Stories are really powerful. When shared, they have the ability to heal, strengthen, and inspire. The stories that people share are based on what people have gathered from life experiences, and the most powerful forms of stories are stories of resilience. The word resilience itself is a demonstration of the ability of a person who bends in situations but does not break.
Life is a journey of endless struggles, and there are lots of life experiences that push people to the breaking point. But how people react to those situations is what the word resilience stands for. When talking about resilience, such stories not only inspire other people with the same situations to not give up, it also helps the people in raising their voices and coming forward to seek justice.
People who are victims of wrongful acts such as harassment, physical, and sexual abuse are pushed to a level of extremity where getting out of the situation seems close to impossible. It is not uncommon for victims to get tangled in self-blame, self-harm and ultimately, suicide. When they see no way out of their miseries, they surrender to substance abuse, take drugs, and take up medication. However, when victims see people sharing stories of their struggles, their hope is naturally increased
There are many people in the world who are living examples of resilience, including Oprah Winfrey, Robert Lloyd Sherrif, and many more.
ROBERT LLOYD SHERRIFF- A FIGHTER
Born on the 8th of July in 1954, Robert Lloyd Sherrif opened his eyes in Victoria, Australia. Things were bad for him since the beginning. He was born prematurely and weighed only two pounds. Robert was born with a twin brother and belonged to a very unstable family.
An employee at the Royal Australian Air Force Inc, Robert’s father, Robert Lloyd Sherriff 1st, was from Scotland and was not very well educated. His mother, Ann Richards, was a half-cast and a prostitute by profession. Robert Lloyd Sherrif 1st was an alcoholic and beat Robert and his brother regularly. At age seven, he was beaten so severely that he got his four ribs and his arm broken. In 1961, Robert was taken away from his abusive father and became After the incident, Robert became a ward of the government and was taken to Glandore Boys’ Home in Adelaide.
Even though Robert was surviving in his personal hell, physical abuse, within his house, things got worse at the institution. There, he fell prey to sexual abuse. The state employees used boys, including Robert, for their pleasure. They were held captive in locked doors and were molested multiple times,and even murdered. Robert described the acts of employees of the state as “…the people behind the operation working for the government, employees of the government sexually abused children at night-time behind closed doors.”
Even though every single person was a victim of sexual abuse at the institution, none of the boys stood up. Other state employees questioned Robert’s attitude and to “cure” him; they would shock him. The excessive physical, sexual, and emotional abuse pushed him into a dark place where he started to self-harm. Eventually, he became a patient of depression, something that disturbs him today as well. When Robert received medical treatment, he got out of the institution and was finally able to begin his healing journey.
ROBERT LLOYD SHERRIFF- AN INSPIRATION FOR ALL VICTIMS
Even though Robert had a really troubled past, he did not give up. Once he left the institution, he took up drawing. Robert was already a passionate artist and started pursuing art from his teens. He did a photoshoot of a still nude model and eventually drew the portrait as well.
He married Carol in 1981, and is now a grandfather to six children, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Despite the hardships, Robert did not let his passions die, and in 2017, he started pursuing acting. To his surprise, he was cast in Time of Zoe in 2016 and Zoe – A Zombie Short in 2017.
In 2018, his book “Nobody’s Home” was published. The book talks openly about sexual abuse and how it can affect the personality of a person. The book is a reflection of his efforts into spreading awareness about forms of sexual abuse and how to this day, the topic is considered a taboo in the society. He also wrote three other books, including Dirkbell, which is a story about a squirrel and how he saved his neighborhood from a brown terrier, The Inner Sanctuary of My Mind, and My God, How Great Thou Art.
In 2018, Robert was also part of the population that received who received an apology from Prime Minister Scott in the federal parliament. The Prime Minister apologized to the victims for failing to save them from sexual abuse.
At 64, he was diagnosed with asbestos. But all the sufferings and distress didn’t get the best of Robert. He sang songs, two of which are “It Was A Very Good Year” and “ Would You Know My Name?” Robert also started writing poems and is also a historian today. His story is an inspiration for all victims of physical and sexual abuse today.