There is no easy way to say this other than to simply say it, so here I go. I was sexually assaulted in April 2007 and last Thursday I was strong enough to go and finish the report I had started 6 years ago. Why now? What changed?
Actually lets back up, my relationship with sex in general has been a rocky one at best and it is only compounded with the views of our society that are put on us as “Normal” or expected. In our families we are taught all kinds of messages about what it means to be a female in this world, some good and some not to so good. My experience as a young girl growing up was that it was normal to be called names, hit, punched, belittled by men and made to feel worthless so why would I think it was abnormal if a man outside of my family did the same things? I wouldn’t and that’s the problem. It took me 6 years to realize that it was wrong, really wrong and that I can say so.
This is not my first sexual assault, like many other young girls I was an unwilling participant in my first experience with sexual intercourse but again had no idea just how wrong this incident was until, well actually today! This event lead to all kinds of self esteem and mental health issues that ultimately lead to me seek out more of the same types of men until I choose to stop. I chose to stop because I was in so much pain.
One event in life leads to the next and it just kept getting worse and worse until I just saw no way out but to die, so I tried. I tried to kill myself, I thought about killing myself all the time, I wanted that part of me to die. I didn’t want to die but I wanted the pain to stop. I had created physical pain (Fibromyalgia), emotional pain (depression), an abusive relationship, huge amounts of debt trying to make myself happy by owning things, I stopped eating in hopes that I would just fade out. But something in me was stronger than my mind and body and it woke up the day I ended my engagement.
My spirit came alive and that little voice inside that I had learned to ignore or “push down” would not have it anymore, she came out loud and clear! Now I choose to listen to her always and right now she is my heart telling me to follow her wherever my healing journey takes me and at whatever the cost. The price of not listening it too high and the result of really, truly listening is priceless!
There are many layers of the person I have become in this very moment and none of them are really bad, I choose to look at the layers as gifts or clues to the work that needs to be done. So what I am learning today is that if it feels wrong to me, for me, then it is wrong. Regardless if it is a family member, a good friend, my Fiance, a co-worker, a stranger, a male or a female no one has the right to do things that hurt me AND I get to decide what hurts me, not anyone else. I will NEVER fade out. I am Alive and for the first time I am actually Living.
“Stop existing and start Living” Michael Jackson, Heal The World
I am in the final stages of preparing for my trip to Rwanda and it has been a major factor in why I am strong enough to have finally filed the report. The need for help in this country is great but I am aware that it is a dangerous place as well. When I knew I was going to be going on to this country I also knew I had a lot of mental prep ahead of me in order to be safe while I was there. These patterns that lead to choices which caused me harm were unconscious until 4 months ago when I dove head first into finding the root of my choices with men. I know there is a lot more work to do but I feel much stronger than ever and am ready for the next lesson.
It has been a challenging road but it needed to be done and the people of Rwanda have been my inspiration. They inspire me with their spirit, their smiles and the gratitude that they express to us (World Dance) for our donations. This is proof to me that we are all connected and that I am doing this work on myself and for myself but that it impacts everyone. Some people have found the impact of my self exploration to be selfish or “crazy”, even family has turned their backs on me while others see the positive impact it is having around the world. We all deserve to be our best selves and if we are willing to do the work to be that then we will be supported. The people in Rwanda have nothing and yet they are supported by a group of woman in California who found them and wanted to help. Who can we help right here in our own towns or city? Who can we help in our own homes? Do we dare start with helping ourselves heal and trust that we not only deserve it but that it will have an impact on the world? YES!
Love and Light