TRANSFORMING VICTIMIZATION: TRUE STORY
How does one heal and grow from an
unthinkable traumatic experience? It helps each of us when
others open their hearts and tell their stories. In this issue
and several following, personal stories illustrate how we can
move beyond staying a victim and how to use painful events to
grow spiritually. Know that the events that wounded us, whether
or not they are as severe as those in these stories, can deepen
our relationship with our Self and be used for the upliftment of
our consciousness. To raise our consciousness out of the
consensus reality of victim/victimizer consciousness, takes
tremendous courage and vigilance.
Allow these courageous people to impact you
and show you the way out of trauma. Their sharing is very
personal and each of them hopes to show you that no matter how
challenging a life situation, there are ways to grow and heal
from the experience. Some of the best teachers and healers are
the wounded healers who have healed themselves. Here is story
number four. If you are drawn to write your story, send it to
If you have missed any of the previous
stories click here for Story 1,
Story 2, and Story
By Vicky Jeter
When Suzanne suggested I might submit a part
of my story of being born with Cerebral Palsy to her newsletter,
the most challenging thing for me was where to start. There are
almost as many significant aspects of disability and perceptions
of disability as there are people, and their families, who are
challenged with them. So, where along the paths of life do
unique aspects and intimately personal experiences of disability
cross into empathetic understanding? And, where does
understanding become the bridge to inspire inter-reliance in
relationships and personal self-esteem?
I was sitting with these questions within myself, when a friend
asked me what was it like when I was told I would not walk
without crutches. Here we have an interesting beginning. I was
never told I would not walk without crutches; I was never told I
would walk without crutches, either. What I was told always was
"someday." This ambiguous state of affairs put the
most tantalizing potential of my life in perpetual Limbo. With
each of five orthopedic surgeries--with each evaluation by my
doctors I was left wondering how long I would have to wait to
know when someday was.
As frustrating and heartless as it seemed to me in those endless
moments, there was really nothing else, in integrity, they could
tell me. Cerebral Palsy is a catch-all term for an incredibly
wide range of physical, and in some cases, mental challenges.
Each person faced with the condition interacts with it
differently for a variety of reasons, and this makes outcomes
I was nine years old when it occurred to me over a particularly
trying stay in the hospital that "someday" translated
more concretely into, "we don't know." At the end of a
particularly memorable confrontation with God, I came to the
distinct conclusion that if "they," meaning anyone and
everyone moved to talk to me about my prospects for walking
independently, could not really say--then I was simply going to
have to determine when . . . and also what "someday"
would mean for me.
If this may not seem too practically applicable from the
objective, adult perspective--I am here to tell you even as I
reflect back on it today, this shift in perspective out of
"I don't know," came as a huge energetic relief of the
psychological weight of the question which had been hanging over
me since I could remember; and it also gave me an internal sense
of cause to set my own goals to shoot for.
This sense of self-referral in goal-setting was a very big deal,
and it is a frame of reference I still rely on today. Before I
came to this point within myself I dutifully went to my physical
therapy, and put my braces on every day because I was supposed
to, and it was obvious to me that these actions were supposed to
help--even if I really didn't have a clue how. I remember time
and again looking into the earnest eyes of my therapist
imploring me to put all I had into what we were doing. To me, it
felt almost like pointless drudgery akin to a kid who is really
not into piano lessons.
There really wasn't a way, from the angle she was trying, for me
to "get" it that every effort I might make with her
increased my potential to successfully navigate the able-bodied
world in which I would, "someday" very much long to be
Here are a couple of empowerment reflections: First, I did meet
one very dear friend who had just about the same level of C.P.
that was my experience. But she walked independent of crutches,
where I did not. I walked with two Canadian crutches from the
age of four, until I was 18. I learned from her mother that one
sure-fire way to inspire a child to "get" the value of
physical therapy at the level of driven participation is to give
them challenges in play that motivate them to stretch physical
limits while the stretching is not the mental/emotional focus.
