Resiliency after Incarceration – I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me!

I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. Man, I’ve been through some things in life. Hasn’t everyone? They say that most of the women in prison are victims of sexual, mental and physical abuse… traumatized. So many women fit that profile.

So, what’s the point?

Oftentimes trauma leads to drug abuse, depression, misplaced anger, low self-esteem and crime. Interestingly, the definition of trauma is unchanging, yet trauma varies for each individual.

For some people, being in a car accident can cause trauma. For the next person, it may take witnessing a murder. Or it may take being a victim of violence.

As much as I respect trauma and I know I’ve lived through my share of it, I don’t want anybody feeling sorry for me.

I’ve witnessed violence, I’ve been a victim of violence and I have perpetrated violence. I have experienced trauma prior to my incarceration.

I endured trauma while incarcerated as a 19 year old, and I was traumatized during my subsequent release and reentry process, 18 years later.

I told my partner the other day, “I’ve only been in society for 21 years.” It was like it suddenly hit me. I still have so much to learn and so much growing to do.

Check out: Working with women who perpetrate violence – A Guide

Sometimes I battle my inferiority complex. I struggle with insecurities and limited life skills. Nevertheless, I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. I live by an affirmation that says: “I am a strong, resilient, independent woman who is ready to change the world.”

Another affirmation I live by is “I am being prospered in all of my endeavors.”

After what I’ve been through I have determined that success is my only option. As I said in Time Zone, the documentary that chronicles the first year of my reentry, when you hit rock bottom as hard as I did the only thing left to do is prosper.

Resource: 400 Powerful Positive Affirmations

So, I have chosen to make my life an open book and share my past experiences in hopes that it might make a difference in the lives of others, but I’m real clear on the fact that every benefit and success I receive in this lifetime must be earned. Nobody owes me anything and I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me.

Related:  The topic of trauma, explained further.

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About Lashonia Etheridge-Bey

Lashonia Etheridge-Bey is a Public Speaker who can candidly and articulately speak to the consequences of youth violence, the effects of incarceration and the challenges of reentry into society. Read Lashonia's Full BIO Here 


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