This #yesallwomen hashtag on Twitter is blowing my mind. It is really amazing to see women joining together to openly discuss abuse, fear, anger, and pain. The thread of the woman’s womb is running deep now, stitching us all together. On this day, this day of the new moon in Gemini, this day of the passing of a fierce woman, Maya Angelou, this day of speaking up, I can see that thread so clearly. So today I am going to share with you a small piece of my story.
I was raped. Like many, many other women -too many women, my body was used with no regard for the soul within. I have been on this journey for a long, long time now and I have learned a lot along the way. I have been angry. I have been sad. I have been afraid. I have grown and learned boundaries and saw glimpses of forgiveness. And what I hope to offer to you today is the opportunity to understand my life as a woman a little deeper.
Before we continue I have one request.
Do not feel sorry for me.
I don’t feel sorry for me, and I don’t want anybody else to feel sorry for me. This is a thing that happened to me. It is not ME. It does not define who I am, but it has shaped how I react, respond, and interact with everything around me.
If you want to feel something while reading this, feel empowered or feel enraged or feel proud to be a fucking woman. Don’t feel sorry.
My journey into the depths of my abuse began shortly after puberty. At this point in my life I had already been in and out of counseling with very little success. By the time I hit puberty I began to remember intense details of my abuse which took me down a rabbit hole of darkness. In the following years I battled a drug addiction, multiple eating disorders, power struggles, and the feeling of utterly loosing my mind. I felt like my life was ripping at every seem and completely falling apart. While in the depths of this shadowy space I was completely alone. Truly. I had no community to connect with, I told nobody in my family, and I shutdown in therapy sessions.
Those years were really hard and I honestly don’t fully understand how I came to the other side on my own. I got myself clean while nobody around me even knew I had a drug addiction. I learned about real food so I didn’t hate myself with every bite. I began to stand up for myself and by the time I was graduating from high school my yoga practice had morphed from purely physical to deeply spiritual. It was that shift lunched me onto a path of true healing.
I now stand in a place with so much clarity and a deep understanding of the journey I’ve been on. I still have a long way to go, many fears to overcome and face, but I am here. I feel empowered on my path now because I have learned to release the pain and anger behind what happened. I do not need to carry that darkness. That darkness is for the people who have done us wrong. For those who think they are entitled to use our bodies. It is not for us to carry everyday. When we walk with those shadows, we allow them to remain in control. The only way to take back your power is to move into light.
I am proud of my body, I am rooted in my power, and I am pissed off at the fact that I feel like I have to hide myself behind loose clothing and an angry expression because every time I walk down the street I am met with harassment. I am FUCKING ENRAGED that I feel like I have to hide MY LIGHT, my happiness, my joy because in our culture that is a sign of weakness. And on a street full of men, waiting to cat call, a smile is a sign that my body is offered to all.
Maya Angelou said ” There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Let the stories out, sisters. Let the light in. Let us join together and share our pain and fear and move to shift & reshape our cultural mishaps. Our culture is conservative and over sexualized. It is up to us to unlearn the lessons we have been taught about how to act. It is up to us to fight for a better world for our future women. Don’t doubt the power of your voice. Join the conversation now! #yesallwomen because we can!