Survivor (Freedom Fighter)
I’m not a victim!
Strong words, with a powerful meaning.
While most people are raised on a diet of the American sitcom of families as wholesome as apple pie, Ally’s life was as distant from such an existence as the North Pole is to the South. Rather than the expectation of an easy life guided by a loving, protective family, Ally’s world was broken from the start: conceived due to gang rape, she was barely beyond her toddler years when she was sexually abused by numerous perpetrators from the age of 4 to 14.
Adopted by her grandmother, she was then raised in a cult where both physical and emotional abuse were considered the norm, and accepted by all around her; while suffering the trauma of school bullying for being a black girl in a white family.
Her story, already bleak, doesn’t stop there.
She was in and out of mental hospitals, attempting suicide and battling during her late teens and early twenties. She found work on the streets, believing it was the life she deserved – ‘I had been born from violence, so I was here to live in violence’. This flowed into every aspect of her life, never more than when she married looking for love without being in love.
Fighting against the negativity of her earliest years she tried to get clean, only to find perils lay in that direction too when she almost died from drug and alcohol withdrawals. An out-of-body experience was the momentous incident that gave her the strength to turn her life around; and last year after attending a personal development program Ally realised that she was living a life abused by others and herself.
The lack of confidence in her childhood spilled over into adulthood and escalated tremendously until she believed, even into her 40s, that her life was her own fault. She should have been prettier, sexier, skinnier, more talented, more loving – the perfect woman. If she was then she would have been treated better, men wouldn’t cheat on her, they wouldn’t hit her, they wouldn’t want to hurt her.
Led for so long to believe that she was a ‘loser’, ‘ugly’, ‘a dog’, ‘useless’, and would ‘never amount to anything’, it was almost impossible to break free of the negativity.
But Ally did it.
The program, in her own words, ‘switched on a light’. Now, with their guidance and support, she has become a new woman who has learned the hard way to love and value herself; because though early experiences define how we live our lives, they don’t control our lives if we don’t let them.
Ally took control. She writes her gratitudes every morning upon waking; she writes poetry, is currently writing a book about her incredible journey, and has nine beautiful children who gave her life light and meaning when everything else seemed bleak and worthless.
‘I work on myself, I’ve had to learn to love myself. Now I share my story to empower others so they know they are not alone. Now I strive to be the guiding light that leads others out of the darkness. If I can do this, I promise – so can you.’
It was a tough lesson to learn, but in spite of every obstacle throwing itself in her path, Ally learnt it. She now advocates the belief that you attract what you give out; when you love yourself, others will follow suit. Rather than ‘you are what you eat’ she says ‘you are who you hang with’.
In Ally’s own inspirational words: ‘I am not a victim. I am grateful for every second of my life – because without it I wouldn’t have my beautiful children. I survived stronger, happier and healthier because of my experiences. They will not steal my dreams; if I let them do that they are still abusing me from afar. If I truly chase my dreams and live them, they lose and I win!’
My mission in life is to be the guiding light that leads others out through the darkness
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This profile was crafted by Amber Averay The Enchantment Wordsmith