What if people saw “the real you”? Some people are true to who they are in every way, every day. Most, however, are not.
Lots of interesting things come up when you start healing. Some are “pfftt…”things, things you can let go, release with ease and move on through. Others, like my rape, or any traumatic experience, have stuff attached that you are probably totally unaware of.
I have told a few non-family people that I was raped 11 years ago. I didn’t know why until today. There are many things you can tell by looking at me: 1) I am a woman; 2) I have a booty and tatas; 3) I’m about 5’5” on a good day; 4) I’m naturally a brunette; 5) I’m in a good mood, incredibly blessed to be breathing, grateful for the abundance in my life and 6) I’m a Red Sox fan.
What can’t you tell by looking at me that self thinks you might be able to and is afraid that, were you to discover them, you’d run away like you were on fire? 1) I was raped 11 years ago; 2) there is lots of ugliness still attached to me like barnacles including anger, shame, guilt and sometimes I swear I wear it like makeup; 3) I have twin chronic health issues I don’t talk about about unless I feel like someone would benefit from my experiences with them.
I thought about it today and realized I’ve told several people who I’m close to and nobody has run away. Nobody has said it’s my fault and nobody has told me to get over it already…and yes, someone did say that once upon a time, as if grief and healing have a kitchen timer on them and when it goes off, you must be done and move on with life.
So, what if we say what we must, what we feel compelled to say? One of the things that rape and sexual assault, in particular, steal from victims/survivors is their voice. I just recently realized I haven’t had mine in years.
What if we take the leap of faith that we’re not ugly, but in fact quite lovely? I have done that. I’ve told a few people. Not because I want attention because God knows, if I desire attention, it’s for something positive. Like running a 5K.
Surviving and thriving means finding my voice and having faith that people won’t leave. And if they do, they weren’t meant to be in my life to begin with.
Believing in me, that what I have to say is valid, is so important right now. If I don’t listen to me, respect me, who’s going to and who should, really?
What if I take the chance and speak my truth? I already have and no a single person has left. Most importantly, I stayed for me. Proud of that.