How I Stopped Feeling Sorry for Myself and Shifted from Victim to Survivor

“When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.” ~Brené Brown

One time I felt very sorry for myself. There was good reason for me to feel that way. It was a dark time in my life. From a young age, there had been so many tragedies in my life. My grandparents died young and I lived with my father in an abusive home.

There are many things that have gone wrong in my life. I could go on and on. In my thirties I hosted a party for myself with lots of wine and food. My story was that I had been through all of this and was now unlucky with love and life. My life seemed doomed.

Because everyone around me was so perfect, I thought if God existed, he would have made me miserable.

I felt like I was the only person who felt like this and couldn’t see any goodness in my life. Because I wasn’t good enough, I believed I would be unfulfilled and lonely in my career.

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To give me purpose in life, I cared for my family members to provide for myself. But inside, I hated the idea of it. I was bitter and resentful. I didn’t do these things because I wanted to. These things were done because they felt right for me.

I thought this was who I was meant to be—the side act in everyone else’s story.

My peer’s were living their normal lives: getting married, having children, buying homes, etc. It was hard for me to get out of the pity-party, stuck in the pain and sadness of the past, and unable move on. I felt like I did as a child—powerless, out of control of my life, and sad.

Since I was a child, anxiety and sadness were constant feelings. This made it difficult to cope with the uneasy feelings. I used TV, fast food and alcohol as distractions.

My childhood was horrible. Then, in my thirties I continued living as a victim. I also blamed my self. My life would be better if I could just do enough.

There came a time when I couldn’t carry on the way I had been and had to take responsibility for my own life. My story. I had to let go of the path that was causing me pain. It was time to fight for my happiness, or go with my father’s path.

Although my life seemed pointless, I finally believed the voice that spoke to me and took control of my destiny.

It was my first step on my spiritual and healing path.

It all started with a simple internet search on how to feel better—mind, body, and soul.

I was inspired by the idea of daily gratitude. It was my first step to write down what I could remember at the moment.

For a long time, I focused on all I didn’t have rather than what I did. But I had so much—great friendships, travel, love, a well-paid job, a nice home, and so much more. All the positive stuff was ignored and I lost what little I had. Present moment. Now my eyes opened to see all of the beauty in my life.

The beauty of sunrises and sunsets was something I discovered and began to enjoy. Everything was beautiful to me. Even when it was dark. Each day I looked for the light. More I searched, the more I discovered.

When I came across new ideas and practices, gratitude was a habit I developed. Books, podcasts, teachers, healers and therapy are just a few of the many resources I have access to. More I thanked you for your kindness, I discovered more great things.

My story was shifting.

After that, I began to hear my intuition better by adding mindfulness and meditation to my day.

My fear was the only thing I could hear, but that inner voice kept growing stronger. Ideas would pop into my head like “I just don’t love myself,” and then I would see a quote from Louise Hay that resonated on social media. I was led to her book by one. You Can Heal Your Life. The strategies she suggested were implemented and I was able to take small, yet important steps.

Every time, I thanked you. I felt supported more by the universe and myself, and felt less victim to my own story.

You will be more open to opportunities if you feel better inside.  I saw a job I liked advertised and rather than letting fear stop me, I listened to my intuition, which guided me “to just try.”

In the past I would have ignored it and thought “I wish.” This time I just went for it. Like that, I left my toxic workplace for one more in line with me and which offered more income.

I was able to attract better relationships, and eventually found love. I started to incorporate daily affirmations into my day and began walking in nature. I was looking for ways I could feel better inside.

As I was changing within, my reality changed.  

Have you ever noticed how your body feels when you say, “My life is crap”? The fear can cause your body to contract and even feel like it is rising. But when you tell yourself, “There’s a lot of good in my life,” your body almost expands, and you can breathe.

Your words can have profound effects on you. Everything changes when we change the narrative that we believe in ourselves.

My personal search led me to new knowledge that helped me understand my history. I found people like Gabor Maté who explained concepts such as intergenerational trauma and addiction. This helped me alter the narrative I had about my childhood. It allowed me to see the root of my trauma.

My intuition told me that I needed to pay attention to my father’s relationship. Then, I noticed an advertisement for a book. Father TherapyDoreen Virtue who led me into inner child work. It helped me to heal my younger self.

In my search to feel and heal better, I discovered new healing methods such as EFT (emotional freedom tap technique), breathwork and eye movements.

Thank you, again and again.

I was a victim of my own story for so many years that it kept me from moving forward. Now I wanted to make a change, and was grateful for this opportunity. There was always more. I had so many new tools, that I did not know existed during my depression.

This was hard work. I wept. Fear took over some days and I couldn’t access my intuition. However, I decided to start my search again the next morning. Journaling would allow me to reconnect with myself and help me see the events of the previous day. How I felt and what I needed.

I loved and embraced my worst days, and also celebrated the best. I was no longer a child abuse victim, but an able survivor.

Yes, I have had bad experiences. These aren’t who I am, they’re just part of my story. That story is what led me here, to this place where I’m now writing to you. It is my goal to inspire and help you to see that you can change any story you have. There is support and guidance available for you when you need it. It is easy to see the signs everywhere if you pay attention.

You will also see that you have an inner voice to guide you, and you can access everything you need for healing. When you start recognizing all the tools available to you, you’ll feel less alone and supported on your journey.

My childhood experiences are no longer bittersweet. I feel proud. These memories have made me who and enabled me to support others as they heal from the past.

It has helped me feel more happy that I found love, forgiveness and compassion for those who have hurt me like my father. I didn’t have to forgive him. Although his actions were terrible, they are now clear to me as a result of his trauma. I have found great inner peace through this.

To transform your inner self and break the trauma cycle in your family, it takes courage. It will be a very different experience for your children. This is amazing! It’s a fantastic gift.

You are just a click away from all the information, advice, guidance and light you need. You just need to take the first step and decide to become the hero of your story and find your own heart’s happiness.

Manpreet Johal

Manpreet is the creator of the Heart’s Happiness podcast, where she talks about intergenerational trauma, and is also a coach who helps people make peace with their past and rewrite their story by learning how to love themselves. Download her FREE masterclass on Manifesting Happiness here. Join her supportive community to feel less alone on your healing journey. Learn more on her website and Instagram.

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