11/17/2020 0 Comments
A Place Within-
Disclaimer- This blog entry will talk about some pretty dark and heavy stuff related to sexual assault/trauma. Please proceed carefully + with lots of love! And from my heart to yours, I see you + I feel you.
I am not my shame or my sexual trauma. I repeat this to myself. Over. and Over. and Over.
I am not my shame or my sexual trauma.
Deep in my soul I know this, but feeling it is truly a different matter at times. At its worst, I feel it in my chest. I feel it in my throat. I feel it in my entire body. It burns. It aches. It is dark. It is heavy. Pain. Fear. Panic. Uncomfortable. Unbearable. Chaotic. Self-destructive, Shame. Grief. Sadness. Heavy, heavy, heavy.
I feel it and then I let it go. Time and time again.
The process of coming back home to myself, has been a long one. A winding one. A tiring one.
But my god, is it healing, and heart-breakingly beautiful to come back into the purity and divinity of all that you are, and always have been despite what others have done, others have told you, or even what society has taught us. Our sexuality and our body- are and always will be- divine.
After trauma, it can be hard to settle into yourself again. You feel changed. Dissociated. Disconnected.
A stranger. A foreigner in your own body. Maybe even disgusted with your own body depending on how deeply enmeshed and engrained society's shame, hatred and fear are within you. For one thing, it is important to know we are not our bodies. Our soul can and will retract itself to protect itself and often times, it can be hard to want to bring that energy back. It can be hard to want to fully fill and immerse yourself into this dark and dense timeline where the unthinkable happens and to then sit with and feel what has happened. Although I wouldn't wish the pain of my journey on anyone, I choose to consciously pave a way. To reconnect. again. To love again. To try again. To be more aware. To protect myself. To protect others. To protect my future children who I will not allow to experience something like this. To listen to my soul when it whispers before it screams. To trust my intuition when it tells me something or someone doesn't feel right. I will not wait for them to show me what my body and my soul already knows- because I trust myself.
And I wish to to show others that they too have this space within themselves- no matter how far away from it they may feel now.
My one true wish, in this world, is to create a place for myself and all beings to feel truly seen and to feel safe in being seen. A safe place to be and to be safe in living life fully embodied. A place where we are safe to live and to be free. A place where it is safe for you and me, to be ourselves, unapologetically and without fear of how another person may take it. A place where we are safe to express ourselves without fear or worry that someone will harm us because of who we are. A place to just be and to show up, how we are, as who we are. Truly. In this lifetime.
I wish to truly feel and fill this body which houses my soul. After all, while I am here, this body is my one true home and it is mine- before anyone else’s. I wish to remember that it is and always will be pure. It is and always will be loved. It is and always will be safe and it is and always will be MINE. No one anything or anyone does can ever take that away from me.
My Journey to Sexual Reclamation
Looking back, my journey through shame and sexual trauma has spanned almost my entire lifetime. Starting from growing up and being super sexual at a young age (I was literally like 9 and horny af) and feeling dirty because I thought it was abnormal for a girl- I had no idea how to deal with it. Out of curiosity, I remember rubbing an itch I had in my panties and it ended up feeling good. I didn't know why it did. I didn't know why I wanted to keep doing it either. I felt weird. Ashamed. Confused. I had no one to talk to about it. Which is insane, considering it is a natural human thing, a thing we all feel as divine, sexual, creative and pure beings!
This shame and disconnection from sexuality as an early young, blooming woman was further emphasized in what I saw in the movies and in media- Which was only men wanting to do it, and them begging/pushing against a woman who never did. (WHICH HELLO we were raised with no role models for how a healthy/connected/respectful sexual relationship with boundaries should be like). With that, as young, little, impressionable girls, we were also taught that women were not sexual beings which is NOT true! It also taught little boys that it was sociably acceptable to push a woman until she folded- which is not healthy- and is not respectful of each sovereign being’s ability to choose and define their sexuality- for themselves! We were taught that boys pushing and sweeping you off your feet was something you somehow wanted. Even if it wasn't. Like many others, I thought that was normal. There were points in my journey, especially early on, where I felt like a boy trapped in a girl's body. Not because I wanted to be in a boy's body, but because I didn't know you could be a girl and be sexual too. I didn't associate sexuality with something feminine. Crazy. When it is through the WOMAN'S sacred sexuality that all beings are born.
