I am a happily divorce single mom of 2 amazing adult daughters and the cutest grandson that has stolen my heart. I grew up as a military kid. So, it is only logical that I went into the Army. I proudly served my country for 14 years. I have been living in South West Ohio for the past 17 years. My faith and walk with GOD is what gets me through the trials and tribulations of life.
In July 2017 I decided to start a life blog to share my life story with the world. My hope is to be able to help those that may have similar life journeys. My ultimate dream is to be able to travel the world speaking about my life. To let others know they are not alone. Connect with me via Facebook, twitter @Tealbutterfly1 and or on my blog.
When I was 10 years old my family had a NYE party. I went to bed before the clock struck midnight. I woke up abruptly to one of my dad’s friends molesting me. Because I feared getting in trouble I kept that secret from my parents.
When I was 13 I was visiting my mom’s family in the mid-west. I was staying at an aunt’s house one night with some of my cousins. I woke up in the middle of the night to one of my cousins raping me. I had every intention of going back home and telling my parents. But that never happened.
So, at the age of 14 I had 2 sexual traumas I was holding on to. By the time I was 17 I had attempted suicide and was in a mental health unit. I decided to tell my parents about my sexual traumas. I unfortunately did not get a healthy response. My dad said, “it happened so long ago nothing we can’t do anything about it now” My mom said nothing at all.
Soon after that I joined the Army to try to start a new life. And hoping to leave my traumas behind me. I got stationed in Korea. About 6 months into that assignment I went to a male soldier’s room to watch a football game. There were about 12 male soldiers in that room. I had the gut feeling it was not a good idea. I reassured myself that it would be okay because we were soldiers. After gaining my trust they locked the door and I was gang-raped by all 12 men. I had no intention of reporting it because I blamed myself for going into that room.
My Healing Journey
I hid my traumas like a gremlin monster in a closet. I thought it was safe in there and could not hurt me. But over the years that small monster grew the size of Sully from Monster Inc. It was being fed from my anxiety, fear, paranoid thoughts, and the triggers around me. Soon that monster could not be contained in the closet of my mind.
After 2 failed marriages I decided to seek therapy and healing. It was not an easy process. Many times, I just wanted to quit and never go back.
I have now been in therapy for 10 years. I have learned so much about myself. Mainly I have learned that my traumas do not define me. They refine me into a better person.
I have been sharing my story for 7 years now. If you would have told me that I would be sharing my story with female prisoners I would tell you that is crazy. The crazy thing is I enjoy doing those speeches the most because these women realize they cannot allow their past to define their future.
“You may not feel strong right now- but let me tell you, you are one of the strongest people I know.”
To My Younger Self
At this moment I am sure you feel like you have been beat up by King Kong. But do not lose heart. You are a very strong person. You may not feel like it right now. But you will not always allow your life to define who you are. You will get up, brush yourself off and body slam King Kong. He does not know who he is messing with. You may not feel strong right now but let me tell you. You are one of the strongest people I know, believe me when I tell you that you got this. You will break the chains of these traumas and everything else in your life. You will make an impact on this world one day at a time.
You have been hurt and betrayed. Hold your head up. Don’t let your past be your future. You have the choice what you allow to keep you down and you have the choice what will build you up. None of the abuse you endured is your fault. You did not deserve any of the things that happened to you. You are a strong woman who can help lift other people that have had pain like yours. So, don’t let this get you down. Keep your head up and keep on keeping on.
Keep your head up. I love you very much.
Phenomenal Dana- YOU are a rockstar baby! Keep shining, keep sharing, keep up the most excellent work Fod has called you to! You got this, ‘cause God’s got you. Xoxoxo
Thank you so much for your bravery in sharing your story, Dana. And thank you for sharing in your blog post on your site http://www.fromvictimtovictorious1.com/i-am-a-rockstar/:
“It is so overwhelmingly encouraging to know that my story is on another website besides my own. That the hopes of my story inspiring someone else in their healing process. ENCOURAGING!!!
After Lindy sent me the link, I saw the caption she put beside my picture. I whale cried. It became real to see my picture. And it also hit me to the core to see that quote. One of the things Lindy asked for was a letter to your younger self. So that quote is something I wrong to the younger me. And when I read it on the link it was the first time I began to believe it. For a very long time, I thought people were blowing smoke to say that I was a strong woman. Now I believe it and more importantly, I believe it.”
You inspire me and give me hope and encouragement to keep the momentum and this movement going. You truly are a shining Star!