Great things happen when we share our stories. The saying “you never know what the next person is going through” is the absolute truth. Another thing that could be said is that we don’t really know how much we have in common until we begin to share our stories. I am so grateful to the women who will be featured throughout the year on Truly Charmed. These are women who have beaten unbelievable odds to claim their charmed lives. Up first…Alexan Green. I have been cheering Alexan on from afar for a while now. She’s one of my Facebook friends who is always working…always spreading empowering messages. I had to share her story with you. Read on to meet survivor and advocate Alexan Green.
Hi, my name is Alexan Green. I am a 38 year old mother and wife from Lake City, South Carolina. I am the founder of Women Against All Odds (WAAO), an outreach organization/ministry designed to support women during their toughest challenges. At the age of 6, I was sexually molested by a family member who lived with my great-grandmother. This senseless act took place for quite some time until the relative decided to move back to his hometown. I kept the abuse a secret for many years. The aftermath was horrible. I dealt with a lot of changes over the years: struggling with my sexuality, dealing with multiple men, fear of telling, not knowing what would happen if I did, struggling with loving myself, and the list goes on. At some points I felt like giving up. I endured. Through age and with God, my experiences strengthened me. I began to know that I had a voice and needed to speak up and out to help other women.
I started my non-profit, Women Against All Odds, in 2013. The mission statement sums up the purpose of WAAO: “Helping every woman live through adversity in order to conquer, survive, and thrive”. I hope to inspire and empower women during the greatest challenges in their lives. WAAO has hosted a networking mixer on the third Thursday of each month in my hometown of Lake City S.C. at the Railway Restaurant from 6-9 p.m. During the meetings, ladies would network and chat about their business, fellowship, pray, and share stories of survival. With the restaurant being under new management I'm looking to move to another location. The journey has been challenging, but I'm believing and trusting that God will continue to send women to help me build this amazing organization.
Alexan’s Charmed Life…
I still have days in which I wonder will I ever be able to put the aftermath of molestation behind me. I came to the decision that no matter what I was going to keep moving forward. I met a wonderful lady by the name of Jennifer Robinson, whose outreach program, Empowered To Heal, helps women who have been sexually molested. I meet with her monthly for counseling sessions to chat about some of the adversities that I still deal with. Now a mother of three and a wife of eleven years, I feel like I have more support and love than I have ever had. I'm glad that God saw fit to spare my life so that I could give life to my children. I am inspired by being connected to women with the same purpose and drive. My advice to anyone who may be going through difficulty is to keep fighting until your victory is won.
To say that I was moved by Alexan’s story is an understatement. I am so grateful for her transparency. This will, no doubt, be a blessing to the lives of those who read it. If you are a survivor of child molestation, look at Alexan’s story as inspiration. Speak up. Speak out. You are not your circumstances. Share this story. You never know who may need it.
Protect Our Children!
Talk to your children about molestation. Let them know that it’s not ok.
Make your children feel confident that they can confide in you. Keep the lines of communication open.
Listen to your gut instinct!
Do not force your children to show affection to others, relatives or not.
Be cautious about who you allow to spend time with your children.
The greatest lessons can be learned from our little people, our children. In my case, they’re not so little anymore (ages 15 and 17), but over the years my children have enriched my life in so many ways, including teaching me some very important lessons. In general, children see possibilities where cynicism has caused us to go blind. They find hope in circumstances that life’s upsets and fumbles would cause us to give up. They dream big. They have fun. Unfortunately, “adulting” and all that comes with it has left some of us jaded and it may become necessary for us to take a step back and look at life through the hope-filled and unadulterated eyes of our children.
My son, Zy, is currently in the last semester of his senior year in high school. Yes, a SENIOR! It blows my mind to think about it. My daughter, Chris, is 15 years old and a freshman in high school. They have grown up so quickly on me. I often find myself thinking about our journey, the wisdom that I have strived to instill in them, and the ways in which they have made me a better person. Here are a few lessons that I have learned from my children.
Because of my children, I travel more and I have become more open to new experiences. I was motivated to take my goals off of the backburner and pursue my blogging and modeling careers. I am more confident in my own abilities and beauty. I could go on and on about the ways in which my children have caused me to widen my horizons and to check my perspective when it comes to certain things in life. I look forward to witnessing their growth into adulthood and their bright futures. I know that a lot of you who are reading this are parents, educators, aunts, uncles…in what ways have the children in your lives taught you lessons? Comment below.
What is the cloud? “The cloud” is anything that interrupts life, anything that keeps you from wanting to do the things that you must do in order to thrive, including the things that you enjoy doing. “The cloud” threatens your quality of life. For you it could be naysayers, negative people in your circle, or your own negative self-talk. In my case, I deal with the dual burden of anxiety and depression. I have dealt with this for many years, but a name wasn’t given to my struggle until I was diagnosed with chronic depression in 2006.
I had no idea of the number of people who also live with these conditions until I became transparent and began to talk it. Most days are fine. On my worst days, it feels like a battle just to get out of bed—as if I’m being held down by a boulder. It takes so much resolve and an iron will to thrive in spite of the pitfalls of anxiety and depression. Maybe your cloud is the same is mine, maybe not, but here are five ways to say no to any cloud and claim your charmed life!
I hope that this post helps you in your effort to push forward and live a happy, healthy, and prosperous life. Never allow negativity or any other hindrance to stop you! Let’s claim our charmed lives. Comment below and let us know how you thrive despite the clouds of life.
Antoinette C. is a blogger who delights in all things that foster unity and growth in women. After all, if the woman is happy and fulfilled, so is her family and community. Through Truly Charmed, Antoinette will introduce you to women who have inspired her, and who will, hopefully, do the same for you! Here's to your charmed life!