Resilience Stories from the Field: Reflections from a CorStone Senior Trainer

Before I joined CorStone as a Master Trainer, I was only interested in making money. Like many other women, my only goal was to earn more than my brother.

My brother is an engineer and my father always wanted me to be an engineer too. I was never interested in Engineering and this made my father very angry. He always told me that I would not be able to achieve anything in life. I was persistently hurt by his harsh assessment. When I completed my post-graduate degree, I just wanted a job that would provide financial independence.

Quest for independence leads to discovery of inner resilience

In 2013, I was presented with the opportunity to join CorStone. I accepted the position because the location of the office was near my village. This would allow me to visit my grandfather often. I also thought my job would be easy. I expected to learn and understand the training modules and then train the local staff. This was before I received the CorStone training or had the opportunity to review the comprehensive training manual.

While attending my first trainer training, I was introduced to concepts that included character strengths, Attitudinal Healing, benefit finding and much more. These ideas were completely new and different than anything that I have ever been exposed to. I didn’t comprehend or understand all of these foreign concepts but I became very curious. Shortly thereafter, I read the complete facilitators manual very late into an evening. The result changed my life.

I then started surfing the Internet and reading more about Emotional Resilience and Attitudinal Healing. I started practicing forgiveness, being present, recognizing ‘the moment of choice’ and accepting responsibility for all of my actions.

How an Indian girl use learned resilience skills to escape an abusive marriage | #resilience #training Click To Tweet

Inner resilience realized through others

Shortly thereafter, I started conducting the CorStone trainings with a new found purpose and excitement. And, as I completed more and more of them, I felt deep inside that resilience is actually for me.

When we discussed love in our training sessions, I felt more love for my sister. When I explained the value of kindness, I recognized it in my relationship with my father. And through this amazing work, I learned the powerful value of forgiveness.

Now, whenever I feel overwhelmed with difficulties, I find that my soul helps me bounce back and my skills help me to thrive and move on. Today, I’m more peaceful, calm and happy. I can also proudly say that I’ve come through many difficulties that had me locked up in life.

Learned resilience skills enable escape from an abusive marriage

The impact of the program on the children we serve has also been incredible. About 2 years ago, a 13-year-old girl called me and introduced herself. She had completed our program when she was in 7th grade (std VII). She thanked me and said she was alive today because of the resilience sessions that she attended.

When we met later, face-to-face, I could see burn and cut marks on her body, hands, and neck. She said after 7th grade, her father, who is an alcoholic, forcibly married her to a man who was already married and who also lives in her in-law’s house. She said her husband and in-laws burned her hand with cigarettes and steaming milk.

This arranged husband and his family continued to exploit and abuse her. She told me “Sometimes I felt like I should commit suicide. But then I would always remember that I am special and have so many character strengths including persistence, prudence, and bravery.”

I always remember that I am special and have so many character strengths including persistence, prudence and bravery.
Resilience Training Participant | GirlsFirst

She said she believed one day she would run away from all the violence and oppression. Six months later, she actually did. She came back to her mother’s house and now she is sure that she will never go back to her forced marriage husband.

She shared everything about her experience with her mother. And although her father has attempted to force her to return to the abusive husband, she said if he or anyone else attempt that in the future, she will file a complaint with the local police. She also shared with me that she had decided to both find work and complete her school studies. Returning to her past life of abuse was no longer an option.

School teacher transformed through resilience training

More recently, at one of our teacher training’s in Patna, a participant gave me a letter of gratitude. She shared with me that all of her thinking about adolescent behavior had completely changed. Now, through her learned resilience skills and the facilitator training which she received, the way she approaches her work with youth is improved for the better. The result has completely transformed her personal and professional world.

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