November 7, 2015 I had my own personal earthquake. Things were thrown upside down and at the same time began to align and show themselves for the first time.
I was at a yoga retreat and in the middle of intense hip openers when I remembered that I had been sexually abused somewhere around the age of 14. All of the details weren’t clear and still aren’t, but for the first time who I was started to make sense. Why I had always looked at affectionate, loving people and longed to be them, but never could. It always made me crazy that there was some unknown thing holding me back. Now it was no longer unknown, but how in the world was knowing this going to help me push forward and potentially open the door to finally becoming that loving person.
I left that class, went back to my room and cried. Then I opened a journal and began writing letters to my 14 year-old self. I let that girl know that she was free to be a child and go explore, laugh, play and have fun. That I was showing up as the adult and was there to take care of her. She was free. This realization and those journal entries began my journey.
I’ll back track a bit. When I turned 16 and was able to drive, I hit the road by myself. I would take every opportunity to head out in search of escape and new opportunities. When I drove away, life was for a brief moment different. So, I would leave on a Friday after school and drive from Michigan to visit my grandparents in Florida - just for the weekend. I clearly remember Sunday evenings being so tired I could barely keep my eyes from crossing, trying to make my way back in time to get a few hours of sleep before I went to school the next day.
I did anything to escape. Fortunately I never got into drugs because I think that would have been a dark and scary road for me. But, I definitely got into drinking and it became my next level of escape for many years. I would say from the age of 15 to 29 drinking was a significant part of my life. I couldn’t imagine going somewhere where there wasn’t going to be alcohol. Life was way too real sober. When I was sober conversations happened and connections happened on a level that I was in no way prepared for.
And somewhere in the back of my mind I knew the whole time that something had happened to me. I knew there was a reason that I had no memories of my childhood. My siblings would talk about family trips and activities and it was like they had lived a different life. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't remember being at any of them.
There was a part of me that became really skilled at taking care of myself, or so I thought. It wouldn't be until later that I learned that removing myself from uncomfortable situations was actually hurting me and would be something that I would have to address in depth in my adult years.
Personal Growth Note:
The beautiful thing about my realization is that it started me down the road of self awareness and forgiveness. I tried incredibly hard in the beginning to forgive the person who had thought it was okay to treat a child this way. Then I realized that that was not my journey. My journey was forgiving myself. Recognizing that we never truly leave these stories behind. In fact, we shouldn't because they have shaped who we are today. Our job is to change the relationship we have with them. Change how they show up in our body, our relationships, and our interactions. Recognize that our bodies create protective patterns when certain events put us in this same vulnerable state, and then begin to change those patterns and reactions. Retraining ourselves to move into difficult situations from a place of self love and freedom. This sense of freedom changes our lives and elevates the greater consciousness. There is an entire world waiting for us on the other side of fear and we have to go through the muck to step out on the other side. This is the path of an Awakened Woman.