From that point, I remember seeking the pleasure and exploring it myself. I remember then feeling immediately embarrassed and gross with myself. This cycle repeated until others reached that age, became open with it, and it became more of a normal thing to want to connect with your own self and sexuality in this way.I didn't feel so different or alone anymore.
Soon after that though, in high school, I began to feel like my sexuality was something to be embarrassed about or hidden. For the first time in high school, I was harassed for my sexuality. I was only a sophomore. I was only 15.
It happened soon after I broke up with my boyfriend at the time. At this point the only thing I had ever done was give head. He was a football player and I was soon to find out that the other football players knew about it and what we did. They didn’t share that they knew, til after we broke up. Maybe they thought because I was single they were allowed to do whatever they wanted? My guess is it was shared and disclosed by my ex’s hurt ego or him bragging about what we did in through locker/boy room talk. And what happened was this…
A lot of his teammates also ran track, which I also ran. During practice one day, one of them grabbed me by my ponytail out of nowhere made me bob my head up and down in the air and then said I should be used to it. The rest of them laughed. I remember I felt so disgusted and embarrassed. My face reddened and I didn’t even know what to say. I remember thinking as if I would ever do it to them. I remember wondering why they felt like they had the right to grab me like that, and to dehumanize me based upon my sexual exploration. Fuck them.
Of course I didn't say that though. It was me surrounded by a large group of boys- taller than me and bigger than me. As a shy, little girl who realized that all these guys viewed me in this way, I internalized it, wondering if I should have even done that with my boyfriend. I didn't know it would lead to this. When really, they just shouldn't have done that. They had NO right to. Every now and then, even now, I wonder if they even remember what they did and how that moment scarred me forever. How that was the beginning of what made me feel like my sexuality gave people the right to touch me how they liked- even if I didn’t like it. How I was too afraid or felt like I didn’t have a right to say anything of speak up for myself. Even now, I sometimes stillI wonder how and why they all laughed and why no one stopped it. I wonder why no one stood up for me. And most importantly, I have explored deeply why I felt like I couldn’t stand up for myself.
Later on, I remember having my nudes leaked online when I was still underage. My account on a site called gifyo got hacked and it ended up on porn sites. I didn't tell ANYONE. I was terrified. All I could think about was what someone would do if they saw that and if they saw me like that. After all, I saw how I was treated after sexually exploring something with my boyfriend, and so I was terrified of how others would treat me after sharing myself (privately) online with people my age. I thought that someone was going to find out and that my life was going to be ruined. All I could think about was how I wish I didn't send anything. It ended up getting taken down cause I reported it, but I remember how horrible it made me feel. The one avenue where I explored myself sexually (online) which is something I was too scared to do physically showed me that again my sexuality was bad, something dangerous and something to be exploited by others.
In college, my freshman year, I experienced being sexually assaulted for the first time. I went on a date. At the time I had just broken up with my first serious boyfriend and the only person I had ever been with. Being from a small town I wasn't used to being treated or taken out, especially the first time I was meeting someone. He took me out to a place in Scottsdale called Olive and Ivy and afterwards we went to his place. I thought we would just talk and get to know eachother. Immediately he was incredibly pushy. All over me. We kissed and made out. I was hesitant, slow. I stalled. Yet he kept trying. I told him we should stop, just talk and watch something. That took him off my back for a while and we just cuddled. Even then, I was incredibly tense and uncomfortable as I felt him beside me.I didn’t know him and yet he wanted to be so close.
After a while of just watching though his hands and mouth started creeping from behind me. My body tensed. My breathing stalled. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I realized I was holding my breathe. I wondered if he even noticed. I felt him pull off my pants. Finger me. I remember it hurt and it was uncomfortable. I remember hiding my face I couldn’t even turn to look at him. I remember he grabbed a condom. It was all happening so fast. I didn't even know how it got to that point without me saying anything. I was so scared. My words were caught in my throat as he surrounded my small, little shaking body with his. I remember him being behind me. I remember he put it in. And kept trying to put it in…Luckily, he couldn't and didn’t stay hard. Looking back on that moment it felt like I wasn’t even there. It felt as if he was simply using me to prove something to himself. It felt like he was using me to show his own manliness to himself, it didn’t matter how I felt. Even though he couldn’t stay hard I still felt violated. Horrified. I remember leaving right after that. He bought my uber and I cried. He tried hanging out with me over and over again after that and I couldn't face him. I couldn't face what he had done.