Her mother got her a doll that was a big as she was; the only
way my friend could relate to the doll and move her around was
to stand up with her--she eventually walked to carry her. Thus,
she never used crutches. Secondly, in my personal experience,
and in my experience witnessing a majority of persons with
disabilities, what we can do--and how we will do it--can be
vastly different when we are by ourselves than when we are with
other people. This can be true for a variety of reasons. As I
discovered this, I learned for me the biggest reason is that
people "with me" in my life physically move much
faster than I. Sometimes the marked variation in speed alone can
make me stop if I am not paying close attention. It is an
internal feeling like it is futile to try to keep up. When I am
by myself, it does not matter to me how long something takes,
and I just do what it takes until my objective is achieved.
Another question that came up in the course of this writing is
how do I deal with the challenges of permanent disability? When
I was a very little girl--not quite four years old--someone
gifted me with an Almanac size volume of real-life pictures of
American life. It was called a "Big Golden Book;" on
the front was a host of angels ringing golden bells. The last
page of the book was a beautiful image of the Christ alone on a
mound in Heaven just after he'd risen form Earth. That book, and
especially that picture captivated my attention. My parents were
not religious in practice. I would not understand the contexts
of the symbolism for years. But I loved that picture and the
spontaneous feelings it brought up in me. I spent spans of time
with it, posturing my hands in the way his hands were.
patterning these connections over and over again in my youth
created the vehicle for the gifts of Grace to reach me easily,
and the cornerstones of a profound and active Faith that has
blossomed to encompass spiritual practices from around the
Through navigating the challenges on my journey I have learned
that the source of my faith is not in any particular symbolism
or the teachings that support it. It is the feeling I invest in
any aspect of Life I naturally find faith in.
So, when I was 18, my friend who had never walked with crutches
showed me that with determination and tenacity there was no
reason I couldn't still catch up with her in ability to walk
independently. Because I knew she had come from where I had come
from, literally, I was able to believe her, and I did it--I laid
down my crutches one day, and just did not pick them up again.
Today, I am 43, and as I age I find at times it is safest to use
one cane as I am not as pliable in falling as I once was.
The beauty of this principle of self-resource is that these same
concepts can apply to anyone, navigating through any challenge.
Being a person of self-referral and self-resourcing is not
indicative of an attitude of control; in reality the strongest
quality in achieving it is surrender--surrender to knowing and
accepting our realistic limitations so that we may realistically
know what it will take in the way of planning and/or assistance
to achieve our objectives and goals. So long as we have no need
to limit what it will take, almost anything can be possible.
Vicky Jeter has been a Practitioner of
Religious Science for 15 years, specializing in practical
applications of universal principles for healing and
transformation. She specializes in assisting people to
understand the pre- and perinatal origins of their beliefs,
which is all about the journey coming into being human and
birth. Because her disability is from birth, Vicky has deep
passion and conviction for releasing the effects of birth
trauma. She is a Level II Trainee with Emerson Seminars. Vicky
is a published author of Philosophy, Short stories and Poetry.
She lives with her husband in Spring, Texas. To contact Vicky
you are welcome to email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicky took heaven by storm, tenaciously
walking the inner journey of self-discovery desiring to make
sense of everything in her life from watching her mother attempt
to commit suicide at age three, growing up with neglect in an
alcoholic family system, to being molested as a pre-teenager.
Add to this having been born with spastic cerebral palsy. Vicky
is upbeat, positive, dynamic, curious, honest with herself,
relentless in digging into her unconscious and hidden belief
system, and perpetually living her spiritual values.
It is going on 20 years now that I have known
Vicky. We met after a talk that I presented at her church about
building oneís self-esteem. I canít say I was her counselor,
it was more like her guide as she navigated the waters of higher
consciousness, always self-motivated, and driven to achieve
inner peace and clarity about her life situations and to fulfill
her spiritual missions. Since my book, Enlightening
Cinderella, was published, Vicky lovingly calls me her Fairy
Vicky touches many peopleís lives through
her writing, speaking, and spiritual work with others. She is
married and has worked for Continental Airlines for 25 years.