As I read and edit pieces for a beautiful and exciting publication, I feel this bubble inside me that’s been growing and blossoming the past weeks. This bubble of realising what I’m here to do. The bubble of excitement and healing, realising that finally, finally, all that has happened doesn’t need to be secret anymore. The bubble that fills my whole body with relief, brings tears down my cheeks, and makes my heart soften and open. Because now, for the first time in my life, I am connected to a world of others.
Sharing my story and reading others makes me realise I am not alone. I am not abnormal. I do not have to keep it schtum and suppressed anymore. We are all beautifully connected. Our pain connects us. This pain that is so often frowned upon or buried beneath out of fear, not knowing what to do with it, or just the overwhelm it can so often leave us feeling.
When things get stuck, dissociated, depressed, fatigued, it’s when I’m not safely tucking into this pain mine. Tucking into the beauty, the neglect, the abuse, the physical pain, the illhealth. Filling these wounds with love. I have done my good dose of tucking in, but without the grounds beneath me to nurture and support. As I grow in the avenue of mindfulness and self-love, with it comes an unconditional compassion for myself in every moment I tuck into this pain. Previously I have dived head first, not listening to what my body says. Not listening to the scream to STOP. To leave these details for now, to step away from this haunted history and focus on the now. Instead I kept tumbling straight forward, into the crevasse of abuse.
And this is when my PTSD began.
But now things are different. That urge to dive head-first is still there sometimes, but I can always catch it and bring my awareness to my feet. To my body. To all that parts that aren’t my head. Because our body knows what we need to do to heal. It’s physiologically and instinctively programmed that way. And my body wants to feel the pain, touch in with the emotions, the hurt, the neglect, and the abuse, but in a mindful and connected way. In my eyes, this is the way that PTSD can soften. And it really does work.
Reading about abuse of a woman’s body and how thousands, millions, suffer in silence from what has happened to them, made me sob. It makes me realise that I too, am one of them. I too, fear sharing my story. When it comes to this subject of rape, I fear it so greatly. I fear it so much that I have only shared it with a sprinkled few. And that was a couple of years ago. It is a memory that only haunts and terrifies on a daily basis. This breaks my heart. This wounding of something so sacred – my body – needs the voice it so beautifully deserves.
This particular story of mine can be shared in a beautiful healing way. The dirty facts don’t have to be what is said. It can be the feelings, the emotions, the dread…the leftovers stuffed into my body. These leftovers that for the past two years have steadily composted, and rotted into my energy and my mind. These are the things that need to be heard. Need to be released. Words of what happened precisely, aren’t always the most healing or helpful. In fact, they are proven to, at times, make PTSD worse. The memory can be transformed from something my mind shudders at the thought, to something my body can embrace. Embrace the wounds that were left, and step forward into the transformation and connection that these traumas bring.
Baby steps. That is what this is. Baby steps to see that the ease of connection is far greater than the pain of burying.
And with that, I hope that all the other thousands of women living with this pain or memory in silence, can begin to take those baby steps to connect with it too. Because together, there is something so beautiful about how such a haunting and fucked up thing, can unite and create a connection greater than anything else ever can. A connection that only we have, and a connection that can heal, empower and inspire.
This is a tender but exciting step on this particular road of healing. For me to acknowledge this event and this pain related to it, feels terrifying. But to do it like this, to be able to feel the pain within my body and not the chaos in my head, feels like healing might just have begun. And this terror is slowly becoming a habitual feeling…not a feeling that is actually there.