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Empowered: Stories of Resilience and Healing
As I reflect back to that time of my life, feelings of embarrassment, fear and helplessness could not escape me. I became one with these feelings and struggled to find Kena in the sea of these emotions. I went from being a professional athlete to a bruised and empty shell.
The struggle to continuously have a smile for the world while covering my pain and bruises with makeup was a battle I fought everyday. I hated the person I had become. I did not know I was 1 in 4. I felt invisible and became another number to the world.
While plotting my escape, I stayed in my abuse for 6 months more than I should have. If only I had known of Becky’s Fund. Becky’s Fund was the saving grace that I needed and the fresh start I desperately sought for. Becky’s Fund provides survivors with the strength and opportunity to help others find their light and strength to leave.
As a mom to a teenage boy, I am extremely grateful for Becky’s passion and desire to educate young men (through Men Of CODE) on domestic violence and healthy masculinities. It is our responsibility to raise men who respect the voice and integrity of women.
When it’s all been said and done, I AM RESILIENT! I stand taller and stronger than ever. Thanks to Becky’s Fund I am able to be a light for others and THAT feels amazing!
I reflect back when I felt vulnerable, trapped and hopeless.
Social Media was starting to become popular and it was helping to feed the ego of this person who did so much wrong. He posted the picture perfect of an untouchable extravagant life that was a lie and it was so powerful that I thought my voice was going to be taken as a joke.
When I finally had the courage to ask for help, Becky’s Fund became my safe haven through which I was able to find myself. The wonderful soul I had once lost. They gave me a hand and a shoulder to cry on when I needed. Becky’s Fund helped me to become the woman who I am today and the role model that I want my future children to aspire to be.
For this, and so much more, I say thank you.
At my lowest, feelings of isolation consumed me. I felt inadequate and I had allowed myself to believe that I lacked purpose. The beauty that I am had become invisible to me, and my bruised heart would only allow me to see the scars on my body.
Knowledge is power and Becky’s Fund became the light in my darkest hour. The knowledge given to me at Becky’s Fund empowered me to believe that I am more than a statistic of domestic abuse. Becky’s Fund filled me with hope, love and strength to overcome any obstacle in my life.
I am a survivor. I am a champion of peace. I am a warrior of harmony. I am a beacon of light to those whose flame may seem dim. I am not a statistic. I am a limited edition and I have purpose!
My name is Sebastien Courret and I am a survivor of domestic violence. Domestic violence does not discriminate based on gender, race nor social standing. It can affect anybody and everybody.
Five years ago, I almost lost my life because I asked for a divorce from my ex-husband. Before I passed out he said to me, “If I cannot have you, then no one else will.” He was ready to kill me.
As I lay on the floor broken and beaten, I thought to myself “this could be the last image my parents remember, my dead body lying on the floor.” This incident was not the first, but it was definitely the last. I had once missed the signs as I made excuses for the many times I was striked. No More!
Domestic violence can be prevented, but we all have to put in the work. Tonight, as we commit towards ending domestic violence, I implore you to dig deep and donate towards Becky’s Fund and the Men of CODE program that educates our young men on healthy masculinity and domestic violence.
I reflect back to when I believed the stigma that “I had asked for it.” It took me years to be able to look in the mirror and not see the bruises around my next still, or to not characterize that as a self-inflicted wound.
A favorite phrase in my family growing up, “behavior was described as a self-inflicted wound to describe anything that could have been avoided if only it had been thought through more. That night I saw the red flags and had my gut warned me otherwise that I was too weak to extricate myself from the situation in time.
From that moment, I always saw myself as a passive player in this world where things were done to me rather than of my own agency. And I am irrevocably changed as a result of that night. Where I once was spontaneous, I now have the desire to control even the most minor details.
But I am continually striving. Striving to be a better person, to notice those around me who may also be hurting Striving to be more confident in my life and my choices. Striving to remember that this does not define me. When i have flashbacks or nightmares, that is not indicative of weakness.
Becky’s Fund gave me an outlet to realize that while each survivor’s story is different, there are common themes binding us all, and with that realization comes healing.
Manipulated, hollow and extinguished. This is how I felt as I endured abuse at the hands of a man who vowed to love and cherish me “for better or worse.” It felt like a dream but, in reality it truly was happening and I did not know how to get out. I kept a perfect appearance to hide what was really going on. On the inside, I felt like I was twisted in knots, lost at where to begin to try and comb it all out.
People often question how and why survivors did not see the signs and leave before it even began. The one thing I can say to this is that the words ‘violent’, ‘abusive’, ‘manipulative’, and the many more used to describe abusers are not written on the forehead of anybody. Especially not the person who claims to love you.
Becky’s Fund fund provided the empathy I desperately search for and needed to get out of the situation and ultimately save myself. The woman that stands before the world today is awakened to her inner ability and strength. She is stronger than ever and values every inch of who she is, flaws and all. Thank you Becky, for giving me the opportunity to see my inner strength in a moment when doubt and fear clouded my judgement and sense of self.
I reflect to when I constantly felt like I was living a lie. I was keeping a seemingly perfect appearance to hide what was really happening everyday. I was no longer myself. I was hollow and extinguished. It felt as though my thoughts and feelings were tangled up inside of me. The knots were so large I had no idea where to begin to untangle it. Everyday was a survival of a walking nightmare. I never slept because if I did, I was afraid of what I would wake up to. My experience ran through the entire spectrum of abuse – mental, financial, physical and sexual. It wasn’t until I had my daughter that my survival and maternal instincts finally awakened me to what was happening and what I needed to do – get us out and above all, protect her from harm.