Kathy Andersen is aware of plenty regarding overcoming adversity. Adopted as an infant in Australia and sexually abused by her adoptive father throughout her childhood, she’s triumphed over a lot of issue than most of the people expertise in a life.
Learning to embrace life and advance from her troubles allowed her to surmount the obstacles keeping her from success and happiness.
Andersen spoke to Reader’s Digest of her motivation to leave behind the darkness of her past that together with the suicide try.
“I overcame those dark moments with the belief that I didn’t want my father to win—in the midst of the pain of suicide attempts, I didn’t want him to win.”
“Something within me shifted into a determination on behalf of me to win, to live, and to make decisions for myself that will give me freedom and therefore the chance to live a life that I wished, on my terms.”
At the age of thirty, Andersen knew she wished to make a forceful change in her life. She left her extremely flourishing corporate job in Australia to travel the globe.
“Despite a bright future in corporate, there was something missing. The experience showed me that even though we are able to plan our path, as I had done climbing the corporate ladder, our greater purpose typically lies on the far side our plans.”
Andersen found that instead of running away, following her feelings led her to the peace she had long been looking for.
“I simply decided to take one step at a time and follow what felt right—that took me in a new direction as there was a sense of peace, happiness, freedom, and meaning. the toughest thing was following a sense, instead of ignoring it, that is what I had come to do as a result of my childhood,” she explained.
Following her feelings led her to travel the globe. As she traveled through impoverished countries, Andersen began to understand she may provide help to other rape victims and rape survivors.
According to her, she could contribute most to people who had experienced the same trauma as she had experienced.”
“Sexual abuse continues to be a comparatively silent killer. There are huge fear and shame around giving voice to sexual assault, significantly as a result of most of the abuse is perpetrated by a loved one or somebody known to the family. I wanted to assist give voice to people who were still living in a prison of silence from fear and shame, and to help give the simplest way out.” Andersen began to live in Miami, where she began a helping group for victims of sexual trafficking. Her work with rape victims and rape survivors is simply a part of her outreach efforts; she also leads workshops and retreats in which she offers tools to others to live their most gratifying lives.
“My joy and fulfillment come from helping myself and others continue to move from where we are to where we want to be, and not take a moment of this precious life for doing something that others wants us to do. Joy and fulfillment is felt when small things can be done every day that help all of us to find happiness.”
Andersen’s advice for other rape victims and rape survivors echoes her commitment to living a life of gratitude. She advises choosing to do one thing every day to make you smile and feel joy.
When you wake up every morning, just say, this is going to be a good, joyful day, even if you don’t feel like it.”
Andersen knows this works from her own experience. Thoughts of an individual really do determine how to respond to the things that happen every day. Be your own best motivator and ask for help whenever needed.
Andersen recommends that other rape victims and rape survivors also find support groups that enable them to make connections and share their stories, as well as move beyond survival into a life filled with happiness.
Video: Story of Kathy Andersen
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