Written by Roger “Rock” Lockridge
There is a fact of life that many people already know, but many more should learn. No one is self-made. Whether it’s in business, athletics, or any other aspect of life, everyone has learned from someone else, whether directly or indirectly, to reach the point they are at today.
These instrumental figures are known as mentors. I, like all of you, have been blessed to come across several in my 42-plus years on this planet. For the purposes of this blog, I will center my focus on the field I grew up in – advocacy.
Roger’s Story of CDV Survival
Some of you may be familiar with my story, but others may not be. In short, I’m a survivor of CDV from the early 1990’s in my home state of West Virginia. I spoke about my experience for the first time when I was 14 years old, and I gave my final survivor speech at the age of 41. That is 27 years of sharing my story with thousands directly and millions through other avenues such as films, interviews, and of course, INVINCIBLE the Bestselling book published by CDVA in 2017. Read more about Roger’s incredible CDV survivor story here.
My life in Advocacy and My First Mentors
During that time, I was also active in the advocacy field from 1999 to 2015. Even though my story had been shared on TV shows, documentaries, and even books, the only awards I ever received in my career was being the first CDV champion. There are many awards given every year to survivors or advocates, yet none of them hang on my wall.
|While I don’t have the physical certificates or ribbons, that does NOT mean I haven’t received blessings in my career. It’s just that my honors don’t have names or physical form. Mentors have guided me, taught me, and shared different forms of accolades with me.
In 2000, the director of Family Refuge Center, the late Trudy Laurenson, made me the full-time clerk at 18 years old. A male in a largely female serviced field, I was the first voice victims heard when they called. Another leader in the movement, Gloria Martin, had me go with her on trips to conferences with other leaders in the Appalachian region, because she knew I would both absorb their wisdom like a sponge and try to apply it going forward. Gloria was also the first one to express confidence in me telling my story.
Meeting Brian and Anna and Naming CDV
As I progressed in advocacy, I was blessed to meet two more friends who would become mentors. Brian Martin and Anna Radev at CDVA both introduced me to a phrase I had never heard before – Childhood Domestic Violence.
This is where the next steps in my journey would begin. I now had a name that I could use to help paint a clearer picture of what I had experienced in childhood and my subsequent journey, so others listening and learning could feel a greater connection and hopefully a greater commitment to make a difference. There are countless others who can write that exact same paragraph. If they were writing this with me, they would likely be able to list their own mentors that helped them get where they are today.
Thinking about Mentors in Your Life
I could list countless other mentors that have affected my life and careers in advocacy and in my current career in the fitness industry. But I would rather you take the time you would be reading this to reflect on who your own mentors are/were.
|Was there an advocate, counselor, or teacher that made a profound difference in your childhood when you desperately needed it?
Is there someone in your adult life that has been a source of inspiration for you, during very tough times?
Gratitude and Paying it Forward this National Mentoring Month
By now, someone has likely crossed your mind, and I hope that you will take a moment during National Mentoring Month to tell them “thank you.” There are many people who deserve to receive their flowers while they are still here with us. Giving them yours today would not only make their day better, but I bet you will find it makes yours a little better too.
Last, but not least, I hope you will find ways to pay it forward. You can likely be as much of a mentor for someone as those folks you thought about were for you. The best tribute we can offer our mentors is to play the same role for those around us in need and pay it forward.
Here at the Childhood Domestic Violence Association, through our mission to guide and support those impacted by domestic violence to reach their innate potential, we’ve been honored to come across many people like Roger, who not only worked hard to become more aware of the impact of CDV on their lives and overcome that impact, but also went the extra step to help others do the same.
Research has shown that having a mentor – someone you trust who can be a critical lifeline and/or support system, can change your life for the better. It can even be life-changing,
This National Mentoring Month, think about your experience with CDV, how it impacts you and what you can do to change the negative thought patterns and habits built up from years of childhood trauma that are no longer serving you. Then check out our free 40-minute course, Change A Life, to help you discover how you an extend a helping hand as a mentor to an at-risk child and help change their life while transforming you own