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  • Writer's pictureNubia DuVall Wilson

Thrivers in Action: Shirkydra Roberts

Updated: Dec 1, 2023



I got to meet Shirkydra earlier this year through the amazing Incest AWARE Alliance, which is a nonprofit organization made up of survivor and supporter volunteers who work together to raise awareness for incest. Shirkydra and I were featured in the Black Incest Survivors OutSPOKEN Series among other inspiring survivors, and right away I was so impressed with the light, love and wisdom that she emitted. She is an Active-Duty Engineering Officer with 15 years of service in the United States Navy. She is also an evangelist, motivational speaker, life transformation coach, podcaster, MeToo advocate, and a three-time published author. I hope her story and words of wisdom inspire you!

Name: Shirkydra Roberts

Business Name: Impact, Aspire, Motivate Enterprises (I.A.M.E.) 

City/State reside: Suffolk, Virginia 


1. Tell me about your coaching and speaking business, why you started it/what your mission is.

I started I.A.M.E. in 2018 while being stationed in San Diego. I saw the need for direction, guidance, and motivation in the trauma community. I was surrounded by many people that had ideas and a vision but no process. I was surrounded by people that had gifts but had them sitting on shelves. I wanted to be one of the many that stepped up to make an impact in the business, entrepreneur, and mentorship space. Naturally, I saw myself pushing people beyond the start line and supporting some visionaries all the way through the finish line. I have always been my own mentor and motivator, so it was natural for me to make the effort to always see beyond the problem and into the solution. The acronym, (I AM ME) means to move forward in purpose AS YOU ARE! So many times, we think that purpose, passion, and gifts are outside of us because we haven’t removed the veil of darkness over ourselves that is blocking US from seeing US in the positive light. I A M E… I -means to not just be an influence but make an impact through your story by DOING, SPEAKING, and SHOWING UP! A- is to aspire to be greater than who you were yesterday, never stop becoming. M- is to motivate others through what you do, who you are, and where you are going. E- be global, your audience and your earthly piece of the pie is out there, GO GET THEM! My goal is to motivate victims to step into victory. My goal is to be the cheerleader for victims seeking to break free into a life of purpose! 


2. Tell me about your personal experience with mental health and how you continue to work through any challenges.

My mental health journey has been a space where biology, theology, and psychology collide to help me understand what happened, who I am, and where I want to go. I have learned that healing does not stop. I have been to Christian counseling, non-faith based counseling, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy treatments. They have all shown me something new about myself. I am a victor of child sexual abuse. I had an absent father. I was a cutter as a teenager. At a young age I had hatred, anger, resentment in my heart at one point. I have felt feelings of neglect, abandonment, and unimportance. All the negative feelings that make one feel like people will be better off without them, I have been there. However, I learned through my walk with Christ that I am not the dictator of my finish line. I took stories from the Bible like Job, Paul, Peter, and the woman at the well and I put myself in those stories. I also put the people that made me a victim in those stories. In doing that, I learned the power and need for forgiveness. Many people lack wholeness because they forget the last and hardest step, release or forgiveness of self and others. 

 

Outside of spirituality, I have been studying cognitive behavioral therapy since it started to change my life. I wanted to become the helper that I was given during my CBT treatment. I wrote about this process in my latest book called Dear Brain, You Have My Attention. I loved how self-taught values, emotions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that were planted at an early age helped me understand my own triggers, toxic ways, and altered concepts. I now aim to obtain my PsyD with a focus on trauma so that I can assist others with understanding who they are, what they believe, and assist with getting them through their healing journey. 


3. As a survivor of child sexual abuse, what do you want to share with fellow survivors?

I would like other survivors to know that there is life on the other side of trauma. There is purpose on the other side of pain. There is forgiveness on the other side of resentment. Life didn’t stop because someone decided to violate our rights, freedom, and innocence. Child sexual abuse happened to us, but it does not make up who we are or who we become. We have the option to take our lives back. We have the option to break free from being “disabled”. We have a choice to not just dwell amongst those that are like us but break free and dwell amongst those that need to see and hear us. Our story matters, SPEAK UP and SPEAK OUT! You don’t have to apologize for your truth. You don’t have to alter your story. You don’t have to say it or do it all right now, but there is work to be done. 


4. What have you learned about yourself/community/life in general since opening up about your sexual abuse and journey to heal.

I have learned that everyone won’t be open to your story and some people will say that it is not true but that can’t stop us from healing. I had to learn that my truth is not validated through the response of people. My story is mine to tell and if someone wants to tell their side, they have the right to do so unapologetically. I have also learned to be mindful of what community you surround yourself with because you don’t want to be supported in staying stuck, broken, or in the dark. Surround yourself with the right people that will support you moving forward, bring the best out of you, and assist you with getting rid of the negative talk. 


5. Any advice you can give to others to help support their mental health right now?

When it comes to mental health, don’t just take notes, journal, and attend your sessions. Apply what you’re learning about yourself. Ensure that you celebrate the small and big wins. Tell your helpers and those in your support group the TRUTH! You won’t feel ok, happy, free, healthy, and healed everyday and that is ok. Pace yourself, don’t allow social media or other journeys to deter you from what works for you! Keep living. Keep exploring. Keep taking another step towards being your best! 


6. How can people stay connected and follow you online?


About Shirkydra Roberts

Shirkydra Roberts is the founder and CEO of Impact, Aspire, Motivate Enterprises (I.A.M.E.). She was born February 10, 1990; raised in a single-family home with her mother and two siblings in Dallas, TX. She has a B.A. in Psychology and currently working towards a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is an Active-Duty Engineering Officer with 15 years of service in the United States Navy. When not in uniform, she is an Evangelist, Motivational Speaker, Life Transformation Coach, Podcaster, #METOO Advocate, and 3x Published Author. 


At age 20, God saved her and took her on a healing journey from child sexual abuse that eventually led to her discovering her heart’s desire to speak to impact, motivate, and transform others with the intent of turning their pain into purpose by sharing her own experience. As she got older, and learned who God wanted her to be, she found herself speaking at Women Empowerment Conferences, Educational Facilities, Leadership Cohesion and Business Networking Events where lives were being changed and businesses developed.


She began writing as a means of healing which started her road to becoming an author while coaching others to do the same. To date, she has coached over 10 new authors across the globe. In 2015, she published her first book of poems called “What’s a Word Worth”. She started I.A.M.E. in 2018 which has become her platform as a Speaker and Coach. In 2019, she published her second book called “Just Unwrap It” which focuses on the gifts that we all have within us that we overlook due to pain, struggles, challenges, and lack of self-confidence. In 2021, she started her own podcast titled Beyond The Vision. Recently her latest book called “Dear Brain You Have My Attention: Going Beyond a Healed Heart” in April of 2023. 


She has been featured on multiple podcasts, recovery blogs, webinars, multiple radio shows, Hollywood and Voyage Dallas Magazines. Shirkydra has spoken at numerous Women and Church Conferences, High Schools, Middle Schools, Youth Development Seminars, Naval Ceremonies, and Leadership Development Events. She is very involved in her community in organizations such as Story Tent for Children, Home Start for the homeless, youth sports and women’s shelters. 

 

She is currently residing in the state of Virginia.



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