My Purpose – My Passion Results From My Story

{Part one of my blog explaining how my story is my purpose for my passion, my why. ended right after I survived a violent attack on my back porch by a strange man, with another coming back later and cleaning up the scene. Read Part 1 here.}

Living Victoriously Means Being Empowered with Hope for the Future Because You Survived Your Past (Part 2)

my story my why
Your story can inspire HOPE

The Aftermath of Surviving an Assault is Unfathomable

If being attacked and left for dead is traumatic, the aftermath of surviving such an assault is unfathomable. I had no idea how to cope from one moment to the next. I had wounds to tend to and a funeral to attend. But my brain would not accept my new reality or being back in the same physical surroundings.

I became hyper-vigilant and kept lapsing into a fight-or-flight response. However, I had no outside threats to fight off, so my body began attacking itself. During these episodes, I vomited every few minutes for hours on end, sometimes days. Each time, my condition deteriorated so much I ended up back in the hospital. Even the medicine they gave me did not stop my body’s reactions to being in fight-or-flight. Nor did anything stop the fight-or-flight episodes that caused boy’s physical reactions.

After they removed another organ, which should have been perfectly healthy, my condition did not improve; specialists arrived. I will never forget them standing over me, talking as if I could not hear them. They discussed my body killing itself off one organ at a time if they did not get this under control. Hearing this, I realized they could not help me. Only I had the power to choose whether my body would live or die.

Thinking back to the night I was attacked, I remembered giving my battle to God. I recalled seeing the beautiful white light She used to protect me. Somehow, I knew I had to reclaim control over my mind and body so I could live out my purpose. So, I chose to stop being a victim and claim victory over my circumstances instead.

You are likely breathing a sigh of relief right now, as the reader, thinking, “finally! Her life and circumstances are about to get better. Here comes the happy ending!”

That is certainly what I thought. Thus, I began trying to go live again the way I had before the attack. I worked hard at rebuilding my life trying to get back to normal. But the universe excluded ‘normal’ from the plans.

Normal No Longer Exists

no normal

I had no idea how hard my journey was about to get. But without these difficulties, I would not have found my purpose, my passion, my why.

‘Getting back to normal’ was not an option. Normal would never exist again for me. My new reality included a diagnosis of c-PTSD: complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The ‘complex’ part means the PTSD results from more than one trauma. PTSD and c-PTSD are considered brain injuries accompanied by mental health symptoms. I experienced major bouts of depression, sleeplessness, inability to eat, nervousness, generalized anxiety, nightmares, and of course, flashbacks.

No matter how much progress I made, I still suffered constantly. I felt like a stranger in a foreign land, in my own body and environment. It was much worse out in the world. But I persevered.

To add insult to injury, the police never arrested anyone for attacking me. They said it was likely a stalker. Singular. I offered to provide a detailed description of the two faces that would forever haunt the darkest parts of my mind. They told me they did not have a forensic artist and did not have the funds to hire one from the next city over for my case. I offered to have an artist friend do the sketches. I received a firm, “no!” for that suggestion.

For a while, I called the main detective on the case regularly to see if they had made any progress or had any leads. One day he told me I would have had a better chance of having my case investigated thoroughly if I had been raped or died. Because I survived, my case kept getting buried deeper in the pile. At that moment, I knew to stop hoping for closure.

About a year after the attack, I moved away to start over once again, and to be with a wonderful man I had known since high school. We had a great time together. I trusted him. Plus, he said he would be my rock and take care of me. He had no idea what that entailed.

Over the next few years, I was pro-active regarding my mental health and overall wellness. But, as with any health journey, the road was hard. Setbacks occurred.

Three separate times always brought on by extreme stress, my brain succumbed to present triggers. On each of these three occasions, my mental state and ensuing flashback were much worse than Jim could handle alone. So, my husband did what anyone would do. He called 911 for medical help.

