mind’s inner light”. Paul Brunton Notebooks

Anyone other than those who knew my father intimately would describe him as a gregarious, warm-hearted generous man, which he was on the outside. He was also very emotionally disturbed and had serious issues about women, his potency as a man, and sex. Playboy and Penthouse centerfolds wallpapered his home office, which I found offensive and embarrassing. I lost all respect for my father as a man. I truly felt hatred towards him and struggled with the guilt of these feelings for years. His attitude and behavior was brazen, like an adolescent boy. Countless times I apologized for his flirtatious and solicitous sexual comments and innuendos to my girlfriends and any attractive woman we encountered on our outings. But I didn’t know fully his lack of scruples until I left home.

Anita and her one-year-old daughter came to live with us when I was sixteen. My father hired her to be my companion and our housekeeper. She and her baby were like earth angels bringing joy into my life for the first time in years. Shortly after I went to college she left and remarried. My father was living with his fourth and final wife and her two children. They hired a young foreign woman as a caretaker.  She was just a year older than me. Living away from home brought more than a few breaths of fresh air. I don’t remember the events that led up to the realization. The thought just resounded in my mind clear as a bell that my father was sexually involved with Bea, the new housekeeper. And simultaneously it dawned on me that he had also been involved with Anita. But the insight was not enough. How could I confirm this? It felt like my life depended on knowing if my intuitions were right, the deciding moments I’ve mentioned.

I returned home about once a month to visit my stepbrother and stepsister and my beloved sheepdog. On one of these weekends I found a private time to speak with Bea, and gaining her confidence, confronted her. I lied and told her I had already spoken with my father who admitted to their affair. I acted unemotional and accepting. Somewhat relieved she confessed. And then I approached my father. Cornered he had no line of defense. Shortly afterwords, I spoke with Anita who also affirmed their involvement.

We cannot control the events of our past but we can certainly change how we feel about our self in regards to what has happened and free our souls to find real love and purpose for being.

I welcome your comments and questions. Feel free to post them directly or email me directly at: Stephanie@of2minds.com

And if you have a defining moment you’d like to share I would be honored to read it. To learn more about me and the services I offer as a Personal Life Coach click on the Services tab in the right hand corner of this page: http://www.stephaniealt.com/ or visit my website: http://www.of2minds.com/

“Fine-tuning your intuition safeguards the future and opens doors to the extraordinary”.             Stephanie Alt, MS

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