There is hope for healing even after experiencing horrible abuse.
Story: Itzabella Katchastarr
As a young adult, I was sexually assaulted, raped, forced to marry my ex-boyfriend rapist, and subjected to years of mental, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. My innocence, and that of my infant daughter, was stolen along with my faith in humanity. Because I didn’t immediately tell anyone what happened, my life spiraled downward, propelled by the poison of doubt, guilt, shame, and fear. For years I silently suffered with depression, anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, fibromyalgia, and the numerous physical, mental, and emotional side effects of severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Thankfully, my spirit chose to soar.
Eventually, I took ownership of my circumstances by quieting my noisy, busy, reactive mind and going within my true self. I did this in a meditative manner to safely review the horrific events I survived, seriously search for a peaceful way to move forward in life and heal myself. The soulful solution was to forgive myself.
Initially, I wondered how I could heal by forgiving myself, and then the answer became clear. I was raised to forgive others when they hurt me with their words or actions once the situation was resolved. I was told to let go of things; holding on doesn’t do anyone any good. I applied these life lessons toward forgiving myself. This allowed me to see my role in my life’s events without judgment or fear of judgment. I began to accept the truth of my role and the choices I made during those circumstances.
Whenever I felt the rush and unease of shame, guilt, and self-doubt during flashbacks to events in my life, I inhaled deeply and consciously forgave myself for the past “mistakes” I made when our lives were threatened.
As I eased into this practice of forgiving myself, the revisiting of past events in my mind became less and less frightening and more rewarding. I felt great relief while forgiving myself and simultaneously surrendering these events to a higher power for forgiveness. “Let go and let God” was a phrase I often heard my mother say. Now I know how beneficial that mantra truly is. I became peaceful, less frightened, more confident, my overall health improved; life got better, and my belief in human kindness was restored. I treasure this skill, knowing it takes honesty, practice, and a firm conviction to never repeat such incidents.
I’d like to share these gems with you:
I now forgive myself for:
- My naivety.
- Deciding to be his friend.
- Not reporting the rape to police.
- Taking a shower and going to work instead of going to the hospital immediately upon regaining consciousness.
- Agreeing to his terms.
Pearl of wisdom
Forgiveness allows me to heal and be peaceful as I move forward in life. It does not mean what happened is all right. I value the lesson, and I leave the experience behind.
I now forgive myself for:
- Believing his threats.
- Not telling anyone about his violent temper, his mistreatment of Desirée and me, and his drug and alcohol addictions.
- Enduring his abusive behavior.
- Staying in a dangerous situation.
- Pretending everything was “normal.”
Pearl of wisdom
We cannot change other people. My fear gave him power over me. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t give your power away!
My memoir, “Because I Didn’t Tell,” is raw. Abuse, betrayal, deceit, and disappointment are powerful experiences I share so readers will:
• recognize if and when it is happening to them.
• take action to reclaim their lives.
• avoid having this happen to them or someone they love.
Trust your intuition—that gut feeling you get when something doesn’t feel right. See the “red flags” that warn you of danger. Believe what you sense and feel.
I am so proud of those who are finding their courage to tell; every truth matters. Please seek a peaceful resolve for yourself; resist falling into the trauma and drama that revenge brings. Don’t allow the “fall out” to consume your thoughts and steal your bliss. Be peaceful now that you revealed your truth. Some things are God’s jobs.
I released victimhood by accepting that each tragic experience held a valuable lesson for me. This wisdom empowered me to propel myself to fear-free, faith-filled fulfillment. I am triumphant and free!
“Because I Didn’t Tell” serves to globally encourage all other victims of abuse to speak up about their situation, to seek help and protection, and to release the grip of fear that keeps them silent. It is a safe place for readers to heal through forgiving themselves and gleaning wisdom from woe.
How do you choose to honor your self-worth?
About the author
Itzabella Katchastarr is the author of “Because I Didn’t Tell,” published by Balboa Press in July 2017, as well as an inspirational speaker, Reiki master, and founder of Healing House. Stay inspired at becauseididnttell.com.