Everyone encounters a ‘dark night of the soul’ at times in their lives. During these current times of uncertainty many are feeling unsettled and fearful. Unsure what the outcome will be, how long this pandemic will last or what the new ‘norm’ will look like.
I believe it is a time for us to look within to identify, dissect and deal with the uncertainties, fears and insecurities often buried with busyness, work-related constraints, family obligations and other distractions that previously prevented the opportunity to do so. As leaders, role-models, parents, spouses, and other roles we have in life; we bring to those roles personal experiences, belief systems and mindsets from our upbringing, some healthy others not so healthy.
It would be remiss of me as a leader & advocate for domestic, sexual and childhood sexual abuse survivors not to speak. Within households there are open secrets that have and continue to run rampant. Secrets that are now being exposed. With enforced furloughs, lay-offs and quarantine the incidents of domestic(40% increase), sexual and childhood sexual abuse are rapidly increasing.
How does this tie into this blog’s theme? As a survivor of childhood, sexual and domestic assault, I was challenged to address triggers caused by reaching out to a family member I haven’t communicated with in years. I reached out in support of and advocacy for my daughter, also a survivor, to prevent a set-back on her road to recovery.
Previous animosity and anger resurfaced within at the selfishness of family members who violated the trust given. Feelings I thought were resolved. What it also revealed is how deep the secrecy within families run. I had a very candid conversation with the mother of my daughter’s perpetrators during the course of which I learned she was not aware what transpired all those years ago.
This reinforces the reason for me to continue to advocate for ‘removing the masks’ within families related to domestic, sexual and childhood abuse. This is not an easy journey of advocacy. There are often roadblocks due to how uncomfortable it makes others to hear, desire to hear or at times believe survivors; especially when the perpetrators are revealed.
There have been times I have wanted to abandon the mission. I encountered a ‘dark night of the soul’ recently and was reminded of the need to continue even if it is not palatable for some.
I can only be as effective to the degree I am willing to be transparent about the journey within along the way. Some of my shortcomings were revealed in my ‘dark night of the soul’ that caused me to ask the following question. Will I use this current challenge as an excuse to STOP or use it as a STEPPING stone to continue to grow personally, spiritually and professionally as I continue to advocate and assist others on their journey to ‘Redefining their Life-Path’ after adversity? My resounding response is I will use it as a stepping stone.
What things are being revealed during this time that need to be addressed? Are you going to use it as a reason to STOP or as a catalyst to STEP towards the next level waiting on the other side of the decision you make? For every affliction you encounter in life there is a spiritual remedy. Your affliction is your call to advocacy. Will you answer?
Stopping Point Or Stepping Stone
Resources for Assistance:
To report any type of domestic violence call police or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119.