I didn't get how we could have been on such different pages. Did he not understand what he had done? Did he not see I was not interested? Not then, not now, and definitely not ever again. I ended up blocking him and telling him I didn’t ever want to talk or hear from him again. Not once did he ask me how I felt or if I was okay. He just pushed what he wanted over me, over and over again. Even after I had told him that I just wanted to talk and get to know each other. But as he pushed and pushed, I felt like I had already told him no by saying what I did. I remember being afraid of being annoying or being mean! I remember being afraid of hurting his feelings more than I thought about mine. (Fucking wild) At the time, I felt like I couldn’t speak up or say anything because he had taken me out. In some strange twisted way, I felt like I owed it to him, even though I didn’t owe him anything. This was over 7 years ago, and even now, when I drive past his place since I live around the area still, I would be lying if I said that I don't catch myself holding my breath and tensing my body. I have to remember to breathe and remind myself it's safe and that he can't touch me anymore.
It's sad, because this wasn't even the last and only time something like this happened to me. I woke up to someone touching me once. When I told them to stop they asked me if I wanted a Xanax. I said no. I can only imagine what would have happened if I took it. ( I later learned he date raped other girls when they were completely unconscious- and they only found out because someone else told them about.) I remember talking to him about it and he blamed it all on me. He told me I should have talked about my bf more. He told me I shouldn’t have sent him the emojis I did (even though I send them to everyone). He told me it was my fault because I was in his bed. (Even though 2 of my other best friends were in bed with us at the time too). He told me it was all me. He told me it was all my fault he did what he did. And it’s crazy because just like the first time, I internalized it, I blamed myself and I shamed myself. I wished I hadn't gone over. Wished I hadn't gone out. Wished that I was never there, but I was. You would hope that telling someone you only see them as a friend would get the point across. You would hope that the fact that there were other people in the bed (our friends) with us would get the point across. You would hope that being unconscious would get the message across. But sadly, this is not the world we live in sometimes. And it’s scary to realize it’s sometimes even the people closest to you that you do not see clearly until it’s too late. What’s crazy is afterward, when something like this happens, you blame yourself and only yourself for not being smart enough, wise enough. You blame yourself and hate yourself for being too trusting, too naive. You blame yourself for even the simplest act of falling asleep. You blame yourself and you shame yourself. Which brings me to the question, why are we as women and as a society so focused on what the victim does or does not do- and not the perpetrator? Why do we take so much accountability for the actions of others? Why do we women, define ourselves by the actions of what someone else has done instead of our own actions? How does one moment set the tone to what we deserve? These are questions I ask myself repeatedly, and to which I answer and remind myself that I am not my sexual trauma. I am and always have been free, loved + undefined by the actions or thoughts of others. I tell myself that I am safe that I am loved and most importantly that I am deserving of respect, reverence, and patience.
Since then, I am more on guard than I ever was before. More trusting of when my body doesn't feel safe when I'm around someone. I do not allow anyone in my space that I feel unsafe around or confused or uncomfortable around. There's been so many times I tried to fight through that feeling or told myself I was crazy because the other person was “nice” and hadn’t done anything wrong yet. I tried to convince myself out of this feeling until they proved me right- and that my body was whispering something to me that I only noticed until it screamed at me. It's happened with friends. It's happened with strangers. It's happened with professionals. It's happened with people who have significant others. It's happened.
It’s made me feel small anytime this happens. Tiny. Afraid. It makes me wish I was a 5 year old again when I didn't know that the world or people could hurt or treat you like this. I didn't know people could care less about you and your feelings on something. I didn’t know people could blame you for something they did. I didn’t know people would take no accountability or see no wrong in their actions. I didn't know people would do anything to make themselves feel good, even if it meant making you as a person feel terrible, disrespected, used.
Between all of these experiences, for a while I felt changed. More pessismistic. Less bright. Less carefree. Less happy.
I was scared. Restricted. Ashamed. I dressed in a way to not draw attention to myself, I stopped going to a lot of places.
I hid my light, afraid of the attention it would attract. Afraid that my sexuality needed to be hidden because it caused others to hurt me.
But now I'm stepping into the reality and unlearning what I have carried for so long.
Sexual trauma is not my fault. It is not who I am. And it is definitely not something that I want to define how I live my life. I don’t want to use my sexual trauma as a way to self sabotage myself and my relationships now.
