Have you ever been abused? The wreckage that’s left behind can be devastating.
Whether it’s verbal, physical, or sexual abuse the long term affects can destroy you if you don’t take time to heal.Victims of abuse are subject to, emotional, psychological, and anxiety disorders. Some develop substance abuse disorders and others post traumatic stress disorder.
However abuse doesn’t have to be the end, you can rise from the rubble and transform into a SHERO, that’s exactly what YouTube star Brittani Taylor did after experiencing Tinder dating gone wrong.
After taking a sneak peak at Brittani’s new book A Sucky Love Story: Overcoming Unhappily Ever After, I sat down with her to discover what made her transform from an abuse survivor to a thriver and here’s what Brittani had to say.
Me: Brittani what made you decide to date when you were lonely?
Brittani: I felt like something was missing. Although I was focusing on my career and working really hard I felt like it would be better to share the success with someone. I didn’t have kids yet, here I am in my Thirties and I wanted to have it all. I wanted love. I was worried that if I didn’t get into a relationship soon then time was going to pass me by. All my success is great but things can’t hug you at night. I didn’t want to be surrounded by material possessions at the end of my life and not have anything that was deep and meaningful.
Me: I’m glad that you brought this up Brittani because so many people today are searching for happiness outside of themselves in the form of relationships but the only thing that can satisfy that deep yearning is love for self in a non-egotistical way.
Now there were definitely signs you saw along the way once you first met Milos that triggered your inner gauge and you admitted in the book that you really weren’t ready to date since you had recently broke up with your ex boyfriend, what made you proceed with a relationship that made you question along the way?
Brittani: I was dumped by my ex, so I decided to jump into dating, it was kind of my way of getting back and proving a point, right or wrong, I decided to give online dating a shot. I mean let’s face it it’s kind of like grocery shopping for men, do you want blue eyes or brown eyes, blonde or black hair? As for Milos, he came across as successful, kind and extremely easy on the eyes. He checked every box…charming, funny, well educated, loves kids, etc. Although I had made a pact to stay abstinent until I got married I caved with Milos, he was extremely good looking. There is your head and then your heart and for the first time I was in love, I felt like I had waited long enough but after I slept with him I felt uneasy.
Me: So it wasn’t sexual abuse that you experienced in the relationship Brittani rather it was verbal and physical abuse that started to unfold and escalate as the pressures of life kicked in. Quoting a line from your book, “I didn’t make it to the door before Milos had his arms around me. Overwhelming me with his strength. “Help me! Help me! Help me!” I wailed. My voice was raw, the sheer strain overwhelming my vocal cords. Two feet. All I had needed to make it was two feet and I would have been outside.”
You uncovered that Milos wasn’t really a doctor, that he didn’t have all the money you expected, and overall that his entire story he told you was a lie and to top it off he was married while he was seeing you.
Brittani: I got sucked into his story, he was so believable, when I met him he had designer everything, drove a nice car, had hundred dollar bills in his wallet etc. When you are in love you don’t always see clearly. Too much happened all at once for me to think clearly. I have since learned through all of the abuse and lies and trauma that it’s better to be alone than with the wrong person, what can I say? He is a narcissist, he had a believable excuse for everything and he was very quick with his answers. He truly is a sociopath. I wanted to believe that he was a good man who loved me but once the abuse started and escalated; I knew then that any little thing I did could set him off. Everything became my fault, his lack of money, and his lack of employment, issues with his mother, etc. I kept justifying his actions because I loved him.
My values were stolen and crushed through it all. I have a tendency to stay in relationships too long because I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings it’s just the way I am plus I have a tendency to put others needs before my own. Looking back I now realize that it was a lack of value for myself; I believed that I didn’t deserve more. It probably stems all the way back to school and being bullied for years. At the end of the day I got my amazing son out of the relationship so at least I’ve walked away with a positive focus.
Me: So once you were able to break free Brittani what are some steps that you took to transform from being a victim to a victor? What makes you thrive today?
Brittani: I started putting myself first and taking care of myself. I ate healthy foods, exercised, I got good sleep, hiked, and saw my therapist; I worked on gaining my voice and realizing my value. I started focusing back on my own goals and dreams. Bit by bit I have gained back my power! I have decided to no longer live in fear. I would rather speak up and save other people from making the mistakes that I did and being authentic with the story than remain silent. During our trial that was the hardest for me; remaining silent because I had to, now I no longer have to. I have a very big voice through social media and I have since started up a children’s clothing line called Rex Kids Wear in honor of my son. We give back 10% of the proceeds of our sales to Watoto, helping endangered women and orphans in Uganda.
You may be able to personally relate to Brittani’s story. Regardless of the form of abuse it’s imperative that if you are in an abusive relationship to get out. Find your tribe, your support group that will encourage you to thrive and help you remain safe. Once you are away from the toxicity it’s your time to heal, this is a unique journey for everyone. Once you have spent some time seeking professional help there are some important steps to help you thrive instead of survive.
1. Keep a gratitude journal – What you focus on you get more of. Find something to be thankful for. Maybe that one thing is you made it out alive.
2. Forgive Yourself – You did the best you knew to do with the information you had at the time.
3. Push past fear and know that your life matters, you have been designed for greatness. Work on going back as far as childhood and reflect on what caused you to lose value for yourself. Work on building up that value by looking in the mirror every day and tell yourself something about you that you love.
4. Always remember to put your oxygen mask on first. You can’t give away what you don’t have so take care of your needs so you can give to others.
5. Realize you are enough and you are not broken. Abuse happened to you but it’s not who you are. It’s an opportunity to make your pain your platform and be a light to the world. Abuse does not define you!
6. Honor the healing process – It takes time to heal, it’s a journey and not a destination. Everyday we grow stronger and we gain new information to take steps in the right direction that advance us on our journey, which has a far greater purpose.
7. Make a list of what’s most important to you in life and keep that your focal point so you stay on the right track, the one that helps you fulfill your dreams.
8. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m about to do feeding my history or is it feeding my destiny?” This will help you quickly eliminator the stressors in life.
Brittani Taylor is thriving today and so can YOU!
The #SHEROproject will include stories of SHEROS from around the world throughout the next 12 months. In an effort to support our SHEROS that are thriving there is a panel that will be selecting the most inspirational story for the 2019 SHERO of the year award, which will be announced on 12/1/2019. To connect with the SHERO project visit us on Facebook where all stories are featured. The SHERO of the year award winner will receive a 4-day/3-night retreat at 1440 Multiversity. An opportunity to explore their potential in an environment like no other; get away for rejuvenating downtime and immersion learning on their state-of-the-art campus in the redwoods of Scotts Valley, CA and experience the perfect blend of learning, vacation, and space for reflection.
1440 Multiversity is a place to experience time differently—exploring what matters, while surrounding yourself with fresh air, delicious food, many ways to unwind, and opportunities to connect with yourself and others. SHERO, during your stay, you can look forward to daily 1440 specialty classes such as yoga, meditation, qi gong and Pilates. Or enjoy hiking in the 75 acres of redwood forest surrounding the campus and finish off your day with a soak in their signature infinity tub.
The creation of 1440 Multiversity stemmed from a desire to establish a beautiful and nurturing physical location where people of all walks of life could come together in community—to explore, learn, reflect, connect, and reenergize. (www.1440.org)