Chapter 47 of the Book “Annjanette”

Tonight is the last night I will be 47 years old. The night before my birthday I always reflect on the year. I think about my trials, tribulations and triumphs. My goal is to be s better me every year, and vow to not let the same things that caused me to stumble this year, cause me to stumble next year.
I have dealt with some things that I have never dealt with before, and some things that I thought I would never have to deal with again. I look back in amazement that I’m still standing. Like Marvin Sapp says in his song “Never Would’ve Made It.”

I’m stronger, I’m wiser

I’m better, much better

When I look back over all you brought me through

I can see that you were the one I held on to

The you that I held on to is God. I don’t know how anyone can navigate life without Him. I’ve been through some things this year that I could have legit lost my mind, BUT GOD said not so!! 

I took control of my health for real this past year. Not how I had done in the past, but with consistency. Little steps turned into bigger steps and now I see my progress. I’ve lost 75lbs so far!


I’m trying to live a life of quality not quantity. I don’t want to live a long time aided by medication. I want a quality life that includes living life to the fullest while healthy. 

As I reflect, I have no regrets. Every test has become a part of my story. My story shows the essence of Annjanette. My story has helped develop the strong, God-fearing confident woman I am today.

I’m ready for Chapter 48 of the book titled “Annjanette.”

Letting Go

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2f7/62730880/files/2014/12/img_0298.jpg

As we end 2014, let’s vow to leave some stuff that didn’t add anything positive to our lives in 2014. We should be tired of allowing people, circumstances and things to hinder our progress. We have to make ourselves a priority and not depend on others to make us a priority. Nobody will care about you the way you do.

Aren’t you tired of blaming others for your circumstance or situation? Don’t you want to make lasting changes that impact you forever? It’s time to just let it go. Whatever “it” may be, it’s time to say no more! Refuse to accept mediocrity and decide to operate with a spirit of excellence in every area of your life. Refuse to live a substandard existence – let it go!

Let go everything that has hindered your growth. Take back the power you have freely given to negative people, past situations and circumstances in your life. Sexual, emotional and mental abuse don’t have any power over you anymore! Financial problems and unemployment have to go!! Health and weight issues – power be gone!!

This post isn’t about making a New Year’s resolution. This post is about closing out 2014 with the determination to not allow what or who hindered you in 2014 to be a factor in 2015. Tell me, what’s the nonfactors you’re leaving in 2014.

Silence Breaker

 

3617049144_f5f0bc2a46

Studies completed by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.

According to a 2003 National Institute of Justice report, 3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well (page 5).

Alarming statistics for an act that is silenced over and over again by the victim themselves, family, friends, churches and even authorities figures.  I wonder will we ever have a time when children can feel safe, and not be in danger of being sexually molested.  It is true that  most of us that have been sexually molested were victimized by someone we knew.  For years I didn’t count myself among those that were molested because I was not penetrated by my perpetrator.  However, I always recognized what he did was wrong, and carried emotional scars that negatively impacted by body image for a long time.

Molest means to touch someone sexually when it is not wanted.  I was a teenager in the stages of puberty.  My breasts seemed to have grown overnight, and they were not the normal size you would expect from someone my age.  I was thirteen years old that summer.  I was uncomfortable with the changes in my body, and this incident made me feel even more uncomfortable.  My breasts were grabbed and held by someone I trusted.  Someone who knew better and should have been ashamed of themselves.  I was very shocked, but didn’t know what to do other than call my dad and say come get me.  My dad knew me well and he kept asking me was everything okay.  I kept lying and saying yes, everything is fine.  Just please come get me.  My dad came and I never told him what happened.  My dad went to his grave not knowing what happened that summer.

Fast forward to 1999, when my dad passed and I told my mom and my step-mother what happened that summer.  They both were shocked!  My mom said why didn’t you tell me.  Why didn’t you tell your dad?  I told her I knew it would destroy family relationships, and I felt like what happened wasn’t that bad.  I mean I wasn’t penetrated.  Isn’t it crazy how victims rationalize what happened?

I realize what happened to me defined me for more years than I care to remember.  I didn’t like my breasts.  I hid them as much as possible.  If I didn’t have these breasts, this wouldn’t have happened to me.  Hindsight allows me to recognize that I did nothing wrong, and the perpetrator was a sick individual.  I was well into my thirties before I became comfortable with the blessing God gave me:  big, beautiful breasts!  Finally, I became comfortable in my own skin.

These posts may cause questions from my family, but I don’t care!  I am a silence breaker!  Audre Lorde summed up silence the best for situations such as this: “Your silence will not protect you.”

Be a silence breaker!  Be inspired to break the silence from here.

Image by bryanbope on Flickr

Flaws & All

<a href="

” title=”How Quickly A Model Can Be Manipulated Using PhotShop”>

<a href="

Body Image Statistics

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

” title=”Body Image Statistics”>

The above video shows the power of Photoshop, and how it is used to completely change the look of a person in a magazine. Then, the body image statistics provides the realities of body image. Where you surprised? We see the magazine images presented to us every day and subconsciously believe that the images presented to us is our reality. As we mature, or discover that these images are unrealistic and do not represent real body images, we begin to feel more secure in the skin we are in: Flaws & All… The challenge is to help young women feel secure in the skin their in sooner rather than later. What can we do to affirm appreciating our Flaws & All?

1. We have to teach young people to appreciate their unique look. Appreciating their unique look allows young people to have high self esteem.

2. We have to teach young people that their character is more important than how they look. Having a good character makes the inside beautiful, which radiates on the outside.

3. We have to teach young people to value diversity. If we all looked alike, this world would be boring. Valuing differences helps us appreciate each other more.

I challenge you to appreciate yourself – Flaws & All! Then, teach our children the same. What are you currently doing to affirm a positive body image in yourself and others?