All three times, calling 911 for help resulted in more harm done to me than good. Each time, they arrested me rather than helping me. Two of the three incidences occurred in my home. None of the incidences included crimes committed or reported. In all three situations, rather than listen to the witnesses explaining my mental state, the officers decided it must result from drugs or alcohol. Prove-ably, neither were ever involved, but the label was put in place.

The third time was the worst. A rookie officer, with no Crisis Intervention Training saw her (yes, sadly this was a female officer hurting a female in need) opportunity to gain some status by charging me with a felony. Her original charge would not stick, but she refused to let it go, even though her partner would not back her.

The charge was reduced and reduced until it was the lowest felony possible, unrelated to anything that happened during the incident in question. The assistant commonwealth attorney readily agreed that I should plead ‘no contest’, since I had committed no crime. The judge accepted the plea and I received yet another label for society to use against me.

So, yes, I have a criminal record. If, in someone’s simple thinking, that fact means I am a criminal, then so be it. The two are not synonymous. I do know I felt no shame then, although some would have preferred I did. And I have no shame now, although others wish I would.

We Must Be Intentional About Our Wellness

My road back to wellness and wholeness has been intentional and the obstacles have often felt insurmountable. Sometimes it has even been tragic. But I have persevered and overcome my many difficulties. Of course, my journey has not ended. It will not end until I am called home.

Facing the demons of my past traumas and conquering them is a battle for which I must prepare daily. Each day, I shield myself in the divine light of my Creator and Protector. This light protects me from what may lurk in the darkness. This light guides my every step from morning through nightfall.

Would I change anything about my story? My test? No. As painful as my journey has been so far, I would not change one bit of it, because through my hardships, I found myself.  Through my tribulations, I discovered my purpose, my why. My trials became my victories. My tests became my testimony.

These lyrics, from the song One Awkward Moment (Casting Crowns) explains better than any words I can find to explain why I am sharing, and will continue to share, my story.

She’s a castaway
Stranded on the island of her yesterdays
Freedom was her ocean, but she got swept away
Little princess dreaming got lost somewhere in the waves

Left behind
She’s been going at this all alone since she was nine

But God loves you, He’s got a plan for you, she’s heard all the lines
But when she opens up her heart nobody’s got the time

Could this be the day that you come to the rescue?
She’s desperate for the light but she’s never gonna ask you

One word, one hand
Tell me, is that too high a price?
One awkward moment
Could be the one that saves a life
Your hurt, your scars
God will use to open up her eyes

Let Your Story become Your Passion – Your Purpose

If by sharing my story I help just one more female break the chains of their past and claim hope for the future, then every scar I own, both physical and emotional, will have been worth the struggle and the pain I have experienced in my life. This is who I am. This is my why. My story gave me my purpose – my passion.

You Can Break the Chains of Your Past When You Discover Your Purpose and Make It Your Passion.

Felon. Mentally ill. Addict. These labels placed on us by others do not need to determine our course in life. We can overcome judgment and stigma. We can live victoriously, rather than letting others define us and allowing ourselves to become our labels.

I have defeated some ugly monsters. There will be others, and I will conquer them, as well. I travel my wellness journey enthusiastically, doing all I can to care for myself. Moreover, I empower myself with the amazing tools given to us by God, through the universe.

You can live an empowered life, too! My passion and my purpose are to help women like you. If you have made it this far reading, my story somehow resonates with you. Like me, you live with scars, whether physical or emotional. Maybe you also live with labels. Possibly you battle, or succumb to, self-condemnation, shame, and guilt.

We all have a story. Unfortunately, too many women suffer under the burden of their past traumas and tragedies, allowing themselves to remain stuck.

Does my story speak to you? Do you want out of your stuck-ness? If you want help with gaining a victorious mindset, if you want help learning how to take control of your destiny, let’s put my purpose and my passion to work for you.

My purpose and passion are to help self-aware women embrace their unique stories, nurture themselves inside and out, and confidently live authentically.

It is time to live empowered, with hope for your future because you have survived your past!

Take the first step and schedule your complimentary Empowered Living coaching consultation with me by clicking the following link. I cannot wait to talk with you!

Beautiful Blessings,

~Heather K.