I deserve a life where I am free and safe to express myself and be me- however, raw, wild, or naked I am. I deserve a space and place to not be afraid to shine my light- as bright as it can FUCKING SHINE. I deserve relationships where I am listened to, valued, and treated with compassion. And most importantly, I deserve this most, from myself.
When I look back at myself and my experiences, I see someone that dared to explore physical affection freely and curiously. Someone who loved and showed up freely. Someone who shined brightly and was and always will be beautiful. Because that's what and who I am. The living, breathing, physical embodiment of pure love. And I refuse to allow anyone else’s misinterpretations or projections change who I am. I will not allow people to demonize me, my body, or my sexuality. I will not pick up their biases and perceptions towards that and hold it against myself. I choose to support myself, to love myself, and to set myself free.
This cycle of excusing and blaming myself is something I have struggled with in so many ways and something I wish to let go of, once and for all. I realize I am tired of the shit and the shame and the guilt and the fear, and recognize I don't want to carry it anymore. I know and remind myself over and over again, that it is not mine to carry. I apologize and love on my small inner child that tried their best and carried all of these things that were never meant to be carried by me. I set myself free.
So if you, are someone like me, and have a story (which I know in my own life, that most women and even some men do) You did not deserve your abuse. Your experience says nothing about you + says everything about them. Allow yourself to release- and no longer allow yourself to carry the thinking that you were or are somehow dirty, or that if you did or didn’t do something, it wouldn’t have happened. Let that shit go. I know it is easier said than done, but remind yourself as many times as you need. Choose to not use your energy to stay stuck in the past, but to use it instead to have and hold even greater love + support for yourself.
Remind yourself that your sexuality and your body are SACRED and should be treated as such- always. Your sexuality and body is not something for others to take and do with as they please, without your permission. Your sexuality and body are SACRED no matter how little or how much you wear or what you do or do not do in your life.
So with that, I want to scream into the universe and to all men (or women) who have ever tried to touch anyone who DID not want to be touched.
Don’t lie to yourself.
You know what you were doing.
You know what you did.
You can feel their energy just like you can feel yours.
You just chose not to.
You chose to put your feelings first, and their feelings last.
You chose to put momentary pleasure over long term consequences.
You hurt people. You devalued people and you disrespected people.
After all, we are all sovereign energetic beings-
And you know
Or will soon know how
you have imposed your ego, your mind, your desires, as objective reality over all, when that is not true.
So remember, even if I or others didn't say no, we definitely the fuck did not say yes.
It is better to pause and to wait than to rush and to regret.
It is better to flow and to have fun than to force and push.
Even if I or others are wearing nothing- you have no right.
Even if I or others are touching ourselves- you have no right.
Even if I or others are touching, showing, or fucking 5 million other people in front of you- you have no right-
To impose your desires and wishes upon me or anyone else as objective reality and then try to shame us for YOUR misunderstanding.
What it is-
is an invitation for you to take a deep hard look at yourself and what you think about and tarnish about others’ sexuality for
that is your WORK to do. Not ours.
And remember- nothing I or others ever do is an invitation to touch our sacred bodies- unless we have SAID it is.
For those of you who have made it this far, thank you for coming to my TED talk. I know this stuff is dark and is heavy. But it is incredibly important for us to shed light on something as dark as this. And, it is also incredibly freeing and important for us all to share in safe places in hopes that we can stop the cycle of shame, pressure or judgement on other’s sexuality and bodies and gain clarity as a collective.
Although I am still healing, forgiving, loving and learning to show compassion for myself constantly (with some days being better than others), I want you to know you are not alone in your journey or your struggle. I wish for you to know that you are celebrated and deserving of all the love and safety in the world, no matter who you are or what has happened to you in your past. I wish for you to let anything that holds you back from stepping into this- and accepting this for yourself- once and for all.
Finally, with Leo season flowing and lighting up even the darkest depths of our soul, I hope you remember how beautiful and divine you, your body and your sexuality is. My hope is that we all learn to love each other and listen to each other with more divinity and respect a little more, each and every day. My hope is that you allow yourself to distance yourself from anyone, anything, or any place that takes away your shine, or tries to use your beauty and freedom against you.
With so so soooo much love + compassion-
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"She dances with the spirit of the sun, loves with the strength of wild water, moves with the moods of the moon, and creates with the wills of the wind.
She is magic. She is woman. "
She is magic. She is woman. "