PART I: INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS
- When you empower yourself, no one can have power over you.
- The less you care about what others think, the more they’ll love you.
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PART II: MEMBERS EXPERIENCEThis content is for premium members only. Please upgrade your membership to access this material.
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About the Guest:
Gita shares her incredible life story in her own words:
I grew up believing that I was worthless, and that there was something very wrong with me. I felt like a burden, and thus most of my life I tried to fit in, always pleasing others and needing approval. I was born under communism during the Soviet era in 1971 in the countryside of Latvia. My generation of girls were raised solely for the task of marrying successfully and becoming a good wife.
The Soviet Union made efforts to impose uniformity and russification. We were largely isolated from the outside world until the mid-1980s. We were liberated from thinking with “Do as I am told” commands.
From the age of 3 we were sent to weekly preschool kindergartens. The parents delivered us each Monday to the drop-off point and in a bus full of screaming, crying children we were taken to kindergarten. Fridays were our happy days, when our parents picked us up again.
From age 6 we were educated in militaristic style with many symbols of hierarchy and the state. Everybody had to become a member of the communist party and I even became the chairman of the young communist party at my school.
There were problems with shortages of consumer and food products, social problems, unchecked immigration, and damage to the environment. Having a car was regarded as the sign of personal wealth. We were 5 children with the whole family living in 2 room apartment. My father wasn’t happy and used alcohol to feel better. My mother did her part in provoking & psychologically challenging my drunk father and he ended up beating her. It was the worst nightmare for us children, and I often wished they would divorce.
At an early age I had to learn to take care of myself and my 4 younger siblings. Both parents were working hard but we didn’t have much. We didn’t have running water in the house and the toilet was just a little house outside. Not so much fun in winter when there was minus 30 Celsius. Life was rough and tough. I was abused as a child.
As a country girl I grew up in forest, climbing trees and working in fields. I was excellent in planting potatoes and removing weeds. Perfectionist at pig and cow farm, removing tons of feces. I learned to make cheese and blood sausages. I helped a cow in delivery. I picked buckets of mushrooms and berries in the forest for winter.
When I was 15 I was the young communist leader at school. I learned the famous Russian automatic weapon Kalashnikov, to march as soldier, run with a gas mask on and other ‘fun’ stuff. I tried to kill myself when I was 16.
In January 1991, I was in Riga’s streets among men building barricades against soviet tanks. I walked in demonstration with thousands of other Latvians. It was wild, amazing, and incredible. We learned about freedom and craved it. A totally new world opened for us.
When I was 22, I was pulled into human trafficking and together with 2 Russian girls, and ended for more than 2 months in a brothel in Germany. I was raped. I felt lucky to be able to return home. I heard of girls who didn’t return.
I tried to forget my past as quickly as possible and told no one, except my sister. I was living in fear, shame, and guilt. I felt dirty, and blamed myself. I thought it was my fault. There was no help for me – I knew the police would only laugh. I feared being judged and excluded.
To silence and cover up the shame I felt I signed up for a beauty contest in my town. I didn’t get the crown, but it lifted my self-esteem a bit, and closed the mouths of those who called me a whore. Now I was a beauty princess.
I met my future husband and moved to Denmark. I was living the Cinderella story. I met several influential people and even, at a private party, Her Majesty Queen of Denmark, and her sister the Queen of Greece, but my domestic situation was very traumatic: I experienced demeaning put downs and psychological abuse. I was mentally broken down. I got the courage to finally leave my husband, going through a very dramatic and bitter divorce with three children, no family for support, no money, and no sign of any coming in.
Things had to change, and although I felt the divorce was ultimately the best thing for me to do, I still felt emotionally guilty for putting my children through that trauma. Even though it was all tragic and devastating at the time, this showed me how I was abusing myself by not stepping into my power, and reflected back to me that I was living in my weakness.
My life experiences taught me how to harness my power. I knew I had to learn to love and take care of myself first. I had to rebuild trust in myself. I knew I had to own and honor the truth: that I was worthy of love and everything else I desired from life. I knew I had to allow myself to slowly grow into who I was meant to become. I knew I had to go after my personal dreams; the ones I didn’t even know about because I had always put them on the back burner. I healed my traumas with the help of many great mentors and skilled healers. I studied, read, and learned. I got my voice back and began to feel that my own opinions and feelings are just as important as those of the people around me. I was not afraid to share my thoughts anymore. I could speak my truth without fear of being judged and dismissed. Once I did my life was